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Bluegrass Banjo Workshops for all levels in Berkeley, CA, Saturday, February 18th

Posted by bevans on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hi again friends,

A quick shout out that I'll be teaching 2 two-hour bluegrass banjo workshops on Saturday, February 18th in Berkeley. Here's all that you need to know:

Bill Evans / Bluegrass Banjo Workshops
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street
Saturday, February 18, 2017, 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Register online or phone 510-644-2020 or

Bluegrass Banjo Jam Survival Skills, 1 – 3:00 p.m. (all levels): Unlock the mysteries of knowing what to play in a jam session! This workshop is designed for students who are totally new to playing with others and also for those who are already jamming but want to gain more confidence and have more fun playing in both slow and regular speed jams. Topics include the role of the banjo in a jam, how jamming is different from playing memorized songs learned from tab, using your ear to hear chord changes, following the guitar and using listening skills to find your way through a new song, vamping, roll patterns, up-the-neck backup, using fill-in licks, negotiating kick-offs and endings, how to lead others in a song and using the capo to play in all keys. This is a practical, hands-on-and-let’s play kind of workshop that will help both new and experienced jammers. Tab included but we’ll mostly play without reading tab.

Working Up Scruggs-Style Banjo Solos, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (high beginners to advanced): One of the greatest challenges for bluegrass banjo players at all levels is finding the melody on the fingerboard and choosing just the right rolls and licks to create legitimate sounding, driving bluegrass solos. In this “hands on, let’s pick” style of workshop designed for players of all ability levels, Bill will show you how to choose a key for your solo, how to find those pesky melody notes, and how melodies are related to chord progressions. He’ll then move on to show how roll choices can enhance the effectiveness of solos as well as teach many basic licks that come up again and again in Scruggs’ greatest solos, taking you through a step-by-step process unlocking the secrets of great soloing and improvising. Bill will also present an analysis of several classic Earl Scruggs solos, showing how the master himself used roll patterns and licks to create his signature sound.

Who’s Bill Evans? 

The author of Banjo For Dummies and Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies, Bill Evans has taught thousands of players over a 35-year teaching and performing career. His instruction is practical, hands-on and designed for the adult learner. Bill’s students who are now professional players include Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Greg Liszt (Deadly Gentlemen), Jayme Stone and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum). He has taught at virtually every banjo camp in the world and hosts the California Banjo Extravaganza and Mini-Camp each November.. He has produced nine instructional DVDs and teaches banjo online at Peghead Nation ( Learn more at or

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