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BANJO MOUNTAIN Blog

BANJO MUSIC | SKILLS | ARTISTS

How to Play Banjo at a Bluegrass Jam

How to Play Banjo at a Bluegrass Jam

In this lesson, John lays out the key things you need to know to play banjo in a bluegrass jam. He covers things like "How to find the key of the song", "the importance of chord inversions", "using...

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New Clawhammer Lessons Added

New Clawhammer Lessons Added

Take a listen to the 7 new intermediate and 2 advanced clawhammer lessons! They've already been added to the courses and are available to all members. Here's the list: John Riley The Shepherd...

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365 Hours of Banjo Practice – Day 19

365 Hours of Banjo Practice – Day 19

It turns out practicing the banjo for an hour each day is hard. You already knew that? I did as well but still underestimated the task. Several times in the first week I found myself starting...

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365 Hours of Banjo Practice

365 Hours of Banjo Practice

That's the plan: 1 hour of banjo practice, every day, for 1 year, starting today. The fastest way to learn how to play banjo, or in my case, to level up my banjo playing, is to practice every day....

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Banjo Major Chord Inversions

Banjo Major Chord Inversions

In my four decades teaching banjo, one of the most common stumbling blocks for students seems to be finding and identifying chords. Learning your banjo chord inversions will be the building blocks...

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Searching for Little Sadie

Searching for Little Sadie

When I began my bluegrass banjo journey as an innocent pre-teen, I remember coming across a little ditty called "Little Sadie". I had recently bought a Doc Watson record (yes, we all listened to...

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Demystifying the Alternate-String Pluck

Demystifying the Alternate-String Pluck

In my years teaching clawhammer banjo, I’ve found that once students have mastered some of the more basic mechanics (i.e. bum-ditty, pull-offs, slides, hammer-ons, simple chords, drop-thumb,  rhythm...

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The Open-Back Banjo vs. Resonator Debate

The Open-Back Banjo vs. Resonator Debate

In the decades I’ve spent teaching 5-string banjo, a fairly common (and thoroughly reasonable) question usually crops among banjo newcomers just before the first lesson. This question takes many...

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Mastering The Bar Chord

Mastering The Bar Chord

  Since I began teaching banjo some three-plus decades ago, I’ve had the pleasure of helping hundreds of banjo students become great banjo players. Along the way, I’ve noticed a common issue...

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Banjo Picks: Metal or Plastic?

Banjo Picks: Metal or Plastic?

Which banjo picks should you choose? Metal or plastic? If you’ve recently embarked on your bluegrass banjo journey and have begun looking at fingerpicks (or perhaps have already bought a set),...

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Reframing The Drop-Thumb

Reframing The Drop-Thumb

Thinking back to the days when I was beginning my clawhammer journey, I remember picking up a copy of Ken Perlman’s “Everything You Wanted to Know About Clawhammer Banjo” at my local library. That...

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Video: How To Use Banjo Mountain

Video: How To Use Banjo Mountain

Welcome to Banjo Mountain! This video breaks down how the site works and will help get you up and running quickly. You'll learn how to start a course, mark a lesson complete, track your progress as...

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Get The Most Out of Banjo Mountain

Get The Most Out of Banjo Mountain

Welcome! We couldn't be more pleased to have you at the Mountain and we want to make sure that your path to learning banjo starts off smoothly! Here are some tips to help you make the most out of...

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ABIGAIL WASHBURN

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ABIGAIL WASHBURN

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ABIGAIL WASHBURN photo courtesy of abigailwashburn.com THE SONG THAT CAUGHT OUR EAR:Abigail Washburn Country of Origin: U.S.A. (Illinois) Style: Clawhammer Current Album: Echo In...

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Artist Spotlight: Adam Hurt

Artist Spotlight: Adam Hurt

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ADAM HURT photo courtesy of adamhurt.com THE SONG THAT CAUGHT OUR EAR:Adam Hurt Country of Origin: U.S.A. (Minnesota) Style: Clawhammer Current Album: Artifacts   OUR...

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Artist Spotlight: Dan Walsh

Artist Spotlight: Dan Walsh

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: DAN WALSH photo courtesy of https://www.danwalshbanjo.co.uk THE SONG THAT CAUGHT OUR EAR: Dan Walsh Country of Origin: U.K. Banjo of choice: Deering Banjos + D’addario strings...

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We Released 12 Songs This Summer!

We Released 12 Songs This Summer!

Well, gang, it’s been one helluva summer. Hope yours was fantastic and that you were able to find some time for the three “R”s - relaxing, reflecting and recharging….Oh, and playing your banjo, of...

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The Best Way To Learn Banjo

The Best Way To Learn Banjo

So, you say you’ve always wanted to learn banjo? Perhaps it’s a dream you’ve harbored ever since you were young but it’s never happened? Perhaps it seems too daunting. We want to help realize your...

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DO I NEED BANJO PICKS?

DO I NEED BANJO PICKS?

“Do I need banjo picks?” In the years I’ve spent teaching bluegrass banjo, it’s a question I’ve been asked many times? Perhaps you, too, have grappled with this question and have sought advice from...

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The Curios (and Improving) Banjo Player

The Curios (and Improving) Banjo Player

While reading tablature is an essential component in learning to play banjo, there is always the danger that students can develop too much dependence on banjo tab. If this dependence continues over...

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How To Mute Your Banjo

How To Mute Your Banjo

So, you’ve just got your first banjo and you’re super stoked to play it. You bring it home, take it out of its hard shell case, put your picks on and start making some noise. And then it happens....

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How Much Time Should You Practice Banjo?

How Much Time Should You Practice Banjo?

We are often asked by banjo students "how much time should I practice banjo?" The short answer is you should practice playing the banjo every day. But let's get further into it. To accurately answer...

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Learn Banjo Faster with Deliberate Practice

Learn Banjo Faster with Deliberate Practice

If you want to learn banjo quickly the best way is to engage in “deliberate” practice. Deliberate practice means mindful practice. It means practicing with a specific goal in mind every time we pick...

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