Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Suitcase banjo

Hello all. I travel a lot for work and I am looking for a more portable option for bringing a banjo with me on a plane. I have looked at the travel banjos. They look great but are tuned in C. I also came across this suitcase banjo. I wonder if anyone here has one and can comment on it.

What other options are there? My goal is to have something that can fit for carry on. 32 inches or less total length.
I am considering taking up mandolin as second instrument since it is smaller.

Hi Joe, if it’s only for practicing, you could also have a look a a “tranjo” (Traveling Banjo) :

If needed, you can fold it in a suitcase, but I keep it in a fiddler’s bag.

Becasue I live in an appartment, I mostly I use it for the “silent practicing” possibility (see their website for more information).

You don’t get a great sound out of it, but hey, at least you’re practicing !

Hope this is helpful …

You could try this

Taking up mandolin is also a good idea

The plunky and travel banjos are not in G tuning. That is the thing drawing me toward the suitcase banjo. However, it does not have a regular drum head and is quite a bit shorter than normal banjo. It may not help with practice if it feels too much different than a normal one.

Nono, the Tranjo ( is in standard G tuning and has a full-scale fretboard. But it definitely feels different than a regular banjo.

The tranjo costs more than my main banjo - deering artisan 2.

Hi @jsmbrown if it’s just for study / practice it shouldn’t matter that its tuned to C, You’d still be practicing the same chord shapes you would be learning if it was a full size five string.

Is it not possible to retune these plucky to G @Jake @BanjoBen ???

I was under the impression that it was tuned to G

@Jake says the Plucky is indeed a C scale length, but that you can tune it to whatever…you may have to mess with the string gauges.


Anytime I’ve brought a full size banjo with me, they’ve let me have it as a carry on.

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Could that have anything to do with the beard?



I went with the suitcase banjo. It is really cheap construction, but works well. It barely fits in a soft mandolin case. It fits better in a baritone Ukelele case. I am going to see if they will let me do carry-on with it in the Ukelele case today. I like the fact it is G tuning and the strings produce the tone you expect for the fretting. It is very quiet. It uses wood for the head instead of a skin. The pot seems to be made from thick cardboard tubing. The kind you see used for poring foundation footings. It was only $175 shipped so if something happens to it, I won’t be very upset. It is also very light and just what I need for being able to practice when on trips for work. If anyone is interested, I could do a video review.


Yes please do. I would also like to know how many frets there are on the fingerboard. Thanks !

Video review is up. It has 19 frets by the way.

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