Sorry for the delay in answering -- big touring season this year!
To asnwer -- wooden tone rings can sound just great, but not being made of bell brass, they produce a less bright, ringy tone. If someone were to want to project well in a bluegrass jam, a brass tone ring banjo is standard. But a well-played wood rim banjo can sound good and still carry well. Of course, its lighter weight is a plus too.
In a beginner jam, I think a wood rim banjo should work all right. If you start wishing your banjo projected more and sounded brighter, then it might be time to move to a brass tone ring.