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Bluegrass Banjo Learning Paths & Lessons

Starting with the BanjoShow more >

Are you excited to learn how to play banjo? We're here to help you get started! Here are some lessons for banjo beginners.

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  • Banjo Getting Started with Bluegrass Banjo
    Free

    Learning Path

    Getting Started with Bluegrass Banjo

    These beginner banjo lessons will help you get started with the basics, from tuning your banjo to playing essential bluegrass roll p...

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  • Banjo G, C, and D7 Chords for Beginners

    Learning Path

    G, C, and D7 Chords for Beginners

    We've spoken in depth about the right-hand technique and the practice of your roll patterns. Now, it's time to involve the left hand...

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  • Banjo The Pinch and Slurs on the Banjo

    Learning Path

    The Pinch and Slurs on the Banjo

    Now that you've learned your roll patterns, lets dive into some different sounds. Other than the pinch, the slurs are all left hand ...

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  • Banjo Cripple Creek - Beginner
    Free

    Song

    Cripple Creek - Beginner

    Start with the melody . Everything else will build upon that. Make sure you can play it with solid timing. As you progress to lev...

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  • Banjo Angeline the Baker - Beginner

    Song

    Angeline the Baker - Beginner

    Angeline the baker is a jam classic. Both the Scruggs and Melodic style arrangements work great with the difficulty slider. If you ...

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  • Banjo Vamping and Closed Position Chords

    Learning Path

    Vamping and Closed Position Chords

    This learning path will give you all of the tools you need to play backup behind someone who is taking a solo. You'll learn the esse...

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Beginner JamsShow more >

Embark on an exciting musical journey with our Beginner Banjo Tunes Jampack, where you'll dive into a collection of fun and accessible tunes specially curated for novice players. Mastering essential chords and basic techniques while building a repertoire of delightful melodies that will have you strumming and picking your way to banjo brilliance in no time.

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  • Banjo Woah Mule

    Song

    Woah Mule

    "Woah Mule" is a classic bluegrass instrumental made famous by Raymond Fairchild. The Scruggs style is great for beginner banjo pla...

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  • Banjo You Are My Sunshine

    Song

    You Are My Sunshine

    This bright and happy tune is a blast to play. As with almost any tune, whether you are a beginner or an experienced picker, you sh...

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  • Banjo  Two Finger

    Arrangement

    My Home's Across the Blueridge Mountains
    Two Finger

    This arrangement uses Thumb Lead, Two Finger style banjo. Thumb lead is a type of two finger banjo where the thumb plays the lead(m...

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  • Banjo Boil Them Cabbage Down

    Song

    Boil Them Cabbage Down

    Boil them Cabbage is an old folk song. It's a lot of people's first tune when learning banjo, mandolin or fiddle. While the song ha...

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  • Banjo She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain

    Song

    She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain

    This classic folk song is perfect for beginners learning the basics of Scruggs style banjo playing. Featuring a simple arrangement ...

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  • Banjo Mary Had a Little Lamb

    Song

    Mary Had a Little Lamb

    This classic children's song, "Mary Had a Little Lamb", is a perfect tune for the banjo beginner. The simple melody can be picked o...

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  • Banjo Banjo in the Hollow
    Free

    Song

    Banjo in the Hollow

    Banjo in the Hollow is many people's first banjo tune! It was written by Doug Dillard. Doug was the banjo player for "The Dillards"...

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  • Banjo You Ain't Going Nowhere

    Song

    You Ain't Going Nowhere

    This beginner banjo arrangement of Bob Dylan's classic folk-rock tune You Ain't Going Nowhere is an easy and fun song to learn. You ...

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  • Banjo Sunny Side of the Mountain

    Song

    Sunny Side of the Mountain

    This is definitely a bluegrass and jam standard. It's most closely associated with Mr. Jimmy Martin. There's several arrangements h...

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  • Banjo Dooley

    Song

    Dooley

    Dooley was a good ol' man he lived below the mill...The song is a traditional bluegrass tune, but it is also considered to be a str...

