Our Banjo Lite™ banjos are light-weight, inexpensive, and durable open-backed 5-string banjos designed for beginning players, for quiet practice, or for backpacking and travel.

Where standard banjos use a drum head, we substitute a disk of thin Italian poplar plywood supported by a hoop of compressed paperboard with sides 1/4" thick. This design reduces cost, weight, assembly difficulty, and playing volume. All five tuning pegs have gears for easy tuning. BYM banjos weigh a little less than two pounds.

To order or see details, click on a product picture below.

Read review in October '06 edition of Banjo Newsletter.

Read reviews posted at Banjo Hangout:


We now offer left-handed versions of our banjos!

Listen to a Basic Banjo




"I've got my banjo all strung up and it exceeds all my expectations in terms of looks, playability, and sound! This Backyard banjo has now taken over 1st place over my Washburn B9...This banjo is truly a pleasure to play. It is a great folk instrument and will I am sure bring many years of service..... "

-- Keith Johnson, Beverly Hills, CA


Fireside Banjo

A full-length 5-string light weight banjo designed as a travel or practice banjo for the accomplished player.

From $149.00

Banjo Gig Bag

 This padded Fender gig bag can be used for our Fireside and Basic Banjos.  Two shoulder straps and zipper pocket.


Basic Banjo

All you need to start playing. With a vibrating string length 3" shorter than a standard banjo, this small-sized adult instrument is ideal for travelers, youngsters, relatively small adults, and beginners of all ages. Works with standard G and C tunings,or tunes up to Aand D.

From $135.00

Suitcase 5-string banjo

Our "truncated" Suitcase Banjo is a light weight, 28.5" long,  fretted 5-string open-back banjo designed for travel or backpacking. The tuning gears are tucked under the pot. Tunes in standard tunings.  Includes extra string set. 


Extra long Banjo (Pete Seeger neck)

Banjo with Seeger-style extra long neck.  Tunes in E major or G if capoed at third fret.


Fireside Banjo Kit

The kit version of the full-length banjo has precut parts and pre-installed frets. Assembly time is about two hours.


Apartment-Friendly / No Mess Fireside Banjo Kit

 This "no mess" kit has the banjo neck already finished with Watco oil, disk already finished with 3 coats of polyurethane, ready for hardware, glue, and strings. 


Basic Banjo Kit

All parts are precut and accompanied by detailed illustrated instructions. You will need to paint the hoop, sand the fretboard, and apply a protective finish to the fretboard and the plywood disk. Assembly time about 2 hours.

From $99.00

Adjustable Strap for Banjo


Adjustable Banjo Strap


Instant 5-String Banjo book

A clearly presented introduction to banjo playing written for nonmusicians but useful to all. Introduces several styles of playing and several tunings.


Banjo String Set (Ball End)


Complete set of  ball-end medium gauge banjo strings ( .010", .012", .016", .023" and .010"). 


Folkmaster Harmonica (Diatonic key of G major)

 Diatonic FolkMaster harmonica in key of G


Snark Tuner

Popular and efficient clip-on tuner.   Long-lasting (and easily replaced) battery is included. 



Email Us
Backyard Music
PO Box 9047
New Haven, CT 06532

Phone: (203) 281-4515    Call for Fax Number