Basics of Bluegrass Banjo…and a whole lot more!


Basics of Bluegrass Banjo is a comprehensive “start from scratch” instruction method, which will have you playing bluegrass banjo without any prior music experience. The useful tips and secrets should prove beneficial to both novice and experienced pickers. The lessons have been developed through Eddie’s 25+ years of teaching and have proven successful with learners of all backgrounds. For the average beginner, this book represents about two years’ worth of lessons. BBB is 108 pages and comes with two instructional CDs – one plays every example in the book; the second is 32 songs performed by a bluegrass band with the banjo parts separated on the right channel.

Samples from this book:

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Product Description

Since the Table of Contents is four pages long, just the highlights of each chapter are listed below.

Chapter One
Basic right- and left-hand techniques
Beginning exercises and the Basic Roll
Reading Tablature and Chord Diagrams

Chapter Two
The G Major Scale
Single Note Melodies and Chord Rhythms
The Alternating Roll

Chapter Three
Quarter, Eighth, and Sixteenth Notes
Slides, Hammer-ons, Pull-offs
Melodies in Rolls and Melody Variations

Chapter Four
Position Playing, Syncopation and Varying Basic Rolls
New Chords and Reading Rhythm Charts
Embellishing Basic Solos
Appalachian and Blues Sounds

Chapter Five
Playing by Ear
Rolls in ¾ Time and the Triplet
Playing with a Bounce
Rolling Rhythm

Chapter Six
Using a Capo
Choosing Appropriate Rolls and Combining them
Dotted Notes and a Two-Finger Roll

Chapter Seven
Naming Notes – Sharps and Flats
Moveable Chord Forms
Combining Chord Forms in Melodies and Rhythm

Chapter Eight
Playing Rhythm By Numbers
The 12 Bar Blues
Reno, or Single-String Style
Embellished Blues Rhythm and Lead

Chapter Nine
Effective Practice
The Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll and Lick
Swapping Licks
Cut-Time and Using a Metronome

Chapter Ten
Melodic Style
Combining Single-String and Melodic Styles
Arranging Rhythm

Chapter Eleven
Playing Up the Neck
Adding Melody Notes to Chord Positions
The Choke Lick and more Syncopation

Chapter Twelve
Beginning and Ending Songs
Lead-ins to Solos
Final, Pre- and Tag Endings

Chapter Thirteen
Embellished and Up-the-Neck Back-up
Vamping and Rolling Back-up
Vamp and Fill Rhythm
Complete Song Arrangements

Songs in Basics of Bluegrass Banjo:

Several of the songs in the book are accompanied by a complete set of lyrics. Others have only the lyrics to a single verse or chorus. Click on a song title from the following list to view the complete lyrics for that song.

5-String Blues
5-String Boogie
Amazing Grace
Annoying Banjos
Banjos And Gourds
Banks Of The Ohio
Bill Cheatham
Blackberry Blossom
Boil ‘Em Cabbage Down
Bury Me Beneath The Willow
Camptown Races
Circle Be Unbroken
Cripple Creek
Cumberland Gap
Devil’s Dream
Down In The Willow Garden
Golden Slippers
Golden Wings
Great Speckled Bird
In The Pines
Little Maggie
Long Journey Home
Mountain Dew
New River Train
Nobody’s Darling
Oh! Susanna
Old Joe Clark
Red Haired Boy
Red River Valley
Sally Goodin’
Salty Dog
Simple Song
Train 45
When The Saints Go Marching In
When You And I Were Young, Maggie
Yankee Doodle

Answers for End of Chapter Quizzes


Click on the DVD icon below to find out more about the 2-DVD set that visually reinforces the tips and highlights from each chapter.