The emphasis of this easy, hands-on lesson is on traditional folk picking styles and song accompaniment, and almost anyone can do it. Newcomers to the five-string banjo will be playing and singing along with Happy Traum within minutes!
Happy starts with the basics - how to hold and tune your banjo - then quickly moves on to teach basic chords along with strumming and picking patterns. Working in open G and C tunings, you'll learn accompaniment techniques as well as ways to pick out melodies for instrumental solos. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides and other techniques are gradually added to give your songs authenticity and polish.
Before long, you'll be picking out the chords and melody lines to these folk and old time country tunes, and will be on your way to further adventures in five-string banjo: Down in the Valley, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, My Home's Across The Smoky Mountains, Handsome Molly, Cumberland Gap, Jesse James, Black-Eyed Susie and Banks Of The Ohio.
"This summer I inherited my grandfather's banjo and wanted to learn to play. I was fortunate to come across your website this summer. I got your Beginner's Banjo tape and was very pleased with it! What a great way to learn. Now I practice scales with Penny Nichols on the way to work in the morning, can mess around with my friends playing blues harmonica thanks to John Sebastian, and am finally straightening out my pick motion thanks to Steve Kaufman. Add me to the list of people who you've helped become better musicians.
I recently bought your 5 string banjo DVD. You are a lovely teacher- in fact I think you are one of the finest music teachers I have come across. I was playing tunes on the banjo within 20 minutes!" -- Rich in the UK