9 Banjo Lessons Resources to Step Up Your Picking

Are you looking for the banjo lessons that will get you started with playing this instrument or kick your skills up a notch? Our resource list might be just what you’re looking for.

Banjo lessons aren’t difficult to come by. Nevertheless, with the abundance of online and offline resources, finding the best ones may become a daunting task. Before we continue presenting the top banjo lessons we came across, here are a few thoughts on learning to play the banjo.

banjo lessons man with banjo

Set the Bar High with Banjo Lessons

Each of us has their individual learning style and preferences. While some prefer to delve in individual solitary study for a long while, others prefer diving right into the action and take every challenge that comes their way.

From this perspective, banjo lessons – whether you have your mind set on clawhammer banjo lessons or bluegrass banjo lessons – should be a successful combination of the two learning styles. In this sense, a banjo lesson, even if it’s the first, should already instill the desire to play with other people while planting the seeds for perfecting your skills.

Picking up the bluegrass banjo playing style is considerably more difficult than the clawhammer banjo playing style. Nevertheless, both styles can easily be learned when will, determination and passion are thrown in the mix. If there is one work of art that pays homage to banjo playing while photographing this mix that would be Henry Ossawa Tanner The Banjo Lesson.

According to a number of professionals and dedicated banjo musicians, the trick is to memorize some banjo solos note-for-note and then stop. Stop memorizing and take on the challenge to play with other musicians and even improvise. Memorizing can only take one thus far.

Setting the bar high implies taking up the classes which can immerse you in the know-how of banjo playing while painting a bright and optimistic future in which you’ll be able to play even simple tunes in real time.

The banjo lessons we included on our list walk a banjo enthusiast through simple right hand rhythm patterns, simple chord progression and many more skills. Most prepare you for real time playing and enjoying banjo music with other people.

Banjo Lessons from Beginner to Advanced

Here is our list of banjo lessons online as well as offline. Choose the best resources for you and master this fascinating instrument.

1.      Banjo Lessons with Tony Trischka

Tony Trischka has been playing the banjo for almost four decades. An inspiring musician for generations, he jumpstarted his banjo playing career in 1971, playing with the Country Cooking band. The three solo albums he recorded in the 1970s – Bluegrass Light, Banjoland and Heartlands – stand as proof of his undeniably inspiring talent.

On the ArtistWork platform, one month’s subscription to banjo lessons with Tony Trischka costs $35. A one year’s subscription is $240. Each cent of this price tag is money well spent. If you need other confirmation, play the Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular album. Produced in 2004, this Tony Trischka album has one Grammy nomination and several IBMA awards.

2.      Bluegrass Banjo Lessons with Pete Wernick

perfect banjo for banjo lessons

This collection of lessons held by Pete Wernick can be ordered online for $30. These step-by-step tutorials are based on over 20 years of experience. Pete Wernick promises that you can learn basic left hand technique, elementary arrangements and simple right hand rolls complete with their variants. These banjo lessons are aimed at beginners as well as intermediate levels.

If you wish to witness Pete Wernick’s banjo skills, just check his YouTube channel. You will find YouTube banjo lessons worth your time.

3.      Banjo Ben Clark lessons

Banjo Ben Clark’s website is a wonderful resource for almost free banjo lessons. We say almost free as the monthly subscription costs no more than $5. Looking for amazing tab arrangements and video lessons that walk you step-by-step through them? This is the place to look for them.

In addition, Ben Clark offers lessons on music theory for those who wish to gain a deeper insight on state of the art banjo playing.

4.      Banjo Hangout

Banjo Hangout is possibly one of the most comprehensive collection of online banjo lessons and resources.  With expert forums, a jukebox section, videos and individual lessons, Banjo Hangout is a great place to find what you’re looking for whether you are a beginner or you have taken banjo playing to another level.

5.      Bradley Laird Website

Another great resource for free online banjo lessons is the Bradley Laird website. The step by step banjo lessons offered for free provide great knowledge on the essential skills needed to play the banjo (clawhammer or bluegrass) as well as advanced level tutorials.

You can also learn how to play banjo by ear or you can take a peek at the dueling banjos lesson. The website also features a PDF section and a video tutorials section.

6.      Banjo Sally –  5 String Banjo Lessons

The BanjoSally website offers both free and paid 5 string banjo lessons. Free resources include banjo tab downloads and instructional videos. In addition to the free resources, you can purchase the e-book that makes reference to all of these resources as well as the tips and tricks to picking up banjo playing.

Don’t be fooled by the rather simplistic format of the website. It’s still a fantastic online resource to immerse yourself in banjo music and the art behind playing this instrument.

7.      BanjoBuyingGuide

This website isn’t as much about banjo lessons as it is about providing a backdrop to everything banjo-related. The Banjo Buying Guide is a great starting point in the search for more specific skills or topics you may be interested in.

8.      The Banjo Compass

Banjo Compass offers banjo lessons for beginners and not only. The website features a section on free banjo lessons for beginners and advanced, as well as a section on bestselling banjo courses. Moreover, you can enjoy the banjo video lessons, albeit limited in number.

At the same time, under the Teachers section sported on the website you will find three dedicated musicians who are willing to share their knowledge with you. Choose your preferred option and start picking.

banjo picking with banjo lessons

9.      Ross Nickerson’s Online Banjo Lessons

Although costlier than some of the other banjo lesson resources, Ross Nickerson’s lessons are tailored to meet the needs of beginner students, intermediate students and advanced students. Song lessons, banjo chords lessons, banjo licks lessons, tabs and many more are featured on the website.

Some of the lessons are online. Others are only available on CD or DVD and can be purchased on the website. Nonetheless, the structure of the overall course is well-organized and allows banjo enthusiasts to easily pick exactly what they’re looking for.

We hope that the list of resources we provided will help you find exactly the banjo lessons you are looking for. Choose according to your preferred style of learning and your current level of knowledge and skill. With so many banjo lessons, stepping it up from beginner to advanced will never be a problem.

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3

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