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Facebook Live banjo workshop, Sat 3/28, noon to 1:15 p.m. Mountain Time

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Mar 24, 2020 - 10:07:20 AM
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974 posts since 1/31/2004

In thinking about how I can help during this health crisis, with so many of us in isolation, I thought it'd be great to bring as many folks together to talk and pick banjo. I hope you'll join me for the first of several upcoming workshops, offered via Facebook Live on my Facebook page (see link below). The video should be archived for a while on this same Facebook page, if you can't make the session live.

Working Up Scruggs-Style Solos with Bill Evans: A Facebook Live Bluegrass Banjo Workshop
Saturday, March 28, noon to 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time

Head to Bill Evans’ Facebook page and be a part of this event:

Just about everyone who plays bluegrass banjo aspires to “pick it like Earl.” In this free 75-minute online Facebook Live banjo workshop, Peghead Nation instructor and Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies author Bill Evans will unlock some of the most important elements of Earl’s playing style by analyzing four well-known Scruggs solos: “No Mother Or Dad,” “Fireball Mail,” “I’ll Never Shed Another Tear” and “I’ll Stay Around.” Bill will discuss how Earl’s roll and lick choices relate to the chord progression and melody of each song and you’ll see how to apply basic “think like Earl” concepts to enhance your own playing. Bill’s tab transcriptions will be available both before and during the workshop, enabling you to download them, print them out and play along. You’ll be able to ask questions in the comments section as the workshop proceeds and you can access workshop video after the conclusion of the session on Bill’s Facebook page.

My advice is to listen closely to the original recordings of all four of these tunes before the workshop. If you've got the chord progression and the melody in your head, our analysis of how Earl captures these melodies will be much more powerful. 

This workshop is designed for upper-level beginners through intermediate students, although there will be material of value to players of all ability levels. Players should be familiar with Scruggs-style roll patterns and left-hand embellishment techniques (slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs) and have attempted to play some of Earl’s best-known songs, like “Cripple Creek,” “Cumberland Gap,” and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” This workshop will not explore up the neck soloing or back-up. Bill will do that in additional online sessions soon!

Bill Evans bio

“Banjo For Dummies” author Bill Evans has taught thousands of players in both group and one-on-one instruction over the last forty-five years. He has authored five books, nine DVDs and also teaches beginning and bluegrass banjo courses online at Peghead Nation. His instruction is down-to-earth, highly organized and hands-on with detailed tab examples designed for the adult learner. Bill has taught at over 200 banjo camps and he hosts his own instructional events in New Mexico and California. Bill was taught by players such as Sonny Osborne, J. D. Crowe, Bill Keith, Tony Trischka, Ben Eldridge, and Alan Munde. Bill’s students include Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters), Wes Corbett (Sam Bush Band), Jayme Stone and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum). As a performing artist, Bill has performed and recorded with David Grisman, Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, Dan Crary, Norman Blake, Fletcher Bright and Dry Branch Fire Squad, among others. His 2012 CD “In Good Company” topped both folk and bluegrass charts as well as making many best of year lists. Bill’s latest CD is “Pirme Time,” with guitar legend Dan Crary and bassist Wally Barnick. He tours with his solo show “The Banjo In America,” presenting over 250 years of banjo history based on research done as a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley and he frequently performs with the Hard Road Trio from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit to learn more.

Check out Bill’s courses on Peghead Nation:

Beginning Banjo
Bluegrass Banjo
Use the coupon code “BillE” to check out either course for free for one month.

To learn more about Bill, visit

Edited by - bevans on 03/24/2020 19:45:45

Mar 24, 2020 - 3:25:10 PM

518 posts since 11/21/2018
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Some of us, living on two adjacent islands, recently started a small jam/social/practice group of Banjo Buddies who's lst meeting was for this very weekend, now cancelled of course, so we are planning on participating in your online clinic, "together".
Several of them attended your Seattle live version at Dusty Strings but it'll be the lst time for me.

Thanks for doing this!

Mar 24, 2020 - 5:40:33 PM

247 posts since 10/23/2010


Having been a subscriber over at Peghead, just want to give you a thumbs up.
Love your teaching style, as well as your in-depth knowledge and dedication to Scruggs style.

Your sly humor and upbeat personality is also an added bonus!

I look forward to the workshop.

Mar 28, 2020 - 2:28:05 PM
Players Union Member



194 posts since 10/22/2017

Hi Bill, The workshop was great. Glad for the opportunity to participate :)

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