Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Oct 15, 2019 - 7:50:02 PM
8 posts since 1/28/2017

Is there any good song books in Scruggs style with lyrics. The books I've been learning the banjo with don't have lyrics just tablature. I was told songs with the lyrics would help my timing and speed.
I've been learning for two and half years. I know the cords, rolls and use of capo. It like I've hit a road block in advancing more. I am at beginner to low intermediate level. If it takes a book with lyrics to start improving ok. Any suggestions are welcome.


Oct 16, 2019 - 3:48:42 AM

3224 posts since 7/12/2006

im not sure if any. i just look up lyrics on internet

Oct 16, 2019 - 3:57:38 AM
like this



39 posts since 1/31/2014

Parking lot pickers songbook, love it, by Bill Evens and Bruce Dix I believe

Oct 16, 2019 - 3:59:42 AM
likes this



236 posts since 7/7/2005

The Bluegrass Songbook by Pete Wernick (1976, Oak Publications) presents a basic tab for the melody line alone, along with lyrics and chord names, so you can get the timing. I got a lot of use out of this book in my early days.

Oct 16, 2019 - 9:45:24 AM

8 posts since 1/28/2017

Originally posted by tohorse

Parking lot pickers songbook, love it, by Bill Evens and Bruce Dix I believe

I have this book but it is not in Scruggs style rolls.  This book just plays the melody notes.  How do you change it to 

Scruggs style.  I do like playing out of this songbook.

Oct 16, 2019 - 10:58 AM

66 posts since 4/17/2014

Sean Ray's books don't have lyrics but they do come with a CD of leads and backing tracks. They are also played at 3/4 speed so they aren't overwhelming. His "The Session Book" is a great resource. It's all in Scruggs style. It's not exactly what you are looking for but maybe it is easier to get lyrics from YouTube, etc. is the website.

Oct 16, 2019 - 11:46:01 AM



11508 posts since 2/7/2008

The general idea is that a song book is for learning songs. If they have banjo tabs they kinda become banjo books.
The advantage of song books is they make you learn to create your own arrangements which is an important skill.
Most banjo instruction books include at least some lyrics to help you. If you need more verses they are easily found on the internet.

Oct 16, 2019 - 1:07:54 PM

2491 posts since 4/19/2008

IMO there is no magic in lyrics, if you want fix your timing get the TABLEDIT app and use the thousands of songs to play along with by slowing their tempos down and looping phrases and even individual measures.

Oct 16, 2019 - 2:14:12 PM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


23392 posts since 8/3/2003

For me, when I was learning to play, lyrics helped me figure out where the melody notes were and made it much easier to keep the timing right. I used Band in a Box where I could change the tempo and the key. Don't know if it would help others, but it definitely helped me.

As far as the Banjo Pickers Song Book goes, it's not supposed to be a Scruggs type tablature, it's just supposed to be melody notes so you can then add whatever frills, rolls, rests, licks, etc., that you need to make the song yours.

Oct 16, 2019 - 2:43:41 PM

1318 posts since 2/10/2013

I don't think there are many banjo books like this. A book like this will not be as popular as books that contain certain banjo instrumentals. Earl did not do a lot of singing,

If you can afford the software "Band in Box", it will allow you to create rhythm files and play along with them. You only need the basic version of BIAB. This version is much cheaper than other versions. Go to "" website and listen to what BIAB files can sound like.

Do you have any software that lets you change tempo without affecting pitch ?
Software like "The Amazing Slow Downer" can improve a persons playing and make it more enjoyable as well. This software can also make practicing more productive and enjoyable.

Playing with a few other decent/good musicians will help your playing. Unfortunately this is easier to write than it is to happen. Other musicians can be hard to find. But I consider myself a decent intermediate level banjoist, and those 2 types of software were largely responsible for my development.
With the "slow downer", you can play along with recorded tunes at a comfortable speed and slowly improve your playing abilities over time - and have more fun doing it.

You can use the free software Viddly to download Youtube videos and/or the audio portion of videos. You can practice playing along with these videos using the software I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Bill Knopf's book/2 CDs "Bluegrass Banjo Workshop 2" has a lot of educational material. The tunes in that book are just there to demonstrate how to use the material that is taught in the instructional.

Do you play a lot ? If not, you might get a "gripmaster" and using it to strengthen both your hands. Strengthening fingers in your picking hand will
help improve the sound of your playing. Many good players don't use a device like this, but they spend so many hours playing they don't need one. I used to play whenever I wasn't working or fishing. When the wife was away, I would sometime play fiddle or 10 or 12 hours stopping only for refreshment.

Oct 16, 2019 - 5:04:02 PM

8 posts since 1/28/2017

Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm going to try the Pickers song book and put rolls to it.

Thanks again

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories