Summary and Info
A complete guide to the world of the five-string banjo written for both beginners and more experienced players. Packed with over 120 how