Banjo: a very friendly instrument to learn to play

Banjo: a very friendly instrument to learn to play

The Banjo playing garden gnome…

I first became inspired to play banjo after seeing Billy Connolly and Ralph McTell playing together, Ralph was playing his guitar tenderly and Billy was of course playing banjo. After that I was hooked. Billy has been a great example to me of someone who has a desire to play and who has doggedly worked to master his skills, and make it all look like so much fun.

Learning The Banjo

Here is a snippet of Billy talking about his experiences as a beginner banjo player.

Billy Connolly ~ Cripple Creek

Here is Billy’s rendition of this well known Bluegrass piece. A great example of claw hammer style playing.

The banjo can be a four, five, or six-stringed instrument with a resonator also known as the head or body (looks like a drum –which be plastic or animal hide). The banjo is believed to have been developed by early African Americans who brought it with them from West Africa in the 17th century.

4 String banjo is well known in Celtic, Jazz, Ragtime and Dixieland music. Here is a link to learn more about 4 String Banjo and its features.

5 String has become more associated with Bluegrass, Old Time, Mountain, Folk & Country music. This is a great site for learning more about buying your next 5 String Banjo.

6 String banjo, sometimes referred to as a Banjo Guitar or Banjitar has been around for about 100 years and plays much the same as a guitar lending itself well to blues, country, Dixieland, ragtime and modern music. Here is a link to learn more about what to look for when buying a 6 String Banjo.

The banjo is such a wonderfully versatile instrument. In more recent times it has become well known in Bluegrass:

Earl Scruggs And Friends – Foggy Mountain Breakdown

however, any style of music can be played on the banjo. Historically speaking it grew out of the African American folk culture and today it has strong associations with: Old time, folk, traditional Irish, country, modern rock and pop, Dixieland, Jazz & Gospel and even classical music.

Here are some examples of how versatile and enjoyable it is to play Banjo:

Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (Live from Red Rocks)

Modern Irish pop

Taylor Swift – Mean (Live from New York City)

Country Pop – an example of a 6 string banjo


Pete SeegerDown By The Riverside

African American Spirituals & folk

Anaconda – Vintage Bluegrass Hoedown – Style Nicki Minaj Cover feat. Robyn Adele Anderson

Great example of styles old and new blended together

Dixie Chicks bluegrass melody

Great 5 string with fiddle

Tenor Banjo Dixieland Bill Bailey

Great example of this style

John Bullard – Telemann Aria I, Partita No. 5 (Classical Banjo: The Perfect Southern Art)

Fabulous, so much early banjo was written for classical players.

92-year old banjo player blazes through a Jazz medley on his Vega plectrum.

Banjo is an instrument for any age and any style…

Dirty Old Town – Leeann Flynn on Banjo Lessons StringSong Music

If you are interested in making an inquiry about Booking Leeann for Music  Lessons in the Lower Clarence Valley or via Skype (Singing, Bass, Banjo, Celtic Harp & Autoharp, Flute, Guitar, Keyboard, Mandolin & Ukulele)  or Performances please use Leeann’s Contact Form.

StringSong Music – Leeann Flynn
Lower Clarence Valley – Ashby, Chatsworth Island, Gulmarrad, Harwood, Iluka, Maclean, Woombah, Yamba



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