5 String Banjo for Beginners - The D Chord

by Jamie Latty

And we're back! We hope that you are enjoying your banjo journey so far, and that you are safe and well.  This week's lesson looks at the D chord. Not a D7, but the full, legit D chord. 

Your teacher Bob Hamilton (bobhamilton.net) has covered the basics of the banjo, as well as the G and D7 chords, and then the C chord and the F chord. Today, Bob takes us through the D chord. A wonderful sounding chord to add a little more to your growing arsenal of chords.

As Bob points out during this video, while you can use the ring finger to fret the first string at the 4th fret, he prefers to use the pinky finger. Personally, I would encourage you as much as possible to get used to using that pinky finger. For many beginners, it feels like the ring finger is the "natural" way to go and often, it feels more comfortable. However, as you progress, that pinky will come in very handy, so get used to using it now and you will become wildly more efficient on the fingerboard as you progress on your banjo journey. 

As an added bonus, Bob throws in the A barre chord. Be sure that all the strings make full contact with the fret and avoid choking out those notes. You want them to ring clear right across the strings. Bob points out the doubling up of fingers to make this chord. This is totally fine for a beginner until you build up the finger strength. 

The D chord

lesson recaps

If you are just discovering these lessons, here is a quick recap and links to the pages. 

Pt 1 - Getting Started

Pt 2 - Incorporating the C Chord

Pt 3 - The F Chord


Alright, that's it. Have fun! Let us know how you are getting on. You guys are doing great! 


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