Banjo Tutorial

Play Banjo Today!

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13 Videos | Length: 1hr 30min 33sec
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  • image description 11:11


    Colin introduces you to the series and explains the basic parts of the Banjo, shares a little about it's history and helps us understand how to hold and Pick the Banjo, and the most important part, Tuning!

  • image description 4:40

    How to Read Tablature

    Colin guides you to understand reading simple Banjo music known as Tabs or Tablature. He goes through each string and finger and helps you play through and really grasp this technique.

  • image description 6:52

    Pinching and Chords

    In this video, Colin goes over Pinching notes, which is playing two notes at the same time. Colin also shows us some Chords before playing them all together!

  • image description 9:47


    Colin shows us an essential part of Blue-Grass Banjo, Rolls. We go over several exercises and get comfortable with rolls before playing.

  • image description 8:17


    In this video Colin takes a look a big part of the Banjo language, Slides. We practice with some exercises before adding in some Rolls and some of the other techniques we've learned so far.

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    Pickin a Classic

    We focus on learning some highly favored bluegrass tunes like 'Cripple Creek' and more. We also learn a few new techniques like Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs.

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    A Big Lick

    Colin shows us some big time classic licks that will help us get our mind and fingers on the same page. We also learn a few songs including 'She'll be Comin' 'Round the Mountain When She Comes', 'Walkin' Cane' and more.

  • image description 8:34

    Major Chords

    Colin gets us started with Major Chords. We start learning Chord Shapes, and getting started with our F,D,A's. This video also shows us some other techniques like Muting and Changing Chords.

  • image description 5:07

    Sixteenth Note Licks

    Colin speeds things up a little bit in this video by introducing Sixteenth Notes. We start adding in those little notes that give us that big sound, we'll be playing with Pull-Offs and Slides to work within Sixteenth Note Licks. Finally, we'll practice some new songs and techniques with these new licks.

  • image description 9:50

    Chords Up The Neck

    In this video we start taking our Chord Shapes up the Neck and get our hands moving a bit more. Colin talks a bit about Chord Zones and helps us understand what that means.

  • image description 3:08

    Single Eighth Notes

    Colin explains Eighth notes and how we should go about practicing them.

  • image description 6:44

    Minor Chords and Major Scales

    In this video, Colin breaks down Minors and Scales. We raise and lower notes creating new chords and scales, so that we'll understand the different shapes and positions and how they relate to each other. We'll also learn some new things like the Melodic Style, which resembles a harp like sound and play through some exercises.

  • image description 1:51


    Colin signs out with a few words and then shows us one final tune as the credits roll.

Product Overview

The Hal Leonard Play Today® Banjo series is an awesome way to quickly learn how to play Banjo, covering the basics and important instrument information the new player needs to know. There's no reason not to play!

The ULTIMATE self-teaching Banjo method is here, designed to offer quality instruction, terrific songs, and on-screen Banjo notation so you can play all the music examples. Simply follow along with the music on the screen, as you watch and listen to the teacher.

In this series, Banjo pro Colin O'Brien will teach you the Basics, Songs, Chords, and Melodies, as well as Pinching, Rolling, and Picking styles. Gain valuable Playing Tips and Techniques while learning at your own pace.

The lessons are shown in Banjo Tablature, so open the door to the world of Banjo music today!

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Colin O’Brien is an award-winning performer who presents concerts and workshops throughout the USA. His solo show features his skills on banjo, guitar, fiddle, and his amazing percussive feet.

Colin also teaches at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. He’s delighted that you’re interested in the banjo. You’re invited to swing by if you have any questions or just to say hello!

Products by Colin

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Play Banjo Today!

    The Hal Leonard Play Today® Banjo series is an awesome way to quickly learn how to play Banjo, covering the basics and important instrument information the new player needs to know. There's no reason not to play!

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