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How to Play a 6 String Banjo - 6- String Banjo Instruction Video by Ross Nickerson



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hi my name is Ross Nickerson I'm here at

the Florida Folk Festival this weekend

I'm performing and I wasn't wanting to

do some videos so as a video that I've

been wanted to do for a long time and

that's on how to play the sixth string

banjo my business we sell a lot of six

string banjos and I've got some insight

so I think that will help you if you

want to get that banjo sound in your

guitar player there's more that you need

to do or more that you can do to get

that banjo sound with a six string banjo

my five string banjo here and really the

one of the things that gets that banjo

sound and things like slide kind of a

that's really the banjo sound and part

of the trick to that really is the

tuning as well as of course the

technique of the stroke style so what

I'm gonna show you that it could be a

bit of a shortcut for me is how to do

that in the sixth string so let me just

play a little bit of a song triple creep

which is a common rosecope something

angel players that play five string

learn and it includes a lot of the

Scruggs style techniques

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[Applause]

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okay now I'm going to switch to the six

string banjo now six string banjo that

I've got here it's pretty good one I

can't say as I'm heading around the

house tonight I didn't really do much

with a head and strings are bit old but

it will work for our purposes for me to

show you so it would be kind of obvious

to just um stay tuned your your guitar

to what they call open G tuning because

the banjo is tuned to open G the

impracticality that is supporting part

of it so now what I've done is I've just

turned the first string down to D G to D

so normally guitar tuning would be no

but instead we have a deal attempt now

the reason I'm doing that is because you

have to be on the top string you can

really be on yours

demonstrate a lot whatever get a lot of

that banjo sound so we've got

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what I've done there is I don't have the

fifth string basically drop four strings

that were saved

now the key to me or this technique I'm

gonna show you a lot more about design

Joe that you can play with that if

you're doing your first string of D then

all the banjo licks that are out there

or songs you complete quickly adapt to

the to the six string banjo just by

supporting history I'm gonna do that we

just substitute a different string in

the picking pattern again is a little

more complicated but let me just cut to

the chase how this is gonna work so

anyway so what we're doing here

did you play the believe and I've

demonstrated that

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it's pretty easy to avoid the first

string when you're courting most times I

play bar chords I did the first thing

anyways mini chords in guitar you don't

have to play the first string so you

don't have to completely readapt the way

you record and play the guitar

just to play the danjo you're just gonna

kind of compensate for these one string

that's two and then when you go to

picking you can play an awful lot of

things that have that real kind of banjo

Scruggs style sound by having that first

string at B instead of here

for instance G if you just play G you

play the C you'd be hit that it's I

guess that's some kind of sixth quarter

something a minor

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do you just leave the first you know

fret the first string you can see how

it's pretty easy to avoid and even if

you do end up hitting the first string

often or most often that tune is that

leave that string is at least in tune so

that's sort of them the purpose behind

my six string banjo technique so that

you can quickly still play your guitar

chords but when you do go to picking you

can play a banjo

I just exaggerate that a little more by

tune the string back up to e and see if

I play the banjo

[Laughter]

I mean they don't work they don't work

at all really I mean you have to

completely play it different and then

you wouldn't really sound like you're

playing a banjo at all I mean really the

idea by under-16 banjo is it's a bit of

a shortcut for guitar players so my

shortest cut and recommendation is doing

the first string down don't necessarily

go all the way to open guitar G tuning

because that could work but then you get

a chord different you're gonna start

playing Barre chords to court and stuff

like that so you can go back and do all

the things that you've been playing on a

regular six string guitar just by

compensating for the E string now being

a D string to me that makes more sense

if you want to open G tuning all your

fretting positions for the cords would

be completely different but again for

you guitar players out there wanting to

play a six string banjo these are the

kind of things that you can you know

readily available with banjo tune on the

banjo picking patterns are um they're

based on and they can call them rolls or

something like that but for instance one

of the popular rolls

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when we plan on the five-string banjo we

hit this strings we go around but you

can use the exact same pattern you just

whatever the thumb comes around that

would be on the fifth string on a banjo

we just substitute it and we keep the

thumb sitting since on the third string

or play the fourth string like this dino

right there could have been a fifth

string on a five string banjo but you

can still play the same patterns I mean

I play when I play five string banjo I

do an awful lot of stuff where I don't

hit the fifth string but I'm using the

same picking pattern so my point is um

you know maybe that this string will

give you that extra banjo sound but you

don't have one on a banjo on a six

string banjo so you can keep the

patterns the same and much of the left

hand banjo techniques just by

substituting the thumb stroke that hits

the fifth string for the thumb stroke on

a fourth string or a third string maybe

even the second string sometimes instead

of a roll on a banjo Michael

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but in the banjo we might go

second and then come on the fist ring we

don't have it this drink so we're just

gonna pray for strength instead

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