Tenor Banjo for Absolute Beginners
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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
4.5 (142 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
3,017 students enrolled
Created by Francis Long
Last updated 5/2015
English
Price: Free
Includes:
  • 25 mins on-demand video
  • 3 mins on-demand audio
  • 2 Articles
  • 8 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • You will need a Tenor Banjo (4 strings) tuned EADG, a plectrum, desire to learn
Description

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.

Who is the target audience?
  • 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
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 34 Lectures Collapse All 34 Lectures 37:16
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Before we get started
2 Lectures 01:17

Discover what will be covered during this course

The Tenor Banjo
00:45

Some advice on choosing an instrument

Which Banjo should I choose
00:32
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Getting started
9 Lectures 11:34

Learn how to hold the Tenor banjo

How to hold the Banjo
00:52

Learn the names of the strings

The strings
1 page

Learn the main parts of the Tenor banjo

Parts of the Banjo
1 page

How to hold the pick and how to strike the strings, and the alternate picking technique

Picking Technique
02:24

Learn about tuning using an electronic tuner or phone app

Tuning your instrument
01:34

The TAB system for the banjo explained

How to read banjo TAB
01:56

TAB and music notation for one of the main scales of Irish music

TAB for D scale
1 page

Learn how to play the D scale step by step

The D scale
03:55

Correct positioning of the Left hand fingers

Left hand finger positions
00:53

Before we play the first tune
5 questions
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The Kerry Polka
6 Lectures 04:34

TAB and music notation for the Kerry Polka

The Kerry Polka: TAB for the full tune
1 page

Learn the first part of the Kerry Polka. Make sure to pay careful attention to where you place your fingers.

Each tune will be broken into sections so that you can work on each part individually.

The Kerry Polka: First section slowly
01:43

Learn the second part of the Kerry Polka.

Use this lesson to help get everything working correctly.

The Kerry Polka: Second section slowly
00:41

Work on the first part of the Kerry Polka at a faster speed. (Polkas, Jigs & especially Reels tend to be played quite fast, so it will be necessary to develop this aspect)

The Kerry Polka: First section faster
00:31

The second part of the Kerry Polka at a faster speed. While speed is the last element to worry about it is necessary to start increasing the speed once you can play the notes and rhythm correctly.

The Kerry Polka: Second section faster
00:56

Audio of the full tune with both sections played one after the other

Putting it all together
00:43
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My Darling Asleep Jig
6 Lectures 04:02

TAB and music notation for the jig My Darling Asleep

My Darling Asleep: TAB for the full tune
1 page

My Darling Asleep played slowly.

Pay careful attention to the jig rhythm.

First section slowly
01:15

The second section of My Darling Asleep at a slower pace.

Use this lesson to help get everything working correctly.

Second section slowly
00:30

The first part of My Darling Asleep played at a faster pace.

If you are finding the faster pace difficult go back to the slower lesson until everything fits together more readily.

First section faster
00:34

Work on the second section of My Darling Asleep at a faster speed.

Again make sure that you can play the tune comfortably at the slower pace before trying to increase the speed.

Second section faster
00:32

Audio of the full tune with both sections played one after the other

Putting it all together
01:11
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Rolling in the Ryegrass Reel
6 Lectures 04:55

TAB and music notation for the reel Rolling in the Ryegrass

Rolling in the Ryegrass: TAB for the full tune
1 page

The first section of Rolling in the Ryegrass at a slower speed. Learn about pivoting fingers across strings

First section slowly
02:09

The second section of Rolling in the Ryegrass at a slower speed.

Use this lesson to help get everything working correctly.

Second section slowly
00:44

Rolling in the Ryegrass at a faster pace, the first section.

Use this lesson to help you work on building speed in the tune.

First section faster
00:37

Rolling in the Ryegrass at a faster pace, the second section. Use this lesson to help you work on building speed in the tune.

Second section faster
00:38

Audio of the full tune with both sections played one after the other

Putting it all together
00:47
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Practising
5 Lectures 02:49

Key elements to getting the most from your practise sessions. How you practise will influence how quickly you learn.

Advice on how to practise
00:34

I hope you learned a lot and enjoyed your experience, now you need to build on what you've learned and keep practising!

Conclusion
00:41

This is a set of 3 hornpipes The Boys From Bluehill, The Harvest Home and Cronin's Hornpipe. The follow-on course (Tenor Banjo) will focus on sets which is the way that these tunes are usually performed. There will be a set of Reels, Jigs, Polkas and the three Hornpipes featured here. If you are interested send me a message and I'll forward on a 50% discount voucher.

A set of Hornpipes from Tenor Banjo course
01:34

The TAB for the D scale is written so that it starts and finishes on the D note (otherwise it will sound strange, for those who are technically curious it would become a Lydian mode if we started on the G note on the open 4th string).


D scale across all strings
1 page

G scale across all strings
1 page
About the Instructor
Francis Long
4.6 Average rating
366 Reviews
15,908 Students
4 Courses
Music Teacher dipABRSM, LTCL

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 have been teaching guitar, banjo, mandolin and music technology at Waltons New School Of Music in Dublin since 2003 and have also given lessons at several Dublin-area primary schools through Waltons In-School Music Programme.