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Pickin' Progressions: Intermediate BanjoShow more >

Continue your melodic adventure with our Intermediate Banjo Jams, an exciting follow-up collection of engaging and approachable tunes. Carefully selected to build upon your banjo skills, expand your repertoire, and fill your musical journey with even more harmonious moments of joy and accomplishment.

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  • Banjo Cripple Creek
    Free

    Song

    Cripple Creek

    "Cripple Creek" is an excellent starting point for advanced beginners interested in Scruggs or melodic banjo playing. With its comb...

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  • Banjo When The Saints Go Marching in

    Song

    When The Saints Go Marching in

    This is classic melody is well known by many. It was written by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra. There's three arrangements for b...

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  • Banjo Blackberry Blossom

    Song

    Blackberry Blossom

    This tune that has been included in over 250 tune books, proving that “Blackberry Blossom” is one of the most popular fiddle tunes ...

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  • Banjo Lonesome Pine

    Song

    Lonesome Pine

    "Lonesome Pine" is a captivating banjo song that captures the essence of traditional American roots music. With its haunting melody ...

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  • Banjo I Saw the Light

    Song

    I Saw the Light

    "I saw the light" is Hank Williams ' country gospel song. Williams was influenced by a remark his mother made as they arrived in Mon...

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  • Banjo Wildwood Flower

    Song

    Wildwood Flower

    "Wildwood Flower", an American song, best known which great fame was due to performances and recordings by the Carter Family. It is ...

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  • Banjo Wabash Cannonball

    Song

    Wabash Cannonball

    "The Great Rock Island Route," otherwise called "Wabash Cannonball," is an American folklore melody that depicts the picturesque exc...

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  • Banjo Rocky Top

    Song

    Rocky Top

    Rocky Top. It's a classic. Synonymous with Bluegrass, The Osborne Brothers, and Tennessee Volunteer Football. It's the reason many ...

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  • Banjo My Little Georgia Rose

    Song

    My Little Georgia Rose

    A classic Bill Monroe tune and jam standard.

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  • Banjo Wiegenlied

    Song

    Wiegenlied

    Wiegenlied, also known as "Brahms' Lullaby," is a renowned and soothing German lullaby composed by Johannes Brahms. Its gentle melod...

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Mastering the Basics: Exercises for BeginnersShow more >

Mastering the Basics: Exercises for Beginners" is a comprehensive and dynamic collection of essential practice drills, meticulously designed to lay a solid foundation for novice players. This engaging learning resource empowers beginners to sharpen their skills, improve technique, and gain confidence, ultimately paving the way for musical excellence on their instrument.

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  • Banjo One Finger Workouts

    Song

    One Finger Workouts

    One finger workouts are designed to exercise timing, speed, strength and control for your thumb, index, and middle fingers. They are...

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  • Banjo Beginner Banjo 101

    Song

    Beginner Banjo 101

    "Beginner Banjo 101" is a comprehensive set of exercises designed to introduce aspiring banjo players to essential techniques and sk...

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  • Banjo Beginner Banjo 102

    Song

    Beginner Banjo 102

    The next step in a banjo player's learning journey, offering exciting new challenges and techniques. Students are introduced to the ...

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  • Banjo G Melodic Scale Workout

    Song

    G Melodic Scale Workout

    These exercises are carefully designed to help players develop fluency and agility in navigating the G melodic scale across the fret...

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  • Banjo G Major Chord Scales

    Song

    G Major Chord Scales

    Check out some diatonic chord scales in the key of G major. This banjo exercise provides 3 different fingerings for a G major cho...

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  • Banjo Learning by Ear with Hide Notes
    Free

    Learning Path

    Learning by Ear with Hide Notes

    This lesson video will teach you how to use Hide Notes. Hide Notes is a tool from Tunefox that conceals certain notes in the tablatu...

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Learning Scruggs StyleShow more >

Dive into the heart of bluegrass tradition and expertise with our Scruggs Banjo Learning Path, as you delve into the iconic three-finger picking style pioneered by Earl Scruggs himself, mastering his signature rolls, exploring classic bluegrass tunes, and gaining the essential techniques that will set your banjo playing ablaze with fiery precision and soulful rhythm.

