Meet “Borrowed Time” Bluegrass Band (borrowedtimebluegrass.com)

Here on the blog I want to take the time to showcase the bluegrass bands of our banjo students. Check out this great band! I want to introduce to you Borrowed Time. This band is based out of Powhatan, Virginia and Borrowed Time’s first cd, “A Matter Of Time”, is now available. When you check…

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Double Pull-Off

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3 Tips for Banjo Newbies (Podcast)

There are things to keep in mind when starting out on the banjo. 1. Pick your banjo wisely! 2. Find a good teacher. 3. Go get some learning material. Listen to this podcast to learn how to get started on the banjo.

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F Style Lick

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Banjo Lessons on ITUNES!

Hey, just wanted to let you know that if you are an itunes fan or use an ipod on a regular basis you can now subscribe to our podcast on Itunes. Simply go to the itunes store click on the podcast button and then type “banjo lessons” into the search bar. You’ll find banjoexpert.com’s podcast…

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Is it Time to Change Your Banjo Strings?

1. Change your strings frequently! This is probably the most important advice when it comes to changing your strings. You must keep a fresh set of strings on your banjo. This accomplishes several things. First, it keeps you happy while your playing. There’s nothing more frustrating than playing on a set of dead banjo strings.…

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2nd to 5th Fret Banjo Stretch

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Cripple Creek Kick-Offs (Beginning Banjo part 1)

In this banjo podcast you find three different ways to kick off Cripple Creek. The first starts with a right hand brush in an upward motion, the second is a pinch technique, and lastly an up the neck version of this great song.

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Beginner Banjo Lesson Series

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been preparing a beginning banjo series that will start within the next few days. The first video will go over the top three chords that you need to know as a banjo player. Next we’ll cover three basic roll patterns covering all the details including alternating pinches.…

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1st String Banjo Lick

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Banjo Construction: How are they made?

I just found this awesome banjo construction video from fqms.com. It is a great overview of how banjos are made and identifies all of the major parts. You’ll enjoy this high quality video. Check it out!

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Brand New: Check It Out!

Hey, just wanted to let you know about our BRAND NEW BANJO FORUMS! Jump in and be one of the first to post your banjo question or comment. Simply click the New Forums link above. Not sure what to post? Here’s a few ideas. 1. What kind of banjo should I buy? Are you just…

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Leading in to the Melody: Banjo Slides & Fills Podcast

Learning to slide in to the melody will add a ton of interest and color to your banjo playing. Check out this podcast to learn more.

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Slide & Pinch Banjo Endings

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Top 10 Things to Keep in Your Banjo Case

What are the top 10 items in your banjo case?

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The Key to Powerful Banjo Playing

Have you ever been asked to kick off a song in a jam session? Worse yet, did you draw a blank? Do you sometimes feel like there is absolutely no way to remember the plethora of kick-offs circulating in the bluegrass world. Here’s the key:

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Three Tips to Changing Your Banjo Strings

1. Change one banjo string at a time. Banjos move and flex as tension is changed. In other words, if you were to cut off the strings all at once then your banjo neck would more than likely spring backwards. This might not be that noticeable to you; however, it’s changing the composition of your…

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Check out Dailey & Vincent’s New Band!

Wow! Check out this new band. These guys are awesome!!! We all know that banjo picking is more than just sitting down with your banjo. It’s about the music. It’s about putting a group of folks together who bring an energy to the audience that cannot be expressed through words alone. Make sure you check…

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We’re Unpacking

Hello, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.  Due to the influx in visitors (which is a good problem), we have moved to a new web host.  We have already moved and this is our new home.  You probably won’t notice much of a difference; however if you find any links that are not…

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Don’t be a Chicken!

Do you chicken out when it’s your turn to take a banjo break? I’ve heard the excuses before. “I don’t know what to play, I can’t keep up, they’re playing too fast, my mind draws a blank, etc…” I encourage you to take every opportunity you can to jump in and totally screw up a…

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Give Me More…

Please take the following poll and express what you would like to see in the coming days and weeks. If you have suggestions not listed below simply send them to me at ryan@banjoexpert.com. I always appreciate your input. polls – Take Our Poll

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Get a Pencil and Draw on Your Banjo

Note: I thought it would be nice to bring back one of our “vintage posts”. Just in case you may have missed it. Here’s a banjo players secret. Have you ever tuned your banjo and noticed that a string jumps in and out of tune? An old pro once told me to rub a little…

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Can You Keep up in a Jam Session?

“I can’t seem to speed up my banjo playing.” I’ve been hearing this statement from several banjo players. What seems to be the problem? Have you ever been in a jam where it seems that you just can’t get your fingers to move fast enough. Are the chords changing too fast and you just can’t…

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Share your banjo knowledge… Try it!

Are you a banjo player who would like to share your banjo knowledge with all of us. I’m going to open up the free lessons to those of you who might be interested in posting some banjo tips and advice. If you have something to share or know a banjo teacher who would be interested…

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How to Play the Banjo Faster

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Banjo Whammy Podcast

You may remember a recent post where we discussed the banjo whammy effect. I have received several emails recently requesting a demonstration of this cool little technique. If you have any further questions or comments please post them below or send me a quick email at ryan@banjoexpert.com Enjoy!

Click here to join our members…

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Cluck Old Hen

Check out the great version of “Cluck Old Hen”. I always enjoy watching Ron play this song.

