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Learn to Play Bluegrass Banjo - Video Lessons

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Sep 26, 2017 - 6:28:50 PM
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KirkG

USA

1 posts since 9/26/2017

Hi Jim!
I wanted to thank you as well! I am 38 and haven't played anything since the 4th grade! Kids and wife play and I decided I wanted in on the action so bought a banjo and found you on YouTube. Still on lesson 1 but I am having a blast practicing ever night! I look forward all day to getting home and picking up the banjo. Thank you again for taking the time to put videos like that out, I don't expect to ever be paid to play but I have found a new passion and can't thank you enough for the kick in the rear heading me down the road!
All the Best
Kirk

Oct 1, 2017 - 9:40:10 AM
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RustleD

USA

3 posts since 9/30/2017

Hey Jim, I started playing banjo about 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus from playing bass in high school. Your videos made learning the banjo pretty easy and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Do you have tabs for anything posted? I'm working through Unclouded Day and it really helps me to be able to follow along reading tabs.

Oct 1, 2017 - 9:37:07 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by RustleD

Hey Jim, I started playing banjo about 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus from playing bass in high school. Your videos made learning the banjo pretty easy and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Do you have tabs for anything posted? I'm working through Unclouded Day and it really helps me to be able to follow along reading tabs.


Welcome!  Thanks for the kind words.

I don't offer tabs for any of my video lessons.  It's not that I'm opposed to tab, I just think that it's often best to struggle without it.  You'll gain more in the process and learn more of you own abilities and how to use what you know to create a close approximation of a tune.  I just don't want folks to get hung up trying to play the "right notes" according to some tab.  Keep plugging away at it.  You can do it!  :)

Oct 2, 2017 - 7:01:38 PM

RustleD

USA

3 posts since 9/30/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Pankey
quote:
Originally posted by RustleD

Hey Jim, I started playing banjo about 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus from playing bass in high school. Your videos made learning the banjo pretty easy and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Do you have tabs for anything posted? I'm working through Unclouded Day and it really helps me to be able to follow along reading tabs.


Welcome!  Thanks for the kind words.

I don't offer tabs for any of my video lessons.  It's not that I'm opposed to tab, I just think that it's often best to struggle without it.  You'll gain more in the process and learn more of you own abilities and how to use what you know to create a close approximation of a tune.  I just don't want folks to get hung up trying to play the "right notes" according to some tab.  Keep plugging away at it.  You can do it!  :)


 

Well I did in fact get it hammered out mostly, but. On the first forward reverse roll are you using 4215124 or 4315134? I do agree that playing by ear and getting the tune mostly right is more important than playing an exact tab. It's just hard to fumble through, especially transition type licks. I do appreciate it though!

Edited by - RustleD on 10/02/2017 19:03:47

Oct 2, 2017 - 7:29:53 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by RustleD
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Pankey
quote:
Originally posted by RustleD

Hey Jim, I started playing banjo about 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus from playing bass in high school. Your videos made learning the banjo pretty easy and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Do you have tabs for anything posted? I'm working through Unclouded Day and it really helps me to be able to follow along reading tabs.


Welcome!  Thanks for the kind words.

I don't offer tabs for any of my video lessons.  It's not that I'm opposed to tab, I just think that it's often best to struggle without it.  You'll gain more in the process and learn more of you own abilities and how to use what you know to create a close approximation of a tune.  I just don't want folks to get hung up trying to play the "right notes" according to some tab.  Keep plugging away at it.  You can do it!  :)


 

Well I did in fact get it hammered out mostly, but. On the first forward reverse roll are you using 4215124 or 4315134? I do agree that playing by ear and getting the tune mostly right is more important than playing an exact tab. It's just hard to fumble through, especially transition type licks. I do appreciate it though!


Honestly, probably both.  I'll choose one then the other just based on comfort or a particular sound... It's totally up to you. :)

Oct 2, 2017 - 7:32:18 PM
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RustleD

USA

3 posts since 9/30/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Pankey
quote:
Originally posted by RustleD
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Pankey
quote:
Originally posted by RustleD

Hey Jim, I started playing banjo about 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus from playing bass in high school. Your videos made learning the banjo pretty easy and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Do you have tabs for anything posted? I'm working through Unclouded Day and it really helps me to be able to follow along reading tabs.


Welcome!  Thanks for the kind words.