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  • Banjo How to Play Cripple Creek

    Learning Path

    How to Play Cripple Creek

    This learning path is your guide to mastering the iconic banjo tune "Cripple Creek." Designed for banjo enthusiasts eager to enhance...

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  • Banjo Cripple Creek
    Free

    Song

    Cripple Creek

    "Cripple Creek" is an excellent starting point for advanced beginners interested in Scruggs or melodic banjo playing. With its comb...

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  • Banjo The Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll
    Free

    Learning Path

    The Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll

    Explore a fresh roll pattern to enhance your musical skills, one prominently featured at the beginning of the beloved banjo track, '...

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  • Banjo Foggy Mountain Breakdown
    Free

    Song

    Foggy Mountain Breakdown

    This song has inspired countless people to play and learn Scruggs style banjo. Obviously the Foggy Mountain Roll is prerequisite ...

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  • Banjo How to Play Foggy Mountain Special

    Learning Path

    How to Play Foggy Mountain Special

    Learn Foggy Mountain Special the way Earl played it. This learning path will take you through 4 different breaks as played by Earl S...

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  • Banjo How to Play Fireball Mail

    Learning Path

    How to Play Fireball Mail

    This lesson path takes you through Fireball Mail in several steps. First we learn the bear bones melody. Second, we learn a simplifi...

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  • Banjo  Scruggs Style

    Arrangement

    Essential Scruggs Licks
    Scruggs Style

    Check out 10 essential Scruggs licks in the key of G. If you can master these riffs and some of the variations you will be pre...

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  • Banjo Cumberland Gap

    Song

    Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap is an invigorating banjo tune rooted in the nostalgic charm of old time fiddle music. This up-tempo track is perfect...

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  • Banjo The Ballad of Jed Clampett

    Song

    The Ballad of Jed Clampett

    A hit song for a hit TV show! Start with the melody arrangement. Always start with the melody when learning a new tune. Try a few l...

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  • Banjo Polka on the Banjo

    Song

    Polka on the Banjo

    This is a great tune by Flatt and Scruggs. Start out by learning the Melody . This is what the lead break is based on. Learning so...

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Melodic BanjoShow more >

Embark on a captivating melodic adventure with our Melodic Banjo Learning Path, where you'll learn to intricately weave mesmerizing tunes and build a repertoire of impressive solo pieces, honing your melodic improvisation skills and experiencing the sheer joy of creating breathtaking melodies on the banjo.

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  • Banjo Getting Started with Melodic Banjo

    Learning Path

    Getting Started with Melodic Banjo

    Learn the basics of melodic style, otherwise known as "Kieth Style" banjo playing. This type of playing was developed and popularize...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Banjo in the Hollow
    Melodic Style

    An extremely basic melodic style tune. For many people it is their very first song - even before Cripple Creek! Use the time when yo...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Soldier's Joy
    Melodic Style

    This one works great in C shape for the melodic style. At a jam this song is played in D, however you don't have to use the capo to ...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Bury Me Beneath the Willow
    Melodic Style

    A nice mixture of Scruggs and melodic with some great licks for you to learn! Try to bring out the melody notes as best as you can. ...

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  • Banjo Melodic Scales

    Song

    Melodic Scales

    These exercises are designed to help banjo players gain fluency and confidence in navigating scales across the neck, enabling them t...

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  • Banjo G Melodic Scale Workout

    Song

    G Melodic Scale Workout

    These exercises are carefully designed to help players develop fluency and agility in navigating the G melodic scale across the fret...

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  • Banjo C Melodic Scale Workout

    Song

    C Melodic Scale Workout

    This banjo exercise is a great way to practice the C major scale in multiple different arrangements. It includes one octave scale pr...