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How to do the Forward Roll

Welcome to the forward banjo roll. Your fingers will, more than likely, feel very uncoordinated in the beginning days of banjo picking but don’t lose heart. When you start to experiment with different banjo rolls you might find that you miss notes, get your picks caught up in the strings and a whole host of…

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Map of Banjo Enthusiasts

Hello, I thought you might be interested to see where our fellow banjoexpert friends are residing. Below is a map which shows where visitors live who frequent this site. What country are you from?

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Premium Member Update…

Hello member’s, I just wanted to let you know that I just added an audio version to Steven’s picking question. Some of you have been asking for a demo of the machine gun exercise. Simply scroll down to Steven’s picking question (1 of 3) to access the new mp3 of this post. If you are…

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Practice your banjo

surveys – Take Our Poll

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Banjo Pockets / Negative Picking Space

What is negative space? I woke up early last Sunday morning and turned on the television to a local public broadcasting show. It happened to be a painter who was painting a stormy scene and was illustrating how to design the clouds. He mentioned that he was intentionally leaving negative space in a certain area…

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Conquering 5-string Banjo Hurdles (part 2 of 2)

The following is an email I received from one of our loyal readers. If you’ve ever experienced anything similar to what Steve speaks about in the email please feel free to share your story with us. I always look forward to hearing your banjo story and accomplishments. Steve’s Email: Ryan, This is a great web…

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Conquering 5-string Banjo Hurdles (part 1 of 2)

Many people throughout all walks of life face different challenges. Banjo players are no exception. Some struggle with coordination, they may have missing fingers, some struggle with arthritis, mental learning challenges, and the list goes on. Maybe you are a banjo player whether beginning or experienced who has experienced or are currently struggling with a…

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BanjoExpert’s E-zine

Hello, I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that our new monthly banjo e-zine will be sent out next week. We have been in the process of collecting names and emails for some time and now the time has come for the e-zine to be released. There will be information in…

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Steven’s picking question (part 3 of 3)

Steven’s 2nd comment (question): Another thing I have trouble with is picking quick when consecutive notes are on the same string. Answer: The first song that comes to my mind is Pike County Breakdown. This song can be a real challenge to many banjo pickers. You’re certainly not the first person to struggle with picking…

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Put Your fingers on Your Banjo Head… Podcast #2

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Steven’s picking question (part 2 of 3)

4. Secret Machine Gun Exercise Here’s a little secret that I find really helps me with timing and will definitely help you with the new style of finger picking. Try placing the heel of your hand on the top surface of a table or desk; now place your pinky on the surface with your palm…

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Ryan’s 1st Banjo Podcast (Banjo Scars)

Try out banjoexpert’s new podcast. I’m planing to add several podcasts to the site. If you have topics that you would like to discuss please let me know. This particular podcast is about banjo wrecks and their scars. If you have a story to tell please send it to me in the form below.

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Steven’s picking question (part 1 of 3)

Question: Hi, my name is Steven and I really enjoy the banjo, but I’ve had a hard time playing it. I started playing guitar about four years ago, and right away I was finger picking. Because I’ve been fingerpicking for so long, my hand moves pretty fast and my left hand is fast enough. What…

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How-to-do the banjo whammy effect…

Have you ever heard that dip in tone at the end of a banjo instrumental? If you’re not exactly sure what I’m talking about, it’s similar to the whammy bar effect on an electric instrument. The tones all drop for a split second and then rise back to normal level. You can do it on…

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Our RSS feed, and what’s to come…

I just wanted to take a moment to update you on some changes that you may be noticing around the blog. Last night I put together our RSS feed through feedburner. Now you can add the banjoexpert feed to your favorite content reader (my yahoo, newsgator, my aol, rojo, bloglines, netvibes, google, pageflakes, etc…). This…

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What video lesson next?

online surveys – Take Our Poll

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I’ve decided to learn the banjo, now what?

If you’re just starting out on the banjo then congratulations! It’s an awesome instrument and we want to help you succeed. Here are a few things to keep in mind. 1. Purchasing a banjo. You don’t have to have the best banjo or a top of the line $5,000 “axe”, but do consider reaching to…

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LRB…

Hello everyone I just wanted to share my favorite band with you. I found this video on youtube and know that you will definitely enjoy it! Learn everything you can from Sammy. He’s the master at playing below the fifth fret. Can you name everyone in this band. If so, post it in the comment…

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Get banjo lessons from acutab.com

Get this video now I’m very excited to pass along these hot new instructional videos from acutab.com. The folks at acutab are really producing some outstanding material. I know if you click over to acutab and pick up some instructional material that you will be very pleased. I have purchased several tab books in the…

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Question from England

Hi Ryan I am getting uncomfortably close to my 72nd birthday and am still trying to achieve a better standard on my banjo. I have a Gibson “Earl Scruggs” , a well worthwhile purchase some years ago. I am currently playing with a band based in Nottingham, England, consisting of musicians who, with one exception,…

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Just found a cool bluegrass video site!

Hey, I just wanted to pass along this cool new bluegrass video site. You can definately learn a lot of great banjo stuff with these vids. Enjoy! pickin-n-grinnin.com

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Instrument Poll

We’re interested to see who plays what. Take the instrument poll. When you click vote you’ll immediately see the results. Free Polls – Take Our Poll

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Joe’s question (banjo strings)

Question: Ryan, how often should you change your banjo strings? Answer: I usually try to change my strings every 4 to 5 hours of solid playing time. This can last over a month period or can happen in one or two days at a festival, it just depends. I really like light gauge strings on…

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