Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

May 29, 2023 - 9:17:34 PM
43 posts since 4/8/2021

i'd like to learn some American folk songs that I can play and sing. I've been learning all these short pieces in two-finger, clawhammer, and scrugs. But still I don't have anything I can share with anyone that is a "whole" piece.

I'm thinking songs like; little liza jane, shortnin bread, dinah. Any resources would be great

May 29, 2023 - 10:20:41 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27422 posts since 6/25/2005

Listen to Pete and Peggy Seeger.

May 30, 2023 - 4:24:41 AM
likes this

87 posts since 1/18/2022

It sounds like if you link up your short pieces, an then sing words, like 'oh lil liza oh lil liza', or some stuff about how cakes, and then end with purpose, you'd have it.

May 30, 2023 - 4:32:40 AM

223 posts since 2/7/2020

Wayne Erbsen has a lot of books with songs like that. Backpocket Old-Time Songbook, Backpocket Bluegrass Songbook, Rural Roots of Bluegrass . . .

Edited by - earlstanleycrowe on 05/30/2023 04:33:21

May 30, 2023 - 4:47:18 AM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


29302 posts since 8/3/2003

Find a site that has lyrics, melody notes and chords to songs you want to learn. Then learn to play backup as you sing the song. Then you can share with others. Backup doesn't have to be fancy, strum, vamp, roll, whatever is easy for you to do and sing at the same time.

May 30, 2023 - 10:00:50 PM

43 posts since 4/8/2021

Ok good advice. Does anyone know of books or sites that have this kind of material?

May 31, 2023 - 12:14:53 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27422 posts since 6/25/2005

Do a search on “Oak Publications.” They’re long gone, but you’ll get hits on several sellers who have some. Some of the titles should fit your needs. Even Amazon appears to have a few.

May 31, 2023 - 8:19:46 AM

403 posts since 4/10/2018
Online Now

Google folk songs with lyrics. There’s lots out there. You can find the guitar chords pretty easily. Try the Ultimate Tabs Site as well. Start with the 3 chord stuff. Have fun!

Jun 1, 2023 - 11:56:34 AM

5 posts since 5/15/2023

I really enjoy Clifton Hicks' traditional banjo recordings. He generally notes in the description of each video what recording he learned the song from and also makes good recommendations for the "genuine" old artist like Pete Seeger and others who actually made those recordings long ago. Also he has how-to's for a lot of songs if you're having trouble learning by ear.

Jun 13, 2023 - 7:47:36 PM
Players Union Member



17157 posts since 8/30/2006

Down in the valley
Home on the range
500 miles
Michael row the boat ashore
My Darlin Clementine

why does Dinah have to blow her horn?

because the mail train is coming and the porter has to get the mail bags loaded so the train can snatch em

but that ain't what's goin on in this song:

the banjo player is in the kitchen if you know what the meaning of the code is

want some more pie? How about a little more coffee? Hmmmm?

now there's a song

Edited by - Helix on 06/13/2023 19:53:35

Jun 19, 2023 - 5:43 AM



335 posts since 3/20/2011

Go to your Library

Jun 19, 2023 - 7:01:53 PM
Players Union Member



17157 posts since 8/30/2006

I think on line is better

Jun 20, 2023 - 3:08:21 PM

43 posts since 4/8/2021

Originally posted by majesty

Go to your Library

I do go to my library. I live in the NW so there is a dearth of books on banjo playing.

Jun 20, 2023 - 3:27:11 PM

61049 posts since 12/14/2005
Online Now

Here's a link to over 70 favorite campfire sing alongs.

Most of them are just 2 or 3 chords.

You can then look them up on YOUTUBE to hear how they sound, if you never heard them.

And you can look them up by title, on CHORDIE, and transpose them to G or C, capo to match.

Like Sherry said: You don't have to play a dazzling banjo lead on every song. Just do simple rolls or strums.

For over half a century, I've been playing the chords, and letting the people carry the melody.

I get paid for it, and they hire me back!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories