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Irish Banjo Lesson 1 - [The Basics] Start Here

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sighs my name is Lisa Connie I'm from

can't email and I will be your tutor for

the beginners tenor banjo course here on

the online Academy of Irish music what

you can expect from this course is start

from the very very beginning with the

basics and work towards having a

repertoire of about fifteen or sixteen

of the most common and most loved choose

in the Irish repertoire and we'll go

through everything from how to hold your

plaque to how to pluck the strings and

all the way up to doing some double

stops tribbles and triplets and we'll

take you through step by step so I hope

you enjoy so we're going to start from

the very beginning and introduce you to

your instrument and what you're going to

be playing these are tenor banjos for

Strings and the usual way of tuning

strings are G D a and E and I'd

recommend you get a tuner if you haven't

got your ear up to scratch yet but

they're very very cheap and easily - so

they're a great tool to have when you

start enough and tune it up to G da and

E and I'm going to start by learning how

to hold plaque and learning how to play

up down up down which is basic and most

fundamental skill you need so if you

just hold your as if you're given a

thumbs up a loose one and place your

plaque just there and thumb goes on top

but secure it nice and simple I'm just

going to keep an try it try to keep it

in that position so we're going to go

straight to the D string which is your

second string and we rest our arm

some people have arm rests I have a

green on here but most banjos don't and

I support awning so you just rest your

hand in a comfortable position and

you're aiming for this area

here of the of the banjo play so we're

going to the T string and we're just

simply going to do down up down up so

what I mean down up let's just plug down

and then plug up on the string so every

single time you play note you're going

to change so the reason behind that is

that when you want to gain speed twice

as easy so we're just going to do a

little ditty just to practice that to

make sure you're doing your down ups I'm

gonna move up the strings to a


so we'll do that again a little bit

faster one two three that's your first

lesson so next we're gonna move on to

the scale and we're gonna do a scale of

D to begin so we start D and we're going

to end up D and you're gonna play with

your left hand if you are right-handed

that of course and we're going to count

your thumb as one two three four and

five so our vitamin number is s so you

just rest your thumb in around between

the second and the third fresh usually

and just you don't need a tight grip

it's just nice and loose go back our

hand make sure you're holding your

plaque in the correct manner and out

what all we're gonna do is down up again

we're going to do the scale so we start

with D open string and our second finger

on to the second fresh key third finger

on to the fourth fresh F sure fourth

finger on to the fifth fret G and then

we're gonna move on to the next string

which is a open string for a second

finger on the second fret for B third

finger on the fourth fret for c-sharp

and finally our fourth finger on high D

fifth brush so that's your scale D e

f-sharp G a B C sharp D all the way up

from top to bottom so we'll do that



gee hey B c-sharp and we're going to go

back down then so we start on the high D


G with your fourth finger if sharps

right beside it he was your second and

if you want you contracted out for

yourself so you can see a visual of it

as well but it's the same spacing

between each string so we're gonna do

that again now if you remember - up down

up down the whole way through

don't forget what you just learned so

let's go again so then when you've that

mastered you can just make a little bit

more practice for yourself and double up

on each note so you to practice you're

down up down up so we'll just do two of

each note


so now that you know your scale of D we

are going to learn your first tune and

it's not an Irish tune just yet we'll

get to that very soon well first you

have to learn a few Nursery Rhymes that

we all know so in the next class we will

look at twinkle trigger okay so here we

go our first Jim and it's the classic

twinkle twinkle and it's a good one to

practice because it makes sure that you

do your down up down up

and also it uses a scale so we're going

to start with two DS then on to the next

phrase we're going to start on open

eight so we'll try it from the top

from beginning to end and if you want to

pause it at any stage you can I'll keep

going from beginning to end and see how

you go after two one two


there you have it your Christian so now

it's time to expand on the notes we know

and learn our first Irishman and the

first term that most Irish social

musicians learn or one of the best at

least is always the carry polka and I'm

sure you recognize it but first we need

to learn a few more notes so we've done



we're just going to continue on into the

next string

it's your e f-sharp is on the second

fret again second string now this is a

slightly different your G is right

beside it where isn't on the other

strings we skipped one but G is

right-sided so suction on the third fret

with your third finger and then we skip

one for the a so v fresh trails and make

sure you're still doing down up down up

with all of these so if we want to start

from the beginning with the scale of D

and go all the way up to a now we start

on D open string make sure you down


and then for those were feeling

adventurous I'm gonna use our baby

finger and skip and two up two frets

skip one and this is your high beat and

you might find that your baby finger is

a little weaker than the rest of your

fingers that's okay in time it'll become

strong so between a and B that's a

little bit of a stretch

try not move your whole hand up just

just move your fingers up to stretch

first so so now that we have all the

notes necessary to learn the Carrie

polka let's do just that so I will play

it for you first and then we'll go

through it