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Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies



Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies

Bill Evans

ISBN: 978-1-119-00429-5 May 2015 336 Pages

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Start picking the five-string banjo like a pro with this definitive guide to bluegrass banjo! Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced player, Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies gets you started off the right way and is your road map for mastering today’s most popular traditional and contemporary banjo picking styles. Online audio and video clips combine with the book’s clear step-by-step instructions to provide the most complete – and fun - banjo instruction experience available anywhere!

Bluegrass banjo has never been more popular and is heard today not only in country and folk music, but in jazz, rock and country styles. Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies provides everything you need to know to play just about any kind of music on the five-string banjo by getting you started with the roll patterns essential to Scruggs style picking. You’ll then add left-hand techniques such as slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs, play great sounding licks and perform classic tunes like “Cripple Creek” and “Old Joe Clark.” You’ll navigate up the neck on the instrument as well as learn the essential skills you need to play with others in jam sessions and in bands. You’ll even tackle contemporary banjo styles using melodic and single-string scales and picking techniques.

  • Choose a banjo and accessories that are just right for you and your budget.
  • Put on your fingerpicks, find your optimal hand position and start playing with the help of online audio and video.
  • Explore the fingerboard using melodic and single-string playing styles.
  • Accompany others in different keys with roll patterns and chord vamping techniques.
  • Keep your banjo sounding its best with practical and easy set up tips.

Bill Evans is one of the world’s most popular banjo players and teachers, with over forty years of professional experience. In Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies, he shares the tips, secrets and shortcuts that have helped thousands of musicians, including many of today’s top young professionals, to become great banjo players.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Bluegrass Banjo 5

Chapter 1: Bluegrass Music and the Banjo 7

Chapter 2: Finding the Perfect Bluegrass Banjo and Getting the Gear You Need 19

Chapter 3: Hitting the Ground Running: Tuning, Reading Music, and Making Chords 35

Chapter 4: Fretting and Picking 49

Part II: Let's Roll! Scruggs]Style Banjo Essentials 69

Chapter 5: Picking Techniques: Roll Patterns 71

Chapter 6: Fretting Techniques and Putting the Hands Together 89

Chapter 7: Getting Bona Fide: Playing Licks and Classic Tunes 109

Chapter 8: Working Up Your Own Scruggs]Style Solos 137

Part III: Playing in the Band: Backup Essentials 167

Chapter 9: Getting Started: Playing Down]the]Neck Backup 169

Chapter 10: Taking It Higher: Playing Up]the]Neck Backup 183

Part IV: Progressive Banjo: Melodic and Single-String Styles 207

Chapter 11: Melodic]Style Banjo 209

Chapter 12: Single]String Banjo 229

Part V: Keeping Your Banjo in Top Shape 245

Chapter 13: Setup Essentials: Getting the Best Sound from Your Banjo 247

Chapter 14: All Strings Considered: Choosing and Changing Strings 259

Part VI: The Part of Tens 273

Chapter 15: Ten (Or So) Groundbreaking Bluegrass Banjo Players 275

Chapter 16: Ten Strategies to Make You a Better Player (Right Now!) 281

Part VII: Appendixes 287

Appendix A: A Guide to Chords, Notes, and Major Scales 289

Appendix B: Audio Tracks and Video Clips 299

Index 311