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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Plectrum Banjo Chord Melody Tabs

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MatthewPaul1305 - Posted - 07/06/2021:  21:10:11

Hello, I play a 5 string banjo without the fifth string to play plectrum banjo. All I can play though is chords. The only real chord melody song I can play is "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise", from the Ed Peabody chord charts. Does anyone have any other plectrum banjo chord melody tabs they can send me? Thank you all so much.

Omeboy - Posted - 07/06/2021:  21:24:22

If you would like to look into a huge collection of diagrammed chord chart plectrum tunes (the Don Van Palta Collection), you might find this of interest:

Most of the music for plectrum and tenor banjo is currently in chord chart diagram form and not tabbed.


Edited by - Omeboy on 07/06/2021 21:26:23

guitarbanjoman - Posted - 07/07/2021:  04:55:15

Welcome, Matthew!

I too came to plectrum banjo by way of removing my fifth string.

And based upon my experience, I would offer the following advice…

1) buying yourself a quality plectrum banjo is going to help your playing a lot… I would recommend a Vega banjo if you can afford one as they are user-friendly

2) I too bought those DVP charts which Omeboy linked to above and they are great

3) getting a few lessons from an experienced plectrum player… priceless!

Good luck!


PS Sorry all my suggestions are going to cost you some money, but here's a cheaper one... "World is Waiting" makes a fine beginner tune and here are a few more which I found good to get started with...

"Bye Bye Blues" "Margie" "Bye Bye Blackbird" "Linger Awhile" and "Some of These Days"

Edited by - guitarbanjoman on 07/07/2021 05:09:37

sethb - Posted - 07/07/2021:  12:42:01

Matthew --- I join in the suggestions that you pick up some of the Don Van Palta lead sheets for plectrum banjo solos.  They will give you the melody line, the lyrics and the chord changes, as well as chord diagrams for each melody chord.  And once you play through a few of them, you will understand how to work up chord melody arrangements for most tunes, and you'll be able to work them out on your own.  

Good luck and happy strumming!  SETH  P.S.  I also agree that "Bye Bye Blues" is a good way to get started on melody chords.  If you already know your way around the fretboard with chord inversions, this tune is pretty easy to figure out.  Another easy one to try would be "Whispering."  And if you're not familiar with chord inversions, come back here and I'm sure some of the folks will be glad to explain and get you started. 

Edited by - sethb on 07/07/2021 12:45:14

Omeboy - Posted - 07/07/2021:  14:36:44


I have a diagrammed chord chart solo of "Bye Bye Blues" on my Photo Media page if you'd like to run over it. Here's the link, then just click on it to get a larger image:

Omeboy - Posted - 07/07/2021:  15:01:56

I forgot to mention that the very last diagram at the 12th fret is a an editing error on my part. Just ignore it. So the forms move from left to right. The top fret in each form is numbered. You can also play it in the key of F using exactly the same formations just moved up the neck to the 17th fret. Everything stays the same.


Omeboy - Posted - 07/07/2021:  15:44:34

Sorry for the mess. Here's the final corrected version:

MatthewPaul1305 - Posted - 07/07/2021:  21:53:32

Thank you all so much I will check out those diagrams for sure! wow

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