Beginning Bluegrass Banjo - Lesson 01 - For absolute beginners

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welcome to this series of videos

designed to get you started playing

bluegrass banjo this series is designed

for people who have never played before

you will need to set aside some time to

practice and really practice is really

practice it's planned so you should

enjoy it

these videos cut to the chase and is

designed to get you started as quickly

as possible so let's get started firstly

you need to sit comfortably on a chair

with the banjo sitting in the hollow

between your legs secondly let's tune up

an electronic tuner can help you hear

the notes of a banjo in standard tuning

are starting with a high one up the neck



G B and D


next let's put on our finger picks

usually two metal ones on the index and

middle fingers of the right hand and a

plastic thumb pick on the thumb they

should fit firmly but not too firmly

that your circulation is cut off

the right hand of the banjo usually

plays a series of roles the fingering is

indicated by the finger used so a three

note forward role would be described as

thumb a lot of bluegrass music is in

lots of eighth notes though

so most banjo rolls that you learn early

in the piece will have eighth notes make

sure when you're picking with your right

hand that you have your pinky and your

fourth finger of your right hand

anchored as firmly as you possibly can

to the skin of the banjo top


they really shouldn't move here's an

example of a role this role is called

the forward backward role because the

fingers are rolled forward for the first

part of the role and back for another

part when you first start play the roles

as slowly as possible so that you don't

make a mistake this can be really really

slow for an absolute beginner after a

few weeks of practice you'll find

yourself playing faster and with much

less thinking here is the forward

backward roll very slowly it starts with

the thumb on the middle g-string and

goes thumb thumb on the high g string

then the backward part


and is finished with the middle finger

on the high D string remember play them

as slowly as possible so that you don't

make a mistake this for a beginning

banjo player can be very very slow


so slow that you can think about each

finger coming up but the key idea is to

play them so slowly that you don't make

a mistake speed will come with accuracy