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Homespun Tutorial

Jens Kruger Banjo Method for Beginners

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10 Videos
Length: 1hr 33min 59sec
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    Tutorial 1

    Chapter 1

    8:25

    Jens starts this series off with a banjo tune and talks a bit about the series we'll be watching today. You'll get a lesson on tuning and learn a bit about banjo strings and chords.

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    Tutorial 2

    Chapter 2

    10:27

    Jens shows us the "roll", and gives an upclose look at what he's doing and how he positions his hands and fingers. Jens brings out the metronome and gets us familiar with the importance of keeping time.

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    Tutorial 3

    Chapter 3

    11:18

    In this video, Jens shows us some banjo fingerings and picking techniques. You'll learn how to move between the strings creating those classic banjo rhythms.

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    Tutorial 4

    Chapter 4

    7:44

    Jens shows us a tune called "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", and gives us a close look at the different parts. Jens also gives us some good advice on how to progress through different exercises and melodies.

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    Tutorial 5

    Chapter 5

    7:56

    Jens gives some advice about how to think about the banjo helping you get comfortable and confident in your playability. Jens then plays some melodies that you can play along with.

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    Tutorial 6

    Chapter 6

    3:30

    In this video, Jens gives us a rhythm track and a few play-along exercises to take your timing and flow to the next level. This video gives you plenty of room to practice on your own with just a rhythm line in the background.

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    Tutorial 7

    Chapter 7

    10:03

    Jens gives us a close look at the melody that we heard earlier, showing us some of the techniques that he uses. Jens also shows us bending and a few others tricks that will add depth and variations to your banjo licks.

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    Tutorial 8

    Chapter 8

    10:39

    Jens takes a look at a tune "Swanee River" by Stephen Foster, explaining each element and part so you understand how to aproach it for yourself.

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    Tutorial 9

    Chapter 9

    14:26

    In this video, Jens talks about the key of D. Jens gives us the foundation of the key, and moves onward through some progressions that will help you practice in D.

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    Tutorial 10

    Chapter 10

    9:31

    Jens talks about 3/4 time, and how to feel and understand the time signinture. Jens then helps you fit your rolls inside of 3/4 while showing you some practices that will tighten your flow. Jens signs off with some advice and gives us one last performance with the band.

Jens Kruger's Banjo Method for Beginners is an easy and joyful way for you to start picking and playing Banjo today!

Banjo virtuoso Jens Kruger has devised a uniquely satisfying way for beginners to get started on this great American instrument. His is a completely different approach to learning to play the banjo: it's liberating, inspiring and will allow anyone to make music in minutes. Even if you already play the banjo there will be revelations here for you.

Jens' approach is based on playing a simple melody line surrounded by open drone notes. You only have to play one string at a time, finding the tune by ear as you slide up and down the fingerboard. By combining this with a simple forward roll, your songs sound full and deceptively complex.

This easy but highly musical lesson will teach anyone to play the melodies to songs such as Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Aunt Rhody, Grandfather's Clock, Wildwood Flower, Old Folks at Home, Shady Grove and other favorites in the three-finger banjo style.

Rhythmic backup by the Kruger Brothers Band adds a rich and cohesive sound and enables you to play along with Jens for productive practice sessions.

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Originally from Switzerland, Jens Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and was particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music.

While he has written and continues to write the music for all of The Kruger Brothers’ original tunes, in 2006, Jens began his “official” venture into the themes and forms of classical music when he was commissioned to write Music from the Spring for banjo, guitar, bass and full symphonic orchestra. Since then, he has received three commissions to write classical pieces which The Kruger Brothers have performed with various orchestral ensembles: Appalachian Concerto with string quartet; Spirit of the Rockies with a small orchestra, and most recently in 2013, Lucid Dreamer, a chamber music piece written specifically for and commissioned by the Kontras Quartet* and debuting in 2014.

Jens is a member of the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2011. In 2013, he was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. Jens is the first winner of the award who resides in North Carolina and the first born outside of the United States. Happy Traum, guitarist, folksinger, teacher, and writer for aspiring musicians, has described Kruger as, “One of the world’s most musically sophisticated and technically accomplished five string banjo players.”

While Jens plays in a melodic style that has roots in bluegrass, his music is distinguished by long, melodic passages and a complex compositional foundation, often building on jazz or classical themes and techniques.

Products by Jens

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