Good references for learning five string bluegrass banjo?
January 6, 2004 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Let us say someone has acquired a five string (bluegrass) banjo, but was possessed of limited knowledge of exemplary five string (bluegrass) banjo players (other than Carter Burwell and Pete Seeger) whose recordings are considered good references in learning to play the five string (bluegrass) banjo.

What might some other names be?
posted by textist to Education (5 answers total)
There is a ton of banjo information over at Banjo Hangout, including lots of advice on how to learn to play the banjo.
posted by Mahogne at 6:35 AM on January 6, 2004

Earl Scruggs would be the classic name. Bela Fleck is a fascinating player, but intimidating. Banjo Hangout is a good call.

And, really, the Dukes of Hazzard theme is a killer example of well-executed straight-forward Scruggs-style finger-roll picking. and it impresses the chicks
posted by cortex at 7:05 AM on January 6, 2004

I presume you've tried Seeger's instructional recording?
Listen also to John Hartford.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:48 AM on January 6, 2004

"The banjo is such a happy instrument--you can't play a sad song on the banjo - it always comes out so cheerful."

- Steve Martin.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:27 AM on January 6, 2004

Here are a few names, not entirely all bluegrass, right off the top of my head-
Earl Scruggs, JD Crowe, Roger Sprung Eric Weissburg, Tony Trishka, Ron Stewart, Ralph Stanley, Sonny Osborne, Sammy Shelor, Terry Baucom, Allen Munde, Steve Dilling ,Ron Block, Kenny Ingram, Bill Keith ,Bill Emerson ,Ben Eldridge, , Steve Huber, Jim Mills, Butch Robins,Eddie Adcock, Allen Shelton, Pete Wernick, Bill Evans , Craig Smith ,Bela Fleck, Alison Brown , Doug Dillard, Bob Black, Don Reno,............

BanjoHangout is a great place to start, I agree. (I'm a member there.) Free tabs, loads of advice, a way to find pickers in your area.... If you are looking for hard copy help to learn how to play, may I suggest The Murphy Method tapes ( If you do not want to learn how to read tab, and just want to play the darn thing) or the excellent Janet Davis beginner book and video.

By the way, what kind of banjo did you acquire? (brand name, model, etc....)
posted by bradth27 at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2004

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