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Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo

4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
| 13 answered questions

Price: $398.95 & FREE Shipping
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by GearTree.
  • Low-profile, 22-fret rock maple neck with hardwood bow tie inlays
  • Sealed, geared tuning machines, including fifth string
  • 5/8-Inch maple/ebony Goodtime bridge with adjustable Deering tailpiece
  • Six-year warranty
  • Three-ply, 11-inch maple rim with steel tension hoop and high crown head
9 new from $398.00
This item’s packaging will indicate what is inside and cannot be hidden.
$398.95 & FREE Shipping In Stock. Ships from and sold by GearTree.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo
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Total price: $427.83
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Product Description

Product Description

The American-made Goodtime banjo features a slender, rock maple neck, 3-ply maple rim, sealed geared tuners, and an adjustable tailpiece. The natural, blond maple is finished in elegant satin and the metal parts are nickel plated. The single coordinator rod makes adjustments easy and positive. The maple and ebony bridge sits on an easy to adjust 11 inch, top-frosted head.


The Deering Goodtime is a great banjo at a competitive price, constructed in the U.S. The Goodtime is an open-back banjo, weighing in at just four pounds, so it's ideal for traveling, camping, hiking, or taking to the beach. It provides a vibrant, singing banjo tone, and makes a great "starter" banjo, since it's well-fretted and plays easily.

Deering Goodtime Banjo

Slim Neck Profile

The Goodtime banjos have a slender, low-profile neck that is easy to finger and comfortable for large and small hands.The fret work is accurate and precise to ensure correct intonation over the entire fingerboard.

Satin Deering fiddle-shaped peghead with sealed, geared tuning machines.

Three-ply maple rims are standard on all Goodtime banjos.
Adjustable Action

You can adjust the action (string height) on the Goodtime banjo by adjusting the single coordinator rod in the pot easily and effectively adjusts the playability so that the strings are close to the fingerboard and are easy to press down.

Three-Ply Maple Rim

The Rim is the round wood drum part of the banjo: In 2009 Greg Deering finished new tooling to make all Goodtime rims in the higher grade 3-ply maple design. Prior to that they were laminated birch and maple rims. This standard 11-inch diameter rim provides a top quality sound that out performs all other banjos available in this price range. Thanks to this new upgrade, Goodtime banjos sound like they should cost far more they do.

Goodtime Tailpiece

The patented Goodtime tailpiece is extremely strong and easily adjustable to maximize tone by raising or lowering it.The standard 11" diameter rim is a 3-ply violin grade maple rim provides a top quality sound that outperforms many banjos available in this price range. The 16 brackets and standard rim diameter make head adjustments easy and replacement heads are readily available since the heads are the same size as most modern banjos (11" high crown).

Made in the U.S.A.

Deering manufactures the Goodtime Banjo in America at the Deering Banjo Company in Spring Valley, California.

Goodtime Specs
  • Neck: Blond Slender Rock Maple
  • Frets: 22 Pressed In Nickel Silver
  • Inlays: Hardwood Bow Tie
  • Tuners: Sealed Geared (Incl. 5th String)
  • Neck Finish: Satin
  • Peghead: Satin Deering Fiddle Shaped
  • Rim: Blond 3-ply Violin Grade Maple
  • Tension Hoop: Steel
  • Head: 11-Inch Frosted Top High Crown
  • Bridge: 5/8-Inch Maple/Ebony Goodtime
  • Tailpiece: Deering Patented Goodtime
  • Finish: Satin
  • Back Style: Openback
  • Neck Width at Nut: 1 1/4 Inches
  • Scale: 26 1/4 Inches
  • Rim Diameter: 12 Inches
  • Overall Instrument Length: 37 1/2 Inches
  • Weight: Approx.4 lbs
  • Warranty: 6 Years

Product Information

Item Weight 4 pounds
Product Dimensions 37.8 x 11.8 x 3.8 inches
Shipping Weight 10.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Shipping Advisory This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
Item model number GOODTIME BANJO/ GT
Customer Reviews
4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #13,731 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
Date first available at Amazon.com June 26, 2006

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Doc Feetz on February 12, 2008
I agree with all the reviews. I decided to try learning banjo at age 53, after playing guitar for 30 years and mandolin and fiddle for 2 years. I took classes at the Old Town SChool of Folk Music in Chicago, and rented a Goodtime from them through a couple class terms. My family wanted to buy me a good banjo for my birthday and I said I'd rather just pay the rest of the cost and keep the Goodtime. I'm no master player, and I'm still learning, but this is a good solid banjo and sounds and plays great.

* It's light and well balanced so it's a pleasure to hold and play.
* It has good solid feel and quality construction, with heavy nickel plating on the hardware, nice light laquer, and clear maple in the neck.
* The neck and frets are dead on balls accurate so the notes sound good all the way up the neck.
* The tuning machines (open gear guitar style) are modest, but don't slip and work fine. Fifth string has a good geared tuner.
* The tone is surprisingly loud for an open back banjo, so I get plenty of volume doing Scruggs style, and even have to damp it a bit with some folded foam behind the head for clawhammer style.
* There's a nice harmonic point right where your hand falls for clawhammer, which gives a nice meaty "pop/ring" sound for clawhammer.
* It's relatively humidity- and cold weather- tolerant without needing a lot of retuning.

* No arm rest! I didn't mind it so much for Scruggs style but got bruises from the brackets when I switched to clawhammer, until I bought an armrest (They have them at Elderly Instruments for $18, and it's easy to attach with a small wrench by loosening two of the brackets and sliding it through them.
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I do not own a Deering Goodtime but I have had a number of opportunities to play them during Dan Levenson's workshops and at at a local KC metro music store (Mountain Music Shoppe). They are outstandingly playable and represent far better value for the money than any comparably priced alternative that I have come across.

I first became interested in banjo through Stephen Wade's wonderful Banjo Dancing one man shows and decided that I wanted to begin exploring banjo on my own. At that time, late seventies, there were very few options available. The choice was buying an open back "maker" banjo at > $1000, buying a used hootenany era banjo in the $500 to $800 (often with a Pete Seeger long neck), buying an Asian disposable with flashy pearloid cosmetics and buzzy frets, or building my own (the twisted route I took.).

Several years on, I was lucky enough to be able to buy a marvelous Bart Reiter at a fairly reasonable price thanks to some shop wear. Sadly most other potential enthusiasts were still faced with either inappropriate junk or a serious investment. Let's be honest here people, a serious investment in a beginner banjo, especially one for traditional styles, should be a contradiction in terms (for clarification just look at what the icons of Round Peak clawhammer banjo were playing in their day. They were far more likely to be Silvertones than Mastertones.).

Deering has had the good sense to recognize that if they are going to sell their high end goodies, future customers need to have *sound* entry level products that will allow them to grow into a better banjo and have an uncontrollable desire to plunk down long green on a Vega #2. (a "Duh!!!
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I have been playing Bluegrass and Clawhammer banjo for a number of years and have owned quite a few banjos. Once I discovered Deering's Goodtime, I got rid of all my other banjos, I was smitten. Owning a Goodtime raised the bar for me in regards to quality of sound and playability.

The Goodtime banjo has a great sound, is easy to hold and easy to play. It has a very natural feel to it. I use this banjo as my work horse. I have since bought other higher end banjos ($1000+) that sound good too but I always fall back to my Goodtime.

My daugher and son are starting to learn the banjo too, and I've found that the Goodtime is perfect for them. Because they are children, I use a capo on the 4th fret of the neck and then retune the banjo to open G (as I say to my kids, "just like a parents banjo") and then they are off and running.

Banjos will come and banjos will go but in my little stable of banjos, the Goodtime will alway be present.
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This is the best inexpensive banjo on the Market. It was my first banjo. The key thing is that it is built to sound like a real banjo, hold together and make an appropriate sound. Deering used some technologies that are not standard for a five string banjo to do this, which may make this not look as nice as comparable models put out by Rover or even the Gold Tone lower end models which are not bad. However, this banjo sounds and plays very good.

I was about 52 when I got my first Good Time, but I was like a kid, taking it to bed with me. Even after I acquired a fine Bacon Belmont vintage banjo, I found that there were tunes and applications that I prefered the Good Time for. It had a bluesier twang and worked better for slide playing.

Moreover, if you follow the banjo literature on banjo-l listserve and other places you will find that there are many modication plans to improve the Good time by adding a skin head, changing the bridge etc. This is like the Volkswagen Beetle of banjos with a whole sub culture of people working to make it even better.

I have two more expensive banjos now that my Good Time was stolen, but if I had the extra money, I think I would buy a Good time for travelling.
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