Tenor Banjo for Absolute Beginners

A simple guide to get you started on the road to playing the 4-string Banjo, no musical knowledge needed
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 (421 ratings)
6,676 students
25min of on-demand video

By the end of the course you will be able to play 3 tunes and the D scale
In this course you will learn how to hold the instrument
You will learn how to read Tablature (TAB)
Learn how to tune the Tenor Banjo


  • You will need a Tenor Banjo (4 strings) tuned EADG, a plectrum, desire to learn


Learn how to play the Tenor Banjo (EADG tuning*) through Irish tunes. You will learn how to play a Polka, a Jig and a Reel.

Follow instructional videos complete with Tablature (TAB) showing you exactly where to place your fingers. The TAB can be downloaded so you can study it separately from the videos.

There is also audio of the full tunes so that you can download and listen to them to help facilitate learning.

This course is designed to take an absolute beginner, get them started and playing tunes within a few weeks.

*EADG tuning is typically used in Ireland and may require strings that are made for that tuning. Brands such as Dunlop and D'Addario produce strings for Irish tuning. It is worth keeping in mind that American banjos are usually tuned to a higher pitch.

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who would like to play the Tenor Banjo. No previous experience necessary, although if you have ever played another string instrument (guitar, violin) this will stand to you


Music Teacher dipABRSM, LTCL
Francis Long
  • 4.7 Instructor Rating
  • 1,167 Reviews
  • 33,729 Students
  • 4 Courses

             I have been involved in the music business for many years. At the age  of eight I joined the Artane Boys Band, where I received a great introduction into the world of music, learning how to play the  clarinet, oboe and the bell lyre. When I left this marching band (which is compulsory at age 16) I discovered the guitar and began the next phase of my musical journey playing rock, pop and blues in various bands in Dublin. Looking for a further challenge I decided to study classical guitar in which I have earned both an Associated Board ABRSM diploma and a Licentiate LTCL diploma. Along the way I worked in different music shops, where I got the opportunity to try other instruments and ended up also learning banjo, mandolin and bodhran. I taught guitar, banjo, mandolin and music technology at Waltons New School Of Music in Dublin 2003-2017 and have also given lessons at several Dublin-area primary  schools through Waltons In-School Music Programme. I am currently teaching guitar in the Waterford Academy Of Music.

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