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  • Banjo D Melodic Scale Workout
    Free

    Song

    D Melodic Scale Workout

    This banjo exercise provides instruction and practice to help develop dexterity and melodic playing abilities on the instrument. It ...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Cripple Creek
    Melodic Style

    A classic arrangement of "Cripple Creek" with a little single string style added in. The B section features some fancy up-the-neck m...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Nine Pound Hammer
    Melodic Style

    This melodic version of Nine Pound Hammer is very much a variation on the Scruggs arrangement. It maintains the melody while featuri...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
    Melodic Style

    This melodic break jumps up and down the neck and gives you a lot of ideas for licks to use in your own arrangements!

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Banks of the Ohio
    Melodic Style

    A tasteful up-the-neck version of the Banks of the Ohio that utilizes 6ths chord positions. These positions are a convenient way to ...

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  • Banjo  Melodic Style

    Arrangement

    Hot Corn, Cold Corn
    Melodic Style

    This features some Noam Pikelny-style triplets in measure 4. There is a 1/4 measure, so play a long with the backing tracks to feel ...

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Fiddle Tune FavoritesShow more >

This Jampack is a delightful compilation of beloved fiddle tunes artfully arranged for the banjo. Dive into the heart of traditional melodies, as this captivating collection infuses your banjo playing with the spirit of folk and bluegrass, providing a joyous and enriching musical experience for banjo enthusiasts of all levels.

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  • Banjo Arkansas Traveler

    Song

    Arkansas Traveler

    This is a tune you may be familiar with. The melody has traditional lyrics and is also used in the Nursery rhyme, "Baby Bumblebee"....

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  • Banjo Bill Cheatum

    Song

    Bill Cheatum

    Bill Cheatum is known under many names, some include "Cheatum," "Cheat 'Em," "Old Bill Cheatum." This fiddle tune is common through...

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  • Banjo Cherokee Shuffle

    Song

    Cherokee Shuffle

    Banjo player Howard Bursen and many others have identified "Cherokee Shuffle" as a West Coast version of “Lost Indian” which could ...

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  • Banjo Whiskey Before Breakfast

    Song

    Whiskey Before Breakfast

    The "Whiskey before breakfast" tune is a broadly known tune that is no stranger to being mixed up with an ancient and conventional t...

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  • Banjo Red Haired Boy

    Song

    Red Haired Boy

    ‘Red Haired Child ' is the English translation of the Gaelic name 'Giolla Rua' (or 'Gilderoy') and is generally thought to represent...

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  • Banjo Big Sciota

    Song

    Big Sciota

    Big Sciota is a popular tune in the old-time and bluegrass repertoire and is named for the Scioto/Sciota river which flows through ...

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  • Banjo Blackberry Blossom

    Song

    Blackberry Blossom

    This tune that has been included in over 250 tune books, proving that “Blackberry Blossom” is one of the most popular fiddle tunes ...

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  • Banjo Forked Deer

    Song

    Forked Deer

    Indeed, the title "Forked Air" was used by Paul Tyler in a 1950 notebook in which Key A was used. Hamblen remembered his grandfather...

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  • Banjo Turkey in the Straw

    Song

    Turkey in the Straw

    Turkey in the Straw is a famous American folk song that is iconic of rural America in pop culture. It was extracted from "My Grandmo...

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  • Banjo Salt Creek

    Song

    Salt Creek

    It is quite unclear if this is the original title of the tune or if it had been changed. Jabbour might have changed the name because...

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  • Banjo Billy in the Lowground

    Song

    Billy in the Lowground

    One of the most popular fiddle tunes to date, Billy in the Lowground was first recorded in the 1920s. Gotten from studies based on ...

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Single String BanjoShow more >

Discover the enchanting world of Single String Banjo with our specialized learning path, where you'll dive deep into the art of playing in the single string style. Unleash your banjo's potential as you master melodic runs, explore intricate solos, and develop exceptional finger dexterity, elevating your banjo playing to new levels of creativity and musicality.

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  • Banjo Single String 101

    Song

    Single String 101

    Through a series of exercises and scale patterns, students develop precise finger placement and control while navigating a single st...

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  • Banjo Single String Minicourse

    Song

    Single String Minicourse

    The "Single String Minicourse" for banjo offers a focused and efficient approach to mastering single-string playing techniques. Wi...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Boil Them Cabbage Down
    Single String Style

    The Bum-Ditty rhythm pattern is the foundation for this arrangement. Pay close attention to the pick hand fingering in the tab. Lear...

