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Learn to Play Bluegrass Banjo - Video Lessons

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May 23, 2017 - 9:17:52 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Added the final Lesson - Lesson 10 today!  :)

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get notices.

I've added all the videos to this post to make it easier to find them.  

Big thanks to Eric for making the post "sticky".  yes

 

 

After much prodding from friends I finally gave in and began posting beginner banjo videos.  These videos are designed to get you up and running.  They're designed for the absolute beginner so I know most folks here are probably past where these lessons are, or maybe not.  If you're in the "maybe not" category, or know someone that's just getting started, feel free to share the video series with them

The link here takes you to a YouTube playlist.  There are currently 4 lessons that drag the beginner through Cripple Creek.  There are no tabs to learn, no theory, and no stress.  I try to keep things down to earth and fun. 

No, they're not perfect, and they may not be for everyone, but this is the same format I use with my "in person" private lessons.

Learn to Play Bluegrass Banjo

 


Edited by - Jim Pankey on 06/12/2017 10:43:15

May 23, 2017 - 9:32:15 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

47730 posts since 10/5/2013

Sounds great,Jim - surely a good start for the beginning picker. (but I'm wondering what it feels like to be dragged through Cripple Creek...🤠)

May 23, 2017 - 10:03:37 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by chuckv97
 

 I'm wondering what it feels like to be dragged through Cripple Creek...


Come on in boys; the water's fine!

May 24, 2017 - 7:08:04 AM
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197 posts since 11/4/2014

Thanks Jim! I'm not a beginner anymore, but firmly set in the novice/intermediate category. I came across your youtube video lesson of Marshall Tucker's "Fire on the Mountain". It's one that's been on my "learn later" list, but has immediately moved up to "learn now". Very accessible and relatively easy -- thanks for doing what you do!

May 24, 2017 - 7:35:53 AM
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671 posts since 6/10/2010

Jim,  you make me smile...and then you make me laugh.  Your personality will resonate with a lot of people who want to learn the banjo.  (Even now I am still smiling as I type this!)

Thanks for taking the time to do the videos...and I hope many people learn to play!

(Yep...still smiling!)

May 24, 2017 - 8:05:35 AM
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13420 posts since 3/6/2006

These videos are great Jim and should really help those beginners out. 😎

May 24, 2017 - 9:17:17 AM
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233 posts since 2/16/2017

Top banana! I definitely will be using these

May 25, 2017 - 7:16:18 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Thanks everyone!  There's more to come.  :)

May 26, 2017 - 1:30:37 PM
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10 posts since 6/13/2016

Hello Jim, just took a look at your videos and I think they are EXCELLENT! I am still a beginner and find them easy to follow, just the right speed and I like your style of teaching. Thank you for putting them out there and keep them coming!!!

May 27, 2017 - 11:49:55 AM
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Players Union Member

CWB41

USA

27 posts since 12/9/2015

Jim, I also like your style. Oh, buy the way, I can play Cripple Creek now!!

Thank You,

Charlie

May 27, 2017 - 1:23:35 PM
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4 posts since 5/12/2017

HA, I didn't realize you were on these forums. I just posted an update to my progress in post I created several weeks ago and mentioned these series of videos.

Thank you for creating these line of videos!!! Your personality has me laughing and smiling all the way through and helps make learning exciting and enjoyable!!

May 28, 2017 - 11:09:54 AM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

So glad people are actually learning from the videos.  That pretty much makes my day - every day.

More to come, but I think once you get a couple of tunes under your fingers you should be ready to start figuring a lot of stuff out on your own. :)

May 31, 2017 - 10:32:22 AM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Added lesson 6 yesterday...  Be sure to subscribe. :)

Jun 1, 2017 - 4:50:56 PM
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eitek1

USA

10 posts since 3/27/2006

Jim your videos are very timely. I am picking up my banjo after trying to play it with great effort some years ago. 

I never really could figure out why the banjo never "clicked" for me. I decided to learn the guitar first simply because I thought the transition would be easy and guitars are cheaper than banjos. Plus finding guitar lessons is much easier than banjo lessons. I learned to play the guitar reasonably well and I can ever finger pick on the guitar. When it came to the banjo I couldn't seem to do anything but make noise that didn't sound like much of anything and after about two months of trying my wife had reached the end of her patience. I set the banjo aside and didn't realize how long I had set it aside until I looked at my join date here. 

