Banjo, Mandolin Links

Five String Banjo
I usually start my banjo students with Pete Wernick's "Bluegrass Banjo" book. It's the most solid foundation I can find for beginner-intermediate players, starting with simple rolls and then progressing immediately toward working melodies into the rolls. He is from my home state of Colorado and I have spoken with him occasionally through the years. He was part of a very successful Bluegrass band called "Hot Rise", named after one of the lines in a "Flatt and Scruggs" jingle for "Hot Rise all purpose flour" which was a staple in southern homes back in the 1930's.

General Questions
Not surprisingly, the first link is to Pete Wernick's own web-site where he has a section called "Ask Dr. Banjo". If you don't remember something from one of our lessons or can't wait 'til next week to obtain info from me, Dr. Banjo (As he is known the world over) will probably have what you need.

Roll Practice

Here's a guy going through the basic banjo rolls. Click Here. Get these going smoothly and you'll be off to the races!

Looping Trouble Spots
To view Pete working with a student, making short loops out of troublesome passages click Here. This type of practice will help you relax and play the passage well before re-inserting the lick back into a song.

Basic Overview w/Bela Fleck
Legendary picker Bela Fleck gives you a quick overview of 3 finger and Reno style playing. Click Here


I like Mike Marshall videos best for mandolin. His knowledge and skill along with his calm, welcoming demeanor combine to provide an easy-going learning experience. In addition to the ones below, certainly more will come up via Youtube that will interest you if you maintain your curiosity.

Basic Posture, Pick Grip and Beginning Exercises

This is a good one to go back to again and again as you begin playing. Click Here.

Tremelo and Fast Flatpicking

Right hand technique is crucial to the mandolin sound. managing a very loosely held pick which attacks the string at an oblique angle are just a few of the lessons learned in this video.
Click Here.

Holding the Pick

I won't give Chris Thile high marks for brevity, but there are many good tips here for holding the pick while maintaining a very loose posture. Click Here and be patient!


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