We are pleased to premier the first track of the upcoming Special Consensus record Rivers and Roads, that features Special C' banjo player, Greg Cahill, on Alison Brown's new Deering Julia Belle banjo! This first song is a John Hartford tune "Way Down the River Road"!
Learn how to properly adjust the action of your banjo via the coordinator rods. Deering's Quality Control Manager Chad Kopotic will take you through this step by step. Adjusting your coordinator rods will keep the string action on your banjo at the correct height which will make playing your banjo easier. It can also keep your banjo sounding new as you want to make sure the pot and the neck have a firm connection and haven't worked their way loose.
Melodic style banjo is a style of 3 finger 5 string banjo playing that was created in the early 1960’s by banjoists such as Bill Keith and Bobby Thompson so that they could play note for note fiddle melodies. While Scruggs style is the most popular style of playing the 5 string banjo and gives great drive to bluegrass playing, this style does have its limitations. Mainly that you cannot play melodies note for note that are very intricate such as fiddle tunes.
Single string playing on the 5 string banjo is a style that was originally popularized by players such as Don Reno and Eddie Adcock. This style of banjo playing, while still utilizing 3 fingers (thumb and 2 fingers) with fingerpicks on them emulates what you play when playing guitar with a flatpick. Players such as Bela Fleck, Noam Pikelny, and Ryan Cavanaugh have taken the single string technique to new levels.
Whether you are new to playing the banjo or you are a seasoned player, when learning new chord shapes you more than likely will be challenged making your fingers move from one chord position to another from time to time. This can be frustrating, but take solace in the fact that it is completely normal. It can sometimes feel like you will never be able to change in time with the music, but by being patient and using some of the following tips, you’ll will soon be making chord changes as smooth as silk.
No matter the genre of music (Western Music as opposed to Eastern music such as Indian), the I, IV, and V chord are the most fundamental and widely used chords. This is especially true in American musical forms as the blues is at the root of most American music and a basic 12 bar blues consists of a I, IV, and a V chord.
There is one Christmas that stands out in my memory as my favorite. I was 14 years old and didn’t ask for anything in particular, but what I found under the tree had the biggest impact on my life, more so than anything else. It was a banjo.
Learn with master banjoist Jens Kruger how he creates a chorus effect on his acoustic banjo using palm muting. This really opens up the the tone of his banjo and brings his banjo playing in new directions. Check it out in this free masterclass below!
The tremolo is a playing technique often used by 4 string banjoists to help give the effect of adding sustain to a note. This effect can add a lot of excitement to your playing and students request this probably more than anything else when learning to play tenor or plectrum banjo. This effect is used on many other instruments as well. You'll hear it very often employed by mandolinists as well.
Jens Kruger debunks the the theory that you should not fret the 5th string on a 5 string banjo. Instead, watch this video to learn how to use it to your advantage and take your playing to a new level!