I don't offer tabs for any of my video lessons.  It's not that I'm opposed to tab, I just think that it's often best to struggle without it.  You'll gain more in the process and learn more of you own abilities and how to use what you know to create a close approximation of a tune.  I just don't want folks to get hung up trying to play the "right notes" according to some tab.  Keep plugging away at it.  You can do it!  :)


 

Well I did in fact get it hammered out mostly, but. On the first forward reverse roll are you using 4215124 or 4315134? I do agree that playing by ear and getting the tune mostly right is more important than playing an exact tab. It's just hard to fumble through, especially transition type licks. I do appreciate it though!


Honestly, probably both.  I'll choose one then the other just based on comfort or a particular sound... It's totally up to you. :)


Awesome. Thank you, Jim. Im fumbling through foggy mountain breakdown now :)

Oct 28, 2017 - 5:58:36 PM

2 posts since 6/20/2015

I am so late to the party, but glad I found it! Watched 3 videos today, and working on the first. I have several books, that start with all of the roll patterns. Coming from guitar, it seriously messed with my head that there is this darned high string on top. Oddly, after working with even the first video, somehow it has clicked that the 3rd and 4th strings are the equivalent to my lower strings on the guitar, and working with the pinches got me out of my former thinking. I put my books away about a year ago, and I thought I'd probably be selling off my lovely banjo due to operator error. Back on it thanks to you Jim! So excited to be moving along! Thanks again! Rachel (yes, girls can play banjo, too!)

Edited by - OldPuebloRunner on 10/28/2017 18:00:05

Oct 29, 2017 - 7:44:07 AM
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4259 posts since 10/7/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Pankey
quote:
Originally posted by RustleD

Hey Jim, I started playing banjo about 3 weeks ago after a long hiatus from playing bass in high school. Your videos made learning the banjo pretty easy and I cannot express my appreciation enough. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

Do you have tabs for anything posted? I'm working through Unclouded Day and it really helps me to be able to follow along reading tabs.


Welcome!  Thanks for the kind words.

I don't offer tabs for any of my video lessons.  It's not that I'm opposed to tab, I just think that it's often best to struggle without it.  You'll gain more in the process and learn more of you own abilities and how to use what you know to create a close approximation of a tune.  I just don't want folks to get hung up trying to play the "right notes" according to some tab.  Keep plugging away at it.  You can do it!  :)


THIS, right here, is probably just as important to the beginner's progress as the videos posted above. The first songs I learned to play were Cripple Creek & FMB (Earl's arrangements), Jesse James (Sonny Osborne's arr), Dixie Breakdown (Don Reno's arr.), Eight of January (Eric Weissburg's arr.) and Turkey in the Straw (banjo teacher's arr).  These were all tabbed out and presented to me (along with a recording of his playing them extra slowly) progressively by my banjo teacher in order to give me a basic library of licks and phrases as laid down by some of the masters of the 5-string.  My banjo teacher also gave me many recordings to listen to and strongly recommended that I listen when not practicing.  I remember the breakthrough moment like it was yesterday.  I was listening to Pony Express off of the Delverance soundtrack and I remember thinking, "hey, some of this sounds exactly like some of the songs I already know.  I think I can play this!"  So I picked up my banjo and went to work.  I had a little trouble with chord progression some of the phrases on the bridge of that song, but for the most part, figured it out and for the most part, it was MUCH faster than learning it by tab.  It wasn't note for note, but that's the beauty of it.  I learned to play it in my own way and on my own terms.  Since then, I have hardly ever had to use tab.  Not trying to say how great I am, or brag; just illustrate that by doing some active listening after learning a few tunes, you can get away from tab and start figuring out songs on your own a LOT sooner than you think...  

Edited by - banjoboyone on 10/29/2017 07:45:29

Nov 15, 2017 - 9:45:09 AM
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2 posts since 11/15/2017

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your videos! Keep on enlightened

Nov 16, 2017 - 1:05:20 AM

2 posts since 11/15/2017

Nov 16, 2017 - 6:31:46 AM

2 posts since 10/20/2017

quote:
Originally posted by TinWhistle21

youtube.com/watch?v=CmxWDn8VjlA&t=8s


Don't know what the video consisted of, but it comes up as no longer available.

Nov 18, 2017 - 4:50:32 PM
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43 posts since 3/7/2004

Jim Pankey Thanks for making the learning videos. I am just getting started and looking forward to learning all I can from them.

Nov 20, 2017 - 4:53:59 PM

6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Again, thanks everyone!

I'm overwhelmed at the positive responses I've had on the videos.