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  • Banjo  Single String

    Arrangement

    Turkey in the Straw
    Single String

    Learning to adapt to the limitations of your instrument is important. When playing Turkey in the Straw in the key G and in second po...

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  • Banjo  Single String

    Arrangement

    Salty Dog Blues
    Single String

    This great single string arrangement follows the melody similar to the way Lester Flatt would sing it. It might be easy to sing or h...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Chinquapin Hunting
    Single String Style

    This is a first position arrangement of Chinquapin Hunting. Using open strings can help us to closely emulate the sound and style of...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Lonesome Fiddle Blues
    Single String Style

    This is an alternate version of the Lonesome Fiddle Blues melodic style with a slightly different melody. The B section will make yo...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Whiskey Before Breakfast
    Single String Style

    A lower octave arrangement than the melodic version. This version of Whiskey Before Breakfast gives you a great single string work o...

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  • Banjo  Single String

    Arrangement

    Angeline the Baker
    Single String

    This is an advanced version of Angeline the Baker with some fancy triplets at the end of the A section. Using 3 fingers on one strin...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Wild Bill Jones
    Single String Style

    If you're gonna play single string, don't hold back. Don't box yourself into thinking you have to play single string the way Earl di...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Raleigh and Spencer
    Single String Style

    Triplets, cross-picking make this arrangement of Raleigh and Spencer a smoking hot single sting arrangement. It also makes it a chal...

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  • Banjo  Single String Style

    Arrangement

    Cattle in the Cane
    Single String Style

    Tony Rice transcription. Put on your big person pants and get to work!

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"How to Play" SeriesShow more >

Immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of banjo music from various genres and eras with our "How to Play" series, where you'll explore iconic tunes, study their historical context, and dissect their unique arrangements, ultimately gaining a profound understanding of the banjo's versatility and transforming your playing by drawing inspiration from the timeless melodies of the past and present.

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  • Banjo How to Play Cripple Creek

    Learning Path

    How to Play Cripple Creek

    This learning path is your guide to mastering the iconic banjo tune "Cripple Creek." Designed for banjo enthusiasts eager to enhance...

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  • Banjo How to Play Clinch Mountain Backstep

    Learning Path

    How to Play Clinch Mountain Backstep

    This lesson path will walk you through playing the tune Clinch Mountain Backstep. The base arrangement is very much modeled after th...

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  • Banjo How to Play Fireball Mail

    Learning Path

    How to Play Fireball Mail

    This lesson path takes you through Fireball Mail in several steps. First we learn the bear bones melody. Second, we learn a simplifi...

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  • Banjo How to Play Chinquapin Hunting

    Learning Path

    How to Play Chinquapin Hunting

    This beautiful fiddle tune works great in the single string style of banjo. No capo gives allows us to use that nice low open D stri...

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  • Banjo How to Play Foggy Mountain Special

    Learning Path

    How to Play Foggy Mountain Special

    Learn Foggy Mountain Special the way Earl played it. This learning path will take you through 4 different breaks as played by Earl S...

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  • Banjo How to Play Sally Goodwin Up the Neck

    Learning Path

    How to Play Sally Goodwin Up the Neck

    Learn some basics of playing Scruggs style banjo up the neck. Sally Goodin is absolute standard in Bluegrass, and a quintessential s...

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  • Banjo How to Play Sally Goodin Backup

    Learning Path

    How to Play Sally Goodin Backup

    This lesson will walk you through rolling backup in the style of J.D. Crowe. J.D. has some really great roll patterns and licks. Onc...

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Backup BanjoShow more >

Unlock the power of providing solid and expressive support to any musical ensemble with our Banjo Backup Learning Path, where you'll develop the art of rhythmically enhancing songs, mastering chord progressions, and understanding the intricacies of backup techniques, transforming your banjo playing into an indispensable backbone for a wide range of musical collaborations.

