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Any banjo players?

At the end of last year i bought an ukulele. Shortly afterward i discovered that the clawhammer style can be played on the uke. I fell in love with clawhammer and never looked back. And although i can play many great old-time tunes on the ukulele I've always known i would have to get a banjo to have the true clawhammer experience.

Fast forward to last weekend; I found a great deal on a used Deering Goodtime 2 banjo. Because of my clawhammer experience on the uke i feel like i've cheated and have a huge headstart. As well as learning new clawhammer songs i've set out to learn how to play scruggs style (3 finger bluegrass). I'm diving into music theory for the first time and trying my hand at improvisation. 

Are there any other banjo players in the midst? How long have you been playing? What banjo(s) do you own? What tips do you have for a beginner? 


  • I'm not a player, but a big fan of Uncle Dave, Charlie Poole, Clarence Ashley and old time in general;) kudos
  • It's interesting you mention Clarence Ashley! His recording of "Little Sadie" was one of my original inspirations to learn clawhammer on the ukulele. It's also the first tune i learned to play and sing on the banjo this week. There are so many great murder ballads in the old-time and bluegrass genres. Thanks for the mention of Uncle Dave, a name i wasn't familiar with youtube has some great recordings of his.

  • look up Fred Cockerham on YouTube if not already familiar. Round Peak style of clawhammer playing from NC. NC isn't only know as a scotch snuff hotbed ,we gave birth to some of the most important banjo players too! lol Earl Scruggs got me started on banjo from hearing Foggy Mt Breakdown in Bonnie & Cylde movie.  
  • I know a handful of Scruggs-style tunes on the banjo.  I have a Goldtone Archtop Deluxe and a Fender (cheap) model - been messing with those for a handful of years.  The Banjo Encyclopedia by Ross Nickerson is the best how-to book that I've come across for Scruggs-style.  I'd recommend it if you want to learn by reading tabs.  Hope that new banjo serves you well!
  • Do you know what they call a banjo player without a girlfriend? Homeless.

    What's the difference between a professional banjo player and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four.

    How can you tell when a banjo player is on the level...when he drools out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

    What do you say to the banjo player in the three piece suit?  "Will the defendant please rise."

    Sorry, I could not resist...

  • I play clawhammer and old-time two-finger on a cheap Deering Goodtime.  My main influences are Dock Boggs, Fred Cockerham and Dan Gellert.

    Wonder if Starr scotch snuff would sponsor my next album...

  • Had to have a peep here.    

    I thought   "Banjo Player"    might be a euphemism for something kinky.


  • Used to play the five-string. Wasn't too bad at it either, if you didn't mind the occasional ... modal ... note.

    Drove my then-girlfriend totally insane, though. A hard instrument to tune out, the banjo.
  • PsickoPsicko Member
    edited March 2017 PM
    @ParlousState, that and bagpipes.

    My dad used to have a banjo, not sure if he still does. I used to mess around on it when I was younger, but that's about it.
  • @Psicko: That should have been my strategy: spend two weeks practicing the bagpipes. Then switch back to banjo, leaving her relieved rather than annoyed.
  • @ParlousState, that would be a good strategy.
  • Been playin at the Banjo for about 25 years. I have a Martin Vega VIP 5 string. Where I failed was not to learn how to be a backup instrument first! Love them banjo breaks!!!!'
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