Nov 23, 2017 - 9:49:06 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

Not sure where my last post went, but again, thanks everyone for the kind comments.

I'm more than tickled to see that folks are learning from my videos.

Nov 29, 2017 - 5:35:10 PM
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27 posts since 5/1/2016

Excellent videos, thanks for your time in doing them and posting them here.
jr

Nov 30, 2017 - 12:50:33 PM
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AdamDH

USA

1 posts since 11/30/2017

Just yesterday I got my first banjo for my birthday. I'm 45 and I've never played an instrument in my life. Jim, I found your videos and started with Lesson 1 last night.

I had a huge amount of fear that I would get frustrated and quit, but just after the first lesson I am really enjoying it and looking forward to the next. Thank you so much! Like you advise, I'm going to take my sweet time making sure I get everything down nice and smooth. It may take me months and months to get through the lessons but I know I'll have fun doing it. Thanks again!

Dec 15, 2017 - 9:30:34 AM
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10 posts since 12/2/2017

Hi Jim,
I would like to say thank you for your time and effort in posting these excellent videos. I am 44 and have never been near an instrument in my life! However I got myself a banjo three months ago and have been following your videos ever since and can honestly say they are the best I have found. Simple to follow, fun, entertaining and it's a joy to see a great character like yourself playing amazing banjo and breaking it down nice and simple for the complete beginner it's fantastic. I have found some things a struggle but it does come together if you just keep at it. Despite it being very frustrating sometimes I find it also extremely joyous and satisfying when every so often something just clicks and the tune starts to build and actually sound like something! I'm making good progress, my main issue at the moment is actually remembering each song as I move on to the next. I'm pretty much obsessed with anything banjo at the moment and long may it continue. Please keep up with the videos I'm sure it's a lot of time and effort on your part but it really is appreciated thank you and merry Christmas to you and your family.

Dec 15, 2017 - 10:37:56 AM
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64 posts since 12/11/2011

Thanks also from the UK. I keep starting on banjo and then putting it away again. Hopefully these will enable me to carry on this time smiley

Dec 16, 2017 - 7:58:22 AM
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10 posts since 12/2/2017

Hi again Jim, I forgot to say that it was actually your videos that pushed me to buy a banjo. I was considering it and did a load of research online and come across your videos. These being so informative and easy to follow gave me the confidence to go out and get one knowing that at least I had a chance of learning how to play it! Thank you.

Dec 16, 2017 - 12:52:51 PM
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6948 posts since 10/3/2003

I can't begin to express how thrilled I am that so many of you are learning from my videos.

Dec 16, 2017 - 1:42:02 PM
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2 posts since 4/12/2017

Ditto all the compliments and thanks to Jim Pankey. I'm 58, have always had music in my heart, but just never played anything except harmonica by ear. I tried a violin in 2016 but there was nothing intuitive at all, I could play a scale and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and stuff like that but just felt I would never get the feel for it. I finally bought a banjo on 2/1/17 and I am having so much fun with it! I got a couple books and really took my time learning the rolls and chords and the Jim's beginner youtube videos came at the perfect time. Jim's teaching style and personna (sp?) is just perfect! I live on top of a hill but I love playing Banjo in the Holler on my deck.
Thank-you so much Jim Pankey!!
I told my wife there is a banjo camp called "Sore Fingers" - she asked if they had anything for sore ears... lol! She knows how much I enjoy learning and playing and actually said "You're getting pretty good!" This is so fun.
I'm ready to sign up for some on-line lessons and plan to go with Artist Works/Tony Trushka. Is that a good plan?

Dec 18, 2017 - 6:16:22 AM
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2 posts since 10/20/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Lovinit

Hi again Jim, I forgot to say that it was actually your videos that pushed me to buy a banjo. I was considering it and did a load of research online and come across your videos. These being so informative and easy to follow gave me the confidence to go out and get one knowing that at least I had a chance of learning how to play it! Thank you.


That's exactly what I did, up-to lesson 7 now and loving it. A big thank you to you Jim, you have a winning formula here.

Jan 10, 2018 - 6:55:53 AM
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henkuk

UK

19 posts since 12/2/2017

Jim, another one who found your videos an immense help in learning to play the banjo.

I am now just over two weeks in and started on your videos about 5 days ago. The rate of progress I feel make is great.
There is something in the way you break the topic down that really sticks and works!

So many thanks for the hard work you have put in, along with the relaxed and humorous way of presenting!

Edited by - henkuk on 01/10/2018 06:56:21

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