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  • Banjo Vamping and Closed Position Chords

    Learning Path

    Vamping and Closed Position Chords

    This learning path will give you all of the tools you need to play backup behind someone who is taking a solo. You'll learn the esse...

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  • Banjo How to Play Sally Goodin Backup

    Learning Path

    How to Play Sally Goodin Backup

    This lesson will walk you through rolling backup in the style of J.D. Crowe. J.D. has some really great roll patterns and licks. Onc...

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  • Banjo Up the Neck Backup

    Learning Path

    Up the Neck Backup

    This lesson path will teach you how to incorporate common Scruggs style backup licks up the neck, teardrop style backup, and a stud...

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  • Banjo Big Bucket of Backup Licks

    Song

    Big Bucket of Backup Licks

    This is a series that will introduce you to a lot of standard Bluegrass Backup vocabulary by using the lick switcher with a common ...

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  • Banjo Scruggs Backup Licks

    Song

    Scruggs Backup Licks

    Developed based on the innovative style of Earl Scruggs, these tablatures showcase a variety of classic backup licks used in traditi...

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  • Banjo  Backup

    Arrangement

    Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms
    Backup

    This is a low register arrangement of Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms that demonstrates how you could potentially play behind a singer ...

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  • Banjo  Backup

    Arrangement

    Down in the Willow Garden
    Backup

    Backup. Shelor Style. Extra Lonesome.

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  • Banjo  Vamping

    Arrangement

    Get in Line Brother
    Vamping

    Time to jump into some classic vamping on this tune! This one features some repeated backup patterns styled after Earl's playin...

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  • Banjo  Backup

    Arrangement

    Dim Lights, Thick Smoke
    Backup

    This classic Flatt and Scruggs tune has some tricky timing. There's a couple measures of 2/4. Look out for those. Learn the words. S...

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  • Banjo  Crowe Style Backup

    Arrangement

    Somehow Tonight
    Crowe Style Backup

    This is a transcription of J.D. Crowe's backup playing with the Bluegrass album band. It has all those fancy vamping and "Foggy Moun...

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  • Banjo  Backup

    Arrangement

    Eight More Miles to Louisville
    Backup

    This arrangement features some simple roll patterns that stay out of the way of the melody. There's a moment of vamping in the middl...

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Expert PluckersShow more >

"Expert Pluckers" offers a jampacked collection of advanced banjo tunes, showcasing dazzling fingerstyle mastery, intricate melodies, and captivating improvisations. Elevate your banjo playing to virtuoso levels with this thrilling repertoire.

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  • Banjo Shady Grove

    Song

    Shady Grove

    Shady Grove is recognized as an Appalachian folk song. It is common in the bluegrass and old-time musicians of the Cumberland repert...

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  • Banjo Big Country

    Song

    Big Country

    A modern masterpiece for the banjo. This newgrass tune features progressive elements and intricate banjo playing, perfect for interm...

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  • Banjo Two Part Invention

    Song

    Two Part Invention

    Experience the fusion of classical and bluegrass music with 'Two Part Invention' for banjo. This intricate and advanced piece, inspi...

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  • Banjo Frosty Morning

    Song

    Frosty Morning

    "Frosty Morning" sounds like the old frontier's classic fiddle tune, but other versions can't be cited elsewhere (sometimes called "...

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  • Banjo Banjo Signal

    Song

    Banjo Signal

    A great instrumental by one of the most innovative banjo players in history.

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  • Banjo New Camptown Races

    Song

    New Camptown Races

    Advanced version of New Camptown Races with elements of Melodic, Single String, and Scruggs style playing.

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  • Banjo Salt Creek

    Song

    Salt Creek

    It is quite unclear if this is the original title of the tune or if it had been changed. Jabbour might have changed the name because...

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  • Banjo Wayfaring Stranger

    Song

    Wayfaring Stranger

    "The Wayfaring Stranger", also called "the poor walker", is an American folk and gospel song that spoke of the travels of a stranger...

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  • Banjo Crazy Creek

    Song

    Crazy Creek

    Tommy Jackson, who was always under the influence of the skill of his Texas fiddler friend, Bob Wills, penned down this song. He wen...

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