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The Banjo Challenge

We are holding a series of monthly online banjo contests to encourage increased musicianship and participation in the worldwide banjo community.

Active Challenges

Christmas Songs

It's that time of year again... when we pull out the Christmas tune songbook and try to learn a few songs all over again! Have some fun with it this year by entering our contest. These can be instrumentals or include vocals, solo or with a group... you just have to be playing the banjo. Bonus points for costumes, Christmas decorations, etc.

Entry Deadline: 11/30/2017
Voting Window: 12/1/2017-12/15/2017
Vote Now!

Banjo Rookie Instrumental

This challenge is for banjo beginners only! Enter a video of yourself playing any banjo instrumental in any style. The votes of BHO members will determine who the top entry from the field of "banjo rookies!"

Additional rules for this challenge (in addition to the standard contest rules): First, only players who began playing banjo on or after January 1, 2016 may submit a video. Second, in your video you must state your name and when you began playing banjo.

Entry Deadline: 12/31/2017 Enter Now!
Voting Window: 1/1/2018-1/15/2018
See Entry Videos

Past Challenges

August 2017: Songs that are Sung

See Winning Entries

July 2017: Pick a Tune with a Friend

See Winning Entries

June 2017: Pick a Scruggs Tune

See Winning Entries

May 2017: Alt Tunings

See Winning Entries

April 2017: Cover Tunes

See Winning Entries

March 2017: Songs About Places

See Winning Entries

February 2017: Love Songs

See Winning Entries

January 2017: Bluegrass Barn Burners

See Winning Entries

December 2016: Solo Unamerican Clawhammer

See Winning Entries

November 2016: Christmas Tunes

See Winning Entries

April 2014: Banjos In Unusual Places

See Winning Entries

March 2014: Waltzes (Old-Time Styles)

See Winning Entries

February 2014: Love Songs

See Winning Entries

January 2014: Waltzes (Scruggs-Style)

See Winning Entries

December 2013: Auld Lang Syne

See Winning Entries

November 2013: Christmas Tunes

See Winning Entries

October 2013: Modal (Sawmill) Clawhammer Tune

See Winning Entries

September 2013: Pick Any Scruggs Tune

See Winning Entries

August 2013: Banjo Rookie Instrumental

See Winning Entries

July 2013: Clawhammer/Old Time Instrumental - Boatman

See Winning Entries

June 2013: Bluegrass (Scruggs-Style) Instrumental - Foggy Mountain Breakdown

See Winning Entries

How Do I Enter?

All you need is a Banjo Hangout account and a video of yourself posted on YouTube. Submit that video to the Banjo Hangout video library before the entry deadline and you're a part of the Challenge.

Once you're signed into your Banjo Hangout account, click the link on the right-hand red bar to add a video. Be sure to select which Challenge you are submitting the video for when you save it. That's it!


  1. No old videos: you must create your video after the Challenge is announced.
  2. Show your face at some point to verify you are doing the playing.
  3. You may have one accompanist join you.
  4. One entry per member.
  5. Amateurs only: only amateur musicians may participate - no professionals please. (A professional is defined as anyone who has or is currently earning 50% or more of their income through banjo playing.)

Some Challenges may include specific rules which override those above.

These rules were last updated 6/20/17.

How Voting Works

  • After the entry deadline members have 15 days to rate entries on a scale of 1 to 5. Members may revise their ratings during the voting window.
  • Once the voting window closes the top 3 entries (based on average rating) will be announced. We may also display the top 50% of contestants.


Currently no prizes are being awarded to winners. If you are interested in sponsoring a contest by donating a prize please email

Winners will, of course, also live on in infamy here on the Banjo Hangout! We're still deciding how it will work, but winners will probably get some sort of "award" pinned to their profile so others can know they placed in a challenge and watch their winning video.

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