Bridge placement is important to get the best sound out of your banjo. The intonation is improved by having the bridge in what is called the “sweet spot” on the banjo head. This is actually easy to do as a banjo has a floating bridge (it is held on by the tension of the strings) and with practice you will actually enjoy playing with the harmonics of our banjo fingerboard to place the bridge in the right place.
Admired and feared, improvising has sometimes been shrouded by mystery and misunderstanding. New banjo students are often baffled by top players who pick beautiful streams of notes but never the same way twice on a given song.
These days we all have limited time to do the things we like. We always have to make the most out of our time. If you are reading this, one of the things you like to do is to play the banjo, with one of your goals to always be a better player.
There is great joy in playing the 5-string banjo! Many people have pre-conceived notions that you have to do some fancy fingerpicking to play the 5-string banjo, but this is completely untrue. This type of banjo is traditionally tuned to open G tuning sounds great when strummed as well. Who doesn’t like to strum? It is so relaxing and easy. It is truly my favorite way to play. So, let’s talk about “strum fun” today!
Learning anything new can be a challenge. In the past I have approached most new songs with excitement and a good dose of trepidation! After all, my banjos skills are modest and that is just being honest. Recently I was sent the music for “Dueling Banjos” that included both the musical notation and tablature for guitar and banjo. Having had requests from customers for this music, I knew it was a great offering for the “more experienced player.” But, what about the beginner...the player who knows where the strings are without looking and can manage a pull-off, slide, and hammer on? These few basic skills are covered in “First Lessons Banjo” by Jack Hatfield , a book I have recommended frequently to new players. Could I even begin to learn “Dueling Banjos” with this basic arsenal of banjo skills? Over this last holiday I gave it a try...
I was driving home the other day when I saw these words written on the back of a car, “Good Habits for Life.” What a novel idea? OK, maybe not so “novel” but a good idea nonetheless. I began thinking about the banjo (no surprise there) and wondered; what are some good habits for the life of a banjo player? Try these…
The club is packed, the crowd is stoked, your sound check went beautifully, and you’ve already sold thirty CDs before playing a single note. Everything is going perfectly — so why do you feel like you want to throw up?
To celebrate their third anniversary the Tony Trischka School of Banjo is offering Deering supporters a free extra month of banjo lessons. Tony's revolutionary online banjo school has hundreds of video lessons ranging from beginner to advanced and is part of the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass. To get your free month extra month head over to www.tonybanjo.com and use the promo code 'Deering1776'.