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Author Topic: brand new beginner on Banjo  (Read 1913 times)

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Offline strawberry

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brand new beginner on Banjo
« on: Aug 27, 2005, 02:47:21 AM »
Can anyone help with recommendations for beginner Banjo method books for someone with essentially no musical background? My son is picking up a banjo tomorrow.  We are all excited, but although he is an adult, he will need something fairly simplified.  Thanks all!

Offline fidla

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #1 on: Aug 27, 2005, 02:54:01 AM »
Why is he militarily challenged ;) :) :( just kidding

I think a good place to start is Pete Seeger's book :)

Offline strawberry

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #2 on: Aug 27, 2005, 02:58:48 AM »
Thanks for the quick response, Fidla. He's just a little impatient.  I'm so anxious for someone to jam with, the sooner he's strumming a simple tune, the better. I'll check out Pete Seeger.

Offline Steve_W

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #3 on: Aug 27, 2005, 03:36:56 AM »
What style of banjo?  I spent some time learning bluegrass style 5-string (before I decided it would take way more of a commitment to get to the level I wanted to be at than I had time for) and I found Mel Bay's Back-up Banjo, by Janet Davis, to be quite useful.  The Seeger book isn't bad but is more folk-oriented.  Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo is a classic bluegrass method, I think it's still in print. -Steve

Offline chili

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #4 on: Aug 27, 2005, 05:03:45 AM »
I started learning 5-string banjo last year and after much research I suggest Murphy Henry's DVD's.  Her beginning dvd teaches you Cripple Creek, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and Cumberland Gap among others.  Her method is to start on a note by note basis and then show you how it is played at 1/2 speed and then full speed.  It's pretty foolproof and the only way to muck it up is not to practice her stuff.  These dvds/videos are availble thru Google search and also on e-bay.  I'm convinced that her method is the best  to easily learn 5 string bluegrass banjo tunes.

Chili


Offline strawberry

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #5 on: Aug 27, 2005, 02:58:09 PM »
All I know is that it is a 5 string banjo, and I was very surprised in his interest so I don't have a clue what he wants to learn.  I'm just looking for suggestions here, and sure do appreciate the feedback.  We have an older Mel Bay banjo method book here from another decade when someone else thought they would give banjo a try, but as I mentioned, he has essentially no musical background and it looks a little daunting at first glance.  It is for C tuning, concert style, by Frank Bradbury.  We'll check out these other suggestions, too.  Thank you all.

Offline PeterG

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #6 on: Aug 29, 2005, 01:36:09 PM »
If you are playing bluegrass the best place to start is "Earl Scruggs and the 5 string banjo". I have a dozen different books on banjo and none of them measure up to that one. No offence, Fidla, but if you are learning bluegrass, Pete Seegar is not the way to go. Maybe for folk, though. Its a good do it yourself instruction book and it also has a lot of the old standards in tablature, the way Earl did them. Most banjo players are to some extent imitators of Earl Scruggs.

Offline fiddlefour

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #7 on: Sep 01, 2005, 04:08:52 AM »
The best book for learning bluegrass banjo is:

http://www.janetdavismusic.com/tbanjo.html

"you can learn to play the banjo" by Janet Davis, a mel bay publication.  Janet Davis has done an excellent job of transcribing and providing an evenly paced progression for learning the instrument from beginning level to the intermediate level.

The Murphy Method, a by ear method of learning is another alternative if you don't want to learn by ear.

The Earl Scruggs book is a great book, that how I learned to play 30 years ago.  It moves at too fast of a pace for a beginner.  It would make a great second book once you have the basics down.

Offline PeterG

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Re: brand new beginner on Banjo
« Reply #8 on: Sep 01, 2005, 11:35:49 AM »
I agree with Fiddlefour. I started about 25 years ago and no doubt there are better basic instruction books. But if you are serious about it, Scruggs should definitely be in your library.

 




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