Mike at Mainland Ukes is still working on getting their version of the banjo uke up and running. I'm anxious to see how it will sound and look.
They are a lot of fun, but I feel like your first instrument should be a real uke, if for no other reason than, to get a decent banjo uke is going to cost a couple or even a few hundred dollars.
They have some decent stuff at http://www.ukuleleworld.com/Banjo-Ukuleles/ I buy almost everything I need here (he has by far the best selection of strings anywhere.) This guy is a little eccentric and some of his stuff is a bit pricey, but he doesn't sell any crap and they play every instrument they sell, checking it for sound, quality, etcetera. You might want to think about the cumbus style uke he sells which will give you a similar sound to the banjo for less money.
Again for a first ukulele you really can't go wrong with something like a KALA tenor, it has a good loud sound, and their basic models can be had for less than $200. Lanikai makes some really nice entry level stuff as well.
"I 'ike lakou, o 'oe, ka mea wale no nona ka inoa, o Iehova; O 'oe no ka Mea ki'eki'e loa maluna o ka honua a pau." HALELU 83:18
Yep, if you're going for a banjolele, I've gotta plug my main man Dave at Waverly Street Ukulele. For the price range he sells his ukes in, you can't get another handbuilt uke anywhere else.
Thanks for linking my video of my WS Banjolele ^_^
You can just call me Paul
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And lest we forget, Dave's FIRST tenor scale banjolele:
Not to rub it in, but that one's MINE...
Utque sacerdotis fugitivus liba recuso
pane egeo mellitis potiore placentis.
I'm like that priest's slave who ran away because
They fed him honey cakes and he longed for bread.
Horace: Epistle X
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