Bluegrass Banjo Lessons
Ive prepared a unique program for learning bluegrass
banjo that starts out with very logical and relatively easy
solos that emphasize basic Scruggs rolls, using easy
to read tablature. We'll work out of my own book, Jack
Tuttle's Bluegrass Banjo Collection, and for beginners,
well focus on correct hand posture and positioning as
well as developing solid timing and tone. Well also
work on backup and chording by ear.
As the student gains the basics, eventually well learn
solos by ear. For more advanced students, well learn
note-for-note solos of Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe,
and many others. Also, we'll cover the famous backup licks
of the greats. Developing improvising skills is also a major
focus for those who are ready and willing. Will also learn more adventurous pieces from my Bluegrass Banjo Collection vol. 2.
In my teaching studio at Gryphon I now use an iPod in my
lessons with over 700 CDs loaded on it, so we can listen to virtually
any classic bluegrass recording. I often play along
with the student, sometimes on banjo, but often accompanying
on guitar. Students are encouraged to record the lesson and
I do have a cassette recorder in my room for students
For some examples of my tablature for banjo, check out my
Here are some helpful resources and tips:
Try checking out the tips on learning and backup
on the Bluegrass Crtical Listening Pages.
Go to my Books page to find info on my banjo books.
Go to my Recommended
Bluegrass Albums and Recommended
Banjo Albums page
Check out the Transcription Page
for a few songs to work on.
My list of practice suggestions
has always included playing with others. Band-in-a-Box or
a similar program to play along with can help you get there.
It can also be a good "non-complaining" accompianist
for when you want to go through your fiddle tunes for hours
on end. It can also be your metronome as you try to play
slow cleanly, or get faster. It's also great for improvising
over chord progressions. If you have the Band-in-a-Box program
but don't want to take the time to enter the chords, I have
done all the work. You can download a zip file containing
the chord progressions for 161