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Banjo Tutorial

Five-String Banjo for Beginners

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8 Videos | Length: 1hr 24min 52sec
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Sample this tutorial...
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    Chapter 1 (13:30)


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    Chapter 2 (16:27)


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    Chapter 3 (13:16)


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    Chapter 4 (12:03)


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    Chapter 5 (5:03)


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    Chapter 6 (8:20)


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    Chapter 7 (8:06)


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    Chapter 8 (8:07)


The emphasis of this easy, hands-on Homespun video tutorial series, is on traditional folk picking styles and song accompaniment. Almost anyone can do it, and newcomers to the five-string banjo will be playing and singing along with Happy Traum within minutes!

Happy starts with the basics, such as how to hold and tune your banjo, then quickly moves on to teach basic chords along with strumming and picking patterns. Working in open G and C tunings, you'll learn accompaniment techniques as well as ways to pick out melodies for instrumental solos.

Hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides and other techniques are then gradually added to give your songs authenticity and polish.

Even more, you'll be picking out the chords and melody lines to Down in the Valley, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, My Home's Across The Smoky Mountains, Handsome Molly, Cumberland Gap, Jesse James, Black-Eyed Susie and Banks Of The Ohio.

These folk and old time country tunes will be just some of your way to further adventures in five-string banjo!


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Happy Traum is an American folk musician who started playing music in the 1950s. Happy is most famously known as one half of Happy and Artie Traum, a duo he began with his brother. They released three albums, Happy and Artie Traum (1970, Capitol), Double Back (1971, Capitol) and Hard Times In The Country (1975, Rounder). He has continued as a solo artist and as founder of Homespun Tapes.

Products by Happy

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