I've been through a ton of instructional banjo videos on youtube and yours are by far the best. I'm through the first two of your videos and am going to practice at least an hour a day until I get this.  Again, just wanted to say thanks for the effort you are putting to to making the videos and just know that you are helping someone fulfill something that they have wanted to accomplish for a long, long time.  

Jun 1, 2017 - 5:00:52 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Thanks Jason!

Take your time and get each lesson down smooth before moving to the next.  There's no rush. 

Glad you're enjoying the series.  Makes me happy knowing it's of use to someone too.  :)

Jun 4, 2017 - 7:29:55 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Added Lesson 8 today.

Jun 6, 2017 - 11:02:49 AM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Lesson 9 up today. :)

Jun 8, 2017 - 5:55:07 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Completed the series today with Lesson 10 

 

 

Jun 10, 2017 - 9:59:16 AM
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eitek1

USA

10 posts since 3/27/2006

 

Jim, I'm currently practicing lesson 7 and I have to say, this has been almost effortless and frustration free. I play every night and my wife finally said "that sounds pretty good". I guess that's as big an accolade for your video's that I can imagine exists, in my mind at least.  The thing that you seem to have figured out that most people haven't is that I (typical beginning banjo player) don't know what you know. In a lot of videos you'll see the person say "do this" and play something that's impossible to "track" if you've never done it before. You lay it out in a way that is easy to track and is within anyone's reach regardless of skill level.  I think anyone desiring to play the banjo should at a minimum start with your videos. I think they are that good. 

This series only goes through 10 lessons and I should be through those in the next two weeks at least.  Is there anything that you would recommend that I move on to after the last video in the series? I see you have a bunch of other videos but they seem to be of varying skill levels. Is there an order that you would suggest that I learn the songs in based on levels of difficulty? I would rather stick with your videos as you seem to get the concept across better than others. 

Jun 10, 2017 - 9:57:05 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Thanks for the really kind words!

Once you get through these tunes give my "Super Simple Arrangement of the Ballad of Jed Clampett" a try.

It'll challenge you, but you can do it.  There are a couple of things that might seem new, but go slow.  

I do need to go through my videos and get a little more organized.  I'll also try to start posting some "next step" videos soon.  

Keep this in mind, while you can get through these lessons really quickly (couple of weeks) in real life each of these represents what I would show you each week if you were signed up for private lessons.  Spend a lot of time really smoothing out each part.  Not only will it make playing it easier physically, it'll start to "sink in" and your brain will start to sort it all out and moving forward with the tools will begin to make sense.  

I look at it like this...  With the tools you get in those 10 lessons you should be able to play pretty much anything.  Sure, you might have to add a roll pattern or two, and maybe some chord shapes.  After lesson 10 I bet you can figure out I'll Fly Away or Will the Circle Be Unbroken, or Blue Ridge Cabin Home... etc

Another analogy and I'll shut up... Think of the videos as me showing you how to use each tool in a wood-shop.  We might build a small box, but that's not the only thing you'll be able to build.  That's where your imagination comes into play.  Same goes for banjo.  

Just don't rush. You've got this!

Jun 12, 2017 - 4:37:14 AM
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233 posts since 2/16/2017

Having already learnt Cripple Creek and struggling with Clinch Mountain Backstep, I thought I'd sit down Friday morning with your videos and give them a go. Well by lunchtime I was playing Banjo in the Hollow and by the end of the weekend I'd say I can play it with confidence.

Thanks so much Jim, your videos make the learning process so much fun and easier to understand, you should do more, a lot more!!!!!

Jun 12, 2017 - 10:46:21 AM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Jun 13, 2017 - 10:42:06 AM
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kihrer

USA

1 posts since 6/9/2017

You now have one more online student! Thank you for your dedication and willingness to take the time to do this for us newbies.

-Ken

Jun 14, 2017 - 10:00:38 AM
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Fu2

USA

119 posts since 8/29/2015

Jim.....thanks so much for your time and effort to help folks like me....i had almost given up on BHO ....You are a great teacher....a fun positive person that puts the fun back into lessons....keep up the great work!!!

Jun 21, 2017 - 9:39:17 AM
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2 posts since 3/10/2016

I love your teaching style and I'm so grateful for the help you give. I'm going to work my way through the videos for the fun of it. As I've said before, without you my banjo would be an ornament rather than an instrument!

Jun 23, 2017 - 8:25:27 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Thanks guys!

Your kind words mean a lot!

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