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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6617 reviews in the archive.

John Boulding Teacher Reviews

Submitted by cjmssmd (see all reviews from this person) on 1/3/2017

Overall Comments

John is terrific and I can't imagine anyone going wrong with him. He really knows his stuff.  He listens to what I am trying to accomplish and then gives me just the right amount of new material each lesson. 

I was self-taught for about a year, reading tablature, and memorizing songs, but wanted to learn to play backup with a group. John introduced me to a new way of thinking about banjo music which was exactly what I needed.  He taught me chord progressions (up and down the neck, in any key, without a capo), basic licks, slides and rolls. He gave me good suggestions of recordings to practice playing along with. He got me in the practice of simply listening to what the banjo player is doing on recordings. 

Thanks fo John my playing has a new energy and excitement.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by JohnWaters (see all reviews from this person) on 3/3/2014

Overall Comments

I can really recommend John as a great banjo teacher. I had been self-teaching for 4 months and had learned a number of breaks in open G and basic rolls. John has taught me what I now understand is far more important: playing all up and down the neck without a capo, and backup improvisation using the melody and licks. I am now contributing significantly in jams and can play along with soundtracks with confidence. I have not used my capo or tab in months, and I love it.

If you are past the point where you no longer put your picks on upside-down and know who Earl Scruggs is, then you will benefit from having a teacher. John really understands the mechanics behind music. He will give you as much theory as you need to understand what makes music work and help you put it in practice. Thank you John for all you have and will do for us!

 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by wbgair (see all reviews from this person) on 3/20/2013

Overall Comments

I just spent a week in Mt. Airy, NC, taking daily lessons from John Boulding (2 hours each lesson). Then back to the hotel to practice. (I recorded it all.) This was a rather incredible experience! John is not only a fine and diversified banjo player, he is a musician's musician and a teacher of the first order. This experience was better than attending a top flight workshop (and I have attended many). John's presentation of concepts, techniques and approaches was exceptional. He plays complete banjo from Scruggs to Reno to JD to Stanley to wherever you want to go. He plays Clapton, The Beatles, you name it. We spent time on neck layout, backup patterns, pentatonic concepts, triplets, on and on. To top it off on Saturday I attended a "session" where he played a dobro overlay followed by a banjo overlay and then we went to his gig with two long sets. John is very personable, professional and estute. Emersion like this is something every picker should do.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by saltcreek (see all reviews from this person) on 12/25/2012

Overall Comments

I have been playing for a long time and give a few lessons also but finding myself at a stalemate and not wanting to rest on my laurels I decided to give John a try after watching his lick of the week videos, he is a tremendous player and teacher and understands the way music works and how to apply it to the banjo, he has helped me a ton and I highly recommend him as a teacher and more importantly as a person, I think he's great. Tony

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by manomusic (see all reviews from this person) on 11/17/2011

Overall Comments

I've been playing the banjo for 5 years to date. I've tried books, dvd's, cd's, downloads, you name it I've given it a go and persisted because I love the sound of the banjo. I was at a stage where I could play a few tunes at our fortnightly jam and some very basic rolling back-up to other tunes. Realizing I was in need of help I contacted John. Suddenly, after just 2 lessons a whole new world of banjo has been opened up to me. I,m away from the tab and flying, as John puts it, adding color to my playing and learning to be a real musician. John is very patient, has a brilliant way of explaining things to musical neanderthals such as myself and makes every second of the lesson count. What really impressed me are John's explanations of where and how to use licks in a tune. Highly recommended.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by From Greylock to Bean Blossom (see all reviews from this person) on 4/18/2011

Overall Comments

John understands this thing inside and out. He knows the small building blocks of thought processes you need to know to learn how to PLAY rather than attempt to mimic (tab). He knows how you have to practice, listen, and think in order to learn and grow. He knows how to weed out all the non-essential things you hear and think might be relative in order to get you to focus on the necessary. John is not only and excellent player but an excellent teacher as well. He knows how to get his knowledge across.

John will put in the time with you and will teach you with the intent of getting the job done with you - getting results - getting you to learn - getting you to be able to play. He is definitely not into just putting in his time. John loves the banjo. It has been his life and you can tell it when he teaches you.

John has studied what the masters and the new wave have done and thought. He can preform both. Along with this immense knowledge John also has the experience teaching to be able to get it across to the student.

If you study with John, you will learn how to play and be able to play. I wish I had found John 10 years ago.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Dandebanjo (see all reviews from this person) on 9/19/2008

Overall Comments

I am totally new to music - in terms of playing an instrument and my desire is to be a musician with the 5 string Banjo as my 'weapon' of choice. If you want to be a musician then John is the guy to take instruction from - if you want to play a Banjo - you can teach yourself from books and tabs but you'll have a hard time playing in a band unless they happen to play one of the tabs you have learnt by heart! John teaches the fundamentals of the Banjo to get you to where you can play the instrument not just learn a tab and repeat the same thing over and over. The lessons over the internet are great value for money - convenient for me and hopefull JB and I know i will learn a lot more with John than i could ever teach myself. Is there a downside - yes a couple, SKYPE is not 100% reliable and i can't shake John by the hand to thank him for all he is doing for me. Top man, top marks and no complaints at all.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by sunday (see all reviews from this person) on 12/17/2007

Overall Comments

Just finished first lesson with John. I like his approach. He is very thorough. I would highly recomend him. Chris Prewitt

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by MoTomCat (see all reviews from this person) on 12/8/2007

Overall Comments

I am very impressed with John as a teacher, and with him teaching the lessons online, he is available to just about everyone. He takes the time to find out where the student is in his banjo learning journey, finds out where the student wants to go, and then starts helping them toward their goals. He asked me what I felt my shortcoming were on the banjo, and what I felt I needed to work on first, and then proceeded to help me in the areas I had identified as problem areas for me. So far, I have not seen any "canned" lessons, but rather ideas and concepts that will help me become a better banjo player and reach the goals I have for myself on the banjo. After taking some lessons from teachers who only gave out "canned" lessons, or those who didn't take time to learn where the student was or what the student wanted out of the lessons, I was very pleased that John took an interest in gearing the lessons toward me personally. I gave John a 10 rating, because I believe he deserves it.

Tom

Overall Rating: 10

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