Learn an easy picking pattern banjo lesson

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Unboxing my new banjo!

It’s finally here everyone!!  I had things to get done before I could open it so I’ve brought you along for the ride.  Hope you enjoy!  The banjo is a Gold Tone CC-OT.

I got this banjo for several reasons.

  1. Weight – it weighs less than my WL-250
  2. Depth – the pot isn’t as deep and just for comfort
  3. I needed something that might not hurt as much if I play standing.  My WL is heavy and it hurts my neck and shoulders when I play with a strap on it.
  4. I also wanted something that was less expensive to be outside in the garden playing and toting around with me wherever I go.  Not that this is cheap by any means, but it does cost less than the WL.
  5. GT and everyone has had to change from rosewood fretboard material to blackwood.  I wanted something made with this material to give it a good review.
  6. Plus it’s never really a bad time to buy a banjo right?????

You can expect me to be playing this banjo in my videos and I’ll bet you can tell some unique differences in sound.

Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe!  BL YouTube

If you are interested in banjo lessons visit my website – Lessons

Without further ado, here it is up close!

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Psalm 119:105 – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

-Mandy

 

Get back on the horse…

And we’re off.  2018 is now upon us all.  So you haven’t played banjo in a long time.  That poor banjo is gathering dust in the closet, stuck on your wall, or heck you can’t really remember where it is exactly.

pull_hair_out Where did I put it?????

If you haven’t played in awhile why not make a fresh start in 2018?  Get back on that horse and let’s play.  I offer lessons in various ways.  I have a YouTube Channel that is full of great videos. I also offer a video lesson pack for sale and an ebook with audio exercises to get you going.  Get those HERE.

To get started again just grab that banjo and dust it off a bit.  Tune it up and watch this.

Take your time.  Take your time.  Take your time.  Yes, I’m asking you to just slow down and enjoy the process.  No matter why you put your banjo down in the first place, it doesn’t really matter.  But there is a reason you own a banjo.  Something made you want to learn to play it.  Maybe you played Scruggs style, maybe this maybe that.  If you haven’t tried this style (clawhammer, frailing, Old-Time), then you haven’t seen how happy this style can make you.  Give it a shot.

Hope to hear from you!  If you like what you see on my YouTube channel, make a comment to say hello.  Be sure to like my FB page too.

Mandy

 

Some of my banjo favorites

I’ve been asked previously to talk about some of my favorite banjo music.  Well here you go.  I’ll give you a few examples of my favs.  Oh and please note that these are in no particular order.  Oh my I couldn’t pick just one all time favorite so please don’t ask.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops – this is my favorite album of theirs (the group won a Grammy and then split up unfortunately).

Rhiannon, Dom, and Justin created MAGIC in my opinion with this album.  WOW, just WOW y’all.  I was lucky enough to see them in concert together prior to the split and Grammy win.  They were touring this album and were playing at a famous (dive) in Athens, Georgia.  I studied Rhiannon and her playing like a hawk during that concert.  If you don’t already know I liked one song from this album so much that I did a lesson vid on it.  Check out my YouTube Channel here.  I also waited and got all 3 of them to sign my banjo head.  Wow what a treasure right?  Yeah, I wish I had it.  We’ve had hard times (who hasn’t right) and I sold it.  I would love to find it and have it back.  Anyway water, bridge, you know.

Ok so from here I take you to a very talented man named Willie Watson.

For those of you who don’t know, Willie was formerly in the band Old Crow Medicine Show.  *side note – Wagon Wheel is OCMS’s song originally.  They added on to lyrics from a Bob Dylan poem and BAM, one of my all time favs.  And I have several videos on WW if you are interested – click my youtube link above.  Ok so back to good ole Willie.  He’s a good musician!  He plays multiple instruments and I love his style.  This album is a must in my opinion.  You will not be disappointed if you purchase this!  And yep I’ve seen him in concert too.  🙂 Willie is my husbands favorite BTW.

Up next is Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.  They have so many great albums I’m just putting a recent one up. Check out all of their stuff.

Where do I start with these two?  Hmmmm in a nutshell I love them!  Before you ask, yes I’ve seen them in concert.  Haha.  The banjo is played by both of them in their albums but one of my favs is when David plays Six White Horses.  You guessed it, there’s a vid on me showing you how to play a piece of this song on my channel too.  There’s just not enough I can say about these 2.

I don’t give you these recommendations as just someone typing something and not having experience with it.  I have seen all three of these acts in concert, owned multiple albums by them, and poured over their music for years.  These are my top 3 by leaps and bounds.  I’ll give you others below who I also enjoy, but in my opinion they just don’t rise to the level of these 3.

-The Avett Brothers.  They are really hit or miss with me. When they hit I absolutely love them.  I even have a lesson vid on Swept Away!  Imagine that….  Again many good albums here is just one.

These brothers and their long time friend Bob I believe is his name (sorry if I screwed that up) are wonderful musicians.  This is one group I haven’t seen in concert.  Now that’s not to say I didn’t try.  I went to get tickets and they were over $50 a ticket, so ah nope not doin it.  I have mixed feelings about this but that’s for another day.  Anywho they are probably the most “mainstream” of anyone I’ve mentioned.  The Carpenter is what I consider their first album after hitting it big.  I didn’t like it.  Anyway I love most all of their older stuff and you’ll catch us singing and playing their stuff too.

Gonna show you one more.  This one has a special place in my heart because she’s what got me started with clawhammer banjo.  In her own right she’s a wonderful musician, songwriter, and singer as well.  This is not an Amazon link and I get no commission whatsoever.  Visit her store here at Atwater Donnelly .  I’ve seen her in concert multiple times, taken a claw class from her (where I got my start), and I enjoy her dancing also.  My mother and I took a clogging class from her several years ago when she was down this way.

Ok so I’ve given you a bunch of great Christmas gift ideas here too folks.  Don’t be afraid to share this page with your family members to nudge them in the right direction, LOL.

Be Blessed!

-Mandy
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My #1 video for a reason

This is my #1 video of all time for a reason.  Well several reasons actually.

  1. It’s short
  2. It’s fun
  3. Breaks the technique down into 3 easy steps

If you simply follow these 3 steps you will be playing banjo in no time.  Do heed what I say about repetition though.  If you take your time with this and do it right you will have all the tools necessary to play any song easily.

From here you add on to make a song more “yours” or more “challenging”.  The best part about this method is that it’s so versatile.  You can switch it up using simple techniques and sound really good.

If you would like my lessons I have both an eBook with audio exercises, and a video lessons pack.  Both have wonderful information and both come with printable/saveable materials.  To learn more or to purchase visit Banjo Lemonade Lessons

-Mandy

 

Watch the guitar banjo lesson

Playing at a jam session is often a scary and daunting thing to most newer banjo players.  This video will make you a better banjo player!  Here I show you the 3 common guitar chord shapes of G, C, and D.

If you can watch the guitar at a jam you can play along with almost any song.  Learn the most popular chords “shapes” and unknown songs become easy to play.  This technique is used by MANY people.

A guitar (usually many guitars) are always a mainstay at jams or play alongs.  One thing that can happen if you see multiple guitars is one of the guitars will play alternate chords that sound good together.  If you can recognize any of these chords you can play along with the lead or rhythm.

If you need help learning to play the banjo here are my lessons.  You can choose the eBook and audio exercises, or the video lessons pack.  Both have plenty of great material to learn from.  My goal was to provide multiple methods for those who prefer “books” to “videos” and so forth.  The vid lesson pack also has printable/saveable written materials.  Banjo Lemonade Lessons

I’m here for you if you have questions.  I get many questions but will do my very best to answer them all.  Another of my goals is to get as many people playing banjo as possible.  Banjo playing, especially the old-time styles are becoming lost in the world.

-Mandy