Starting Out Right - Blonde or Artisan?
The Goodtime line up can be easily viewed as 2 main lines – Blonde Goodtime Banjos and Artisan Goodtime Banjos – each of which consist of 4 core models.
Created in 1996, these banjos encompass Greg Deering’s vision of producing an affordable, high quality, great sounding banjo right here in the USA. They are easily identified by their stunning natural maple appearance, guitar style tuners and hardwood inlays.
Born from large customer demand for an affordable American made banjo but with a more ‘classic’ look, Deering introduced the Artisan Goodtime Banjos. These banjos have the addition of a Midnight Maple™ fingerboard, Vintage Artisan pearloid inlays, an elegant engraved peghead scroll, beautiful rich brown stain, planetary tuners, and spike style capos for the 5th string.
Each of these 4 models is available as one of several styles, including 5-string, 4-string, left handed models and even acoustic electric models. In total, this means that there are over 50 ways to have a Goodtime… a banjo for each and every need!
What makes a Goodtime better than the rest?
All Goodtime banjos feature a 3-ply violin grade maple rim handmade in the Deering factory. This species of maple enriches the sound of the banjo by allowing each and every component to vibrate freely creating a full, rich, round banjo tone.
Using a wood as hard as premium grade rock maple in our Goodtime banjo necks ensures optimum durability as well as increased brightness, powerful sustain, and incredible note distinction.
Geared tuners give the banjo more stability. Our tuners are crafted for an increased response to the touch of the player during tuning. Protecting the gears by sealing the tuners makes them function longer because the gears do not get dirty.
The Blonde Goodtimes (shown on the left) use a guitar style tuner, while the Artisan Gooditmes (shown on the right) use a more traditional style of tuner for banjos called ‘Planetary Tuners’.
Each and every fret must be placed in its precise position to ensure that each and every note rings true and clear. Attention to this detail is what makes Goodtime banjos superior. If the frets are in the wrong spot, when you form a note or chord it just won’t sound right no matter how hard you try!
On the left you can see the tone ring on its own and on the right you can see what it looks like when it is installed on a Goodtime 3-ply violin grade maple rim. The tone ring will add brightness and richness to your tone.
The Original Four | Natural Maple | Hardwood Inlays
The sister of the Goodtime, features an armrest and a two piece flange to compliment the addition of a blonde maple resonator which gives the banjo a greater projection of sound.Learn More Find a Dealer
When you see the word 'Special', it means that the banjo features our patented Goodtime Special Tone Ring giving the banjo a more powerful and brighter tone. This banjo is perfect for anyone who loves the Goodtime vibe of natural maple but wants to add a bit more kick to their tone.Learn More Find a Dealer
The Goodtime Special is the top of the line blonde banjo and is essentially a Goodtime Two with the addition of our patented Goodtime Special Tone Ring. Couple this with the stunning maple resonator and you get a banjo that is as sweet in tone and volume as it is in good looks - All within the price range you can expect from a Goodtime banjo.Learn More Find a Dealer
Midnight Maple Fingerboard™ | Rich Brown Stain | Planetary Tuners | Vintage Artisan Inlays
The Artisan Goodtime banjos were created to meet customer demands with the addition of a rich dark brown stain, planetary tuning pegs, and 5th string capo spikes at frets 7, 9, and 10 for alternate tunings. Like the Blonde Goodtimes, the violin-grade maple rim is made of the same wood used on professional level banjos and gives the Artisan Goodtime banjo a full & round note distinction.Learn More Find a Dealer
Like its blonde counterpart, the Artisan Goodtime Two is the sister of the Artisan Goodtime but features a two piece flange to compliment the addition of a rich brown stained maple resonator which gives the banjo a greater projection of sound.Learn More Find a Dealer
The Artisan Goodtime Special Openback is louder than the Artisan Goodtime model because it has the patented Goodtime Special Tone Ring and is great for players who like to jam and want to be heard. The rich brown stain and planetary tuners, gives the classic look of a vintage banjo. In keeping with the Artisan Goodtime features, the preinstalled 5th string capo spikes allows the player to easily play in alternate tunings.Learn More Find a Dealer
The Artisan Goodtime Special is as close as you will get to a professional grade instrument within an entry level line. The vibrant tone of the patented Goodtime Special Tone Ring sets this banjo apart from the Artisan Goodtime Two producing a bright, sweet voice with sustain that easily cuts through in a full band setting.Learn More Find a Dealer
Show us how you have a Goodtime
Why players love their Goodtime
Like the sheet music of Stephen Foster, a Goodtime banjo should be in every house in America and every school classroom.Joe Craven
I have several Goodtime banjos. They always come perfectly set up right out of the box. The neck is shaped just right and most importantly they sound great.David Holt
The Goodtime sounds like a real banjo and has decent response. I got my nephew one! And I recommend them to anyone starting out.Rhiannon Giddens
I got my first Goodtime open-back because I wanted something to take on the road that was light-weight and that I could afford. I instantly fell in love with that little banjo.Mean Mary
Goodtime banjos are available in many styles including Tenors, Plectrums and more. Not sure where to start?
Explore the different styles of Goodtime Banjo
By far the most popular style of our Goodtime banjos, the 5-string is traditionally used in bluegrass, old time, and folk music. Today it is being used in styles of all kinds such as rock, jazz, blues, and more. Players may choose to play the 5-string banjo in a number of different styles, including fingerpicking, strumming and even flatpicking. The standard tuning for this banjo is G, D, G, B, D. This is known as an “open tuning” because when you strum the banjo without fretting any of the strings you will be playing a G chord. This is what makes the 5-string banjo one of the easiest stringed instruments to learn.
Check Out: Mumford & Sons, Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger
Banjo Shown: Goodtime BanjoView 5-Strings Video
These banjos have the shortest necks of all Goodtime banjos and feature four strings. 17-Fret Tenor banjos are most popular amongst Irish style players and are commonly played with a flatpick. Goodtime Tenor 17-Fret banjos are tuned to the Standard Tenor Tuning of C, G, D, A – although many Irish style players like to tune the banjo lower in pitch to G, D, A, E (Irish Tuning) to match the tuning of a fiddle. There are different string gauges for each of these tunings to be effectively played on the same neck.
Check Out: Barney McKenna, Seamus Egan
Banjo Shown: Goodtime 17-Fret Tenor BanjoView 17-Fret Tenors Video
The Goodtime 19-Fret Tenor still features only four strings, but has a slightly longer neck than its 17-Fret sibling. 19-Fret Tenor banjos gained popularity amongst traditional jazz players around the 1920’s. Today, they remain common in traditional jazz music and have been adopted by some modern Irish style players including Jeff DaRosa of Dropkick Murphys and Gerry O’Connor. Normally played with a flatpick, these banjos can also be tuned in either Standard or Irish Tenor Tuning when the appropriate string gauges are used.
Check Out: Don Vappie, Dropkick Murphys
Banjo Shown: Goodtime Two 19-Fret Tenor BanjoView 19-Fret Tenors Video
The easiest way to understand the Plectrum banjo is to view it as a 5-string banjo with only 4 strings. The length of the banjo is the same as the 5-string and the tuning of the remaining four strings is almost identical with the exception of the low D string which is dropped to a C. This Standard Plectrum Tuning of C, G, B, D creates a lower pitch than the Standard Tenor Tuning giving the plectrum a fuller sound than a tenor when played as a solo instrument. These banjos are typically used in traditional jazz and folk music and are played with a flatpick. They can also be tuned to the top 4 strings of a guitar – D, G, B, E (Chicago Tuning).
Check Out: Eddie Peabody, Dom Flemmons
Banjo Shown: Classic Goodtime Two Plectrum BanjoView Plectrums Video
Goodtime Parlor banjos are short scale 5-String banjos. Roughly the same length as a 19-Fret Tenor banjo, Parlor 5-String banjos are great for kids or smaller framed individuals as the smaller size makes it easier to play. Like a traditional 5-String banjo, the Parlor is tuned in the standard 5-string tuning of G, D, G, B, D.
Check Out: Your son or daughter’s first hit record!
Banjo Shown: Goodtime Parlor BanjoView Parlors Video