Banjo Bridge Question

Question: Ryan, Hey there, I noticed you had suggested to a member to get a Snuffy Smith banjo bridge. Is the bridge what gives the banjo the sound??? I had a Fender beginner banjo before I went to the alverez 4292. What is your take on this banjo? I really like the weight and the…

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Happy Thanksgiving from Ryan – 10 Thanksgiving Tips!

Thanksgiving morning has arrived here in our house and I wanted to stop and thank you for visiting our site. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to get to know you along your journey to becoming a better banjo picker. It’s my hope that you’ll find some very useful lessons and will be inspired…

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Member Update (November 09)

Here’s a little bit of info on what’s coming up on banjoexpert.com plus a couple tips just for you!

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Cripple Creek Lesson (part 1)

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3 Hot Licks Below the 5th Fret

Hello, here are 3 powerful licks, all below the fifth fret. Try them out. They will really add to your banjo tunes. Cripple Creek part 1 coming this week!

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John Hardy (part 2)

Welcome to the “B” part of John Hardy. In this lesson we finish up this great tune. Two more lessons coming this weekend! Stay tuned.

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3 Instructional Banjo DVD’s You Should Own

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Ryan’s Online! Ask a Question in the Chat Box! (ustream.tv)

Get your Ustream name here! Show Location on Ustream Ustream.tv Watch live streaming video from banjoexpert at livestream.com

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5 Openings Available for Private Banjo Lessons with Ryan

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve opened up 5 spots for private banjo lessons. If you’re interested let me know. Here’s the details: They are given via webcam or in person. You’ll need a webcam and skype for the lesson along with a set of headphones. We’ll dive in to some new material…

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How to Learn the Banjo A.S.A.P. (Question From Donnie)

Question: Ryan, Do you have any special people that you listen & watch on you tube to learn more about playing banjo? I am really trying to give myself 200% on my banjo each & everyday. Like I said in my last message to you, I am 52 years young, & I know that I…

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Question: Hello Ryan: I found a treasure at the used book store, which is Earl Scruggs and the 5 string banjo, 1964. He recommends the same three songs you do to get going. Anyway, I have two questions/requests actually: 1] You started the first part of Dueling Banjos before I left. I followed your fingering…

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Is the Banjo to Difficult to Learn?

NO! It’s not to hard to learn; however, it does take practice. Like any other instrument or skill it will require that you spend some time each day (if possible) working on your new passion. I recommend setting aside 5 minutes per day to focus on your banjo. If you can do this then your…

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John Hardy Lesson #1

Here’s a great tune “John Hardy”. In this lesson we cover the first part of the tune. You’ll learn how to do the kick off pinch and land on the “C” chord. You’ll also learn those little pull offs and hammers that are scattered throughout this song. At the beginning of the video I’ll…

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Dailey and Vincent, WOW!

I must say that it was a treat to listen to two full sets of Dailey and Vincent. They are an excellent example of how to play together as one. It seems quite obvious that practice practice practice is huge. They have put a lot of work into their great band. We grabbed a copy…

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How to Improvise on the Banjo

How do you improvise on your banjo. If you were not subscribed to our email list in 2008 then you might have missed this one. I wanted to share this article that I wrote in July 08 about how to improvise. You’re sure to gain something from this on. Here’s the first key! 1. Listen…

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Banjo For Sale + FREE Lifetime Membership

Hello, I wanted to let you know that we have a Morgan Monroe Banjo for sale on Ebay. Click here to check it out! There’s only a few hours left so you’ll have to bid quickly to get this great deal. I’m throwing in a FREE Membership to banjoexpert.com to the winner of this auction!…

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How to Formulate a Banjo Break Quickly! (6 of 10)

This video covers how to create a banjo break on the fly. This is a real art that every banjo player needs to master. It’s quite often that you will have to kick off a banjo tune in a jam session if you get out to many festivals or just do some jamming with…

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Forward Roll for Beginners – Bile Them Cabbage (5 of 10)

How do you play the forward roll? This video will answer that question. We cover the two roll sequences that you will use while practicing this roll and how you can smooth out this powerful roll. I must tell you that tonight I will be uploading a very powerful video lesson (6 of 10).…

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Bean Blossom Uncle Pen Days Festival 2009

Just wanted to remind you that Bean Blossom is coming right up! The dates are Sept 23-Sept 26. I’m hoping to attend for at least a night or two. You can click here to see the schedule or just check their site at beanblossom.com. This will be an excellent chance for you to get some…

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Who Are Your Favorite Bluegrass Banjo Players?

We all have our favorite banjo players. Here’s my top 5 in order from 1 to 5! I have learned so much from these pickers. Below you’ll find that I’ve listed the concepts that I have learned from each picker. They really are all number one in their own right. 1. Ron Stewart – Creative…

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“The 7 Most Common Mistakes of Banjo Players” Ryan’s Free Report!

Our new report, “The 7 Most Common Mistakes of Banjo Players” is now available. Just enter your name and email address in the right sidebar to get it. It is a pdf download. You don’t want to miss this step-by-step guide for beginners. Here’s a snippet out of the report, the 5th mistake. 5. Failing…

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Banjo Expert on Facebook / Banjo Rack

Just wanted to let you know that we have a page on facebook. Click here, check it out and become a fan! If you’re familiar with facebook you’ll know that it’s a great way to keep in contact with friends and family. We just uploaded some new pics of our instrument rack. It holds two…

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How to Play Your Banjo in the Key of “C”

Ok, here is a tune in the key of C. In this video I’m going to show you some cool C position licks. Playing the banjo in the key of C can prove to be a real challenge if you’re not familiar with the little C licks that smooth out the position on the…

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Banjo Tuning “How to Tune Your Banjo Quickly” (4 of 10)

In this video your going to learn exactly how to tune your banjo in just a few seconds. This technique will prove to keep your banjo sounding at its best whether your hanging out in the living room or on a dim lit stage in front of a crowd. You can sign up here…

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Midnight Video Post / Ryan’s Studio

Thought I would do a little video post of our recording studio. We’re moving upstairs and pretty excited about it. I added a product review in this vid of my banjo case which you can purchase at fqms.com. New beginner video (numbe 4 of 10) coming tomorrow! Sign up now. See you then, Ryan

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What Should I Learn First on the Banjo?

Jonathan’s Question: Thank goodness I have found your site! I have just watched the “from the neck up” part and I like the detail you go into. I will watch the separate video on changing strings later. I have no musical talent and I have never played an instrument. What is the best thing to…

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Are Your Fingers Muting other Strings?

Question: Hi Ryan, I am a beginner (1 week) and one (of many) problem that I have consistently is that when I try to press one of the 2,3 or 4 strings to make a chord I mute one of the adjacent strings. Is this just a case of fingers too big or hand not…

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How Many Strings are on Your Banjo?

Question: My boyfriend got me a 6 string banjo with a closed back,and i was so excited. the only problem is i am having trouble finding learning tools to help me. i have no musical background, and at the moment am frustrated because i want to learn so bad but have no aid. i was…

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Setting Up Your Banjo (3 of 10)

The 3rd video in our Total Beginner Series! In this vid you’ll learn what it takes to set up your banjo from bridge alignment to stopping the buzzing noise. We discuss tap tuning, truss rods, tailpiece adjustment and much more. Don’t miss this one. Be sure to sign up if you haven’t already.

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Question from Gar

Question: Hi Ryan- I just joined BanjoExpert.com a couple days ago and am searching your site for things to learn. I’m a beginner and recently bought my Gold Tone “Cripple Creek” banjo from the manufacturer in Titusville, FL (about a 30 minute drive from Winter Park / Orlando). The owner of Gold Tone was very…

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How to Set-up Your Banjo

Our new “how to set-up your banjo” video will be released this week! You are going to learn the basics of getting your banjo in top notch playing order. Here’s what we’ll discuss: 1. Getting the bridge in the right spot on the head. 2. How to make adjustments using harmonics. 3. How to set…

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Banjo Anatomy (from the neck down) 2 of 10

This is our second video in our total beginner series. You’ll learn all the parts of your banjo from the neck down. In this video I’ll show you how to tell if your banjo was dropped before you owned it. A very valuable piece of information. We also discuss whether or not you need…

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Total Beginner Series, Starting Now!

I just wanted to let you know that we are currently starting our total beginner banjo series. If you are new to banjoexpert.com then watch closely. We’ll take you from step 1 to playing your first song. The first video was released late last week as you will see right below this post. The 2nd…

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Learn Your Banjo (from the neck up) 1 of 10

Hello, in this banjo video lesson you’ll learn all about your banjo from the neck up. We cover tuning pegs (how to align them when you’re changing strings), frets, truss rod, fret board, peg head, and finish on the neck. Should you remove the finish on the neck of your banjo. Check out this…

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Get Started Playing the Banjo

“How do I get started playing the banjo?” This is a question that we receive via email on a very regular basis, so we’ve decided to create a series of posts and videos answering this popular question. 1. Learn your instrument. This lesson will help you identify the parts of your banjo as well as…

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Thumb Tips!

Three things to know about your picking thumb! 1. Get comfortable alternating between the 3rd 4th and 5th string with your thumb. This is the most versatile of your picking fingers. When you get into advanced songs you’ll find that you pick all of the strings at times with your thumb. 2. Keep it loose.…

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Left Hand Exercise / Muting Your Banjo

Question: Hi Ryan I’m really enjoying the site – you have a very good teaching style and even in a week I’ve progressed. My wife came into the kitchen tonight when I was practicing rolls and thought I had a CD on! She couldn’t believe how much I have improved already. 1. Is there an…

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How Should I Wear the Finger Picks? Question from Damian

Question: Hi Ryan Just joined your site – looks good. I’m from the UK and am brand new to Banjo playing. My wife bought me one for my 40th birthday last week – after years of hinting! My real newbie question is this: how should I wear the finger picks? I know they will take…

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Banjo Roll Patterns – Question from Tam

Question: I’m a beginner and trying to get the basic rolls down. Can you send me the string numbers for the forward, reverse, and forward/reverse and alternating rolls? I’ve heard alot about not trying to get the left hand involved/playing tunes too early as that can lead to bad habits. Also, I have really small…

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My 5th String Keeps Breaking on My Banjo??? Q/A

Question Hi Ryan I have a 5 string banjo which I cannot keep in tune…the 5th string always breaks when I try to tune it I want to get a new banjo but since i don’t even really know how to play I don’t know what to get. I am an average size woman and…

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Listen to Molly Bloom? Question / Answer

Question: Hi Ryan, I just signed up for the lifetime membership and I think I am going to get a lot of info from this site. I found out about your site while Googling for info on removing the finish from my banjo’s neck. I own a Deering Saratoga Star and I find that with…

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Amazing Grace Tips (Name Your Licks)

Hello, I just went back through and watched the Amazing Grace video as a student would and I wanted to make some comments. I would encourage you to be dramatic with the simple aspects of this song. For Example: 1. Emphasize your bends. Make them stronger or quicker than normal to add a highlighted affect.…

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Amazing Grace (part 2)

In this lesson you’ll learn: 1. The Haunting Bend! 2. The Slow Slide 3. 2 & 1 Pinch 4. Very Cool Ending for Amazing Grace.

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Amazing Grace (part 1)

Hello, in this lesson we’re going to go over the melody for Amazing Grace. Very simple, yet very powerful part of this song.

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Video Update from Ryan

Hello members here’s a little video lesson update and some info on where we’re going to be jamming this next month. See you there!

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Tip From a Banjo Student

Hello, I wanted to share something with all of the other beginners here on your site. When playing “up the neck” I found that part of my problem was not being able to rapidly identify the fret locations fast enough. The solution was simple and caused no harm to my banjo. I numbered the upper…

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Amazing Grace – Banjo Lesson part 1

Hello, we have had a request from one of our Australian banjo students. By the way, I very glad to have the wonderful folks from Australia on the site they seem to have a marvelous sense of humor. Sometimes I wish I could post their emails to the blog for you to enjoy. Amazing Grace…

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Metronome Member’s Video Lesson

In this video you will learn how to practice with a metronome along with a little timing secret that you need to know!

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How To Use a Metronome With Your Banjo

Ryan, One area where I have great difficulty as a lone learner is with timing/using a metronome, is this an area you could cover at some future date? Thanks, Peter Peter, thanks for the great lesson request. Yes, timing is a huge issue when it comes to playing the banjo. It can become a great…

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How do I Smooth Out My Banjo Rolls?

Question: Hello, I’ve been practicing and have made it to the point that I can play most rolls “like a machine gun”. My problem is, when I play a song (any one) I can’t quite get that fumbling, clip-a-de clop rhythm down pat. Do you have any suggestions? I have purchased several instrumental bluegrass cd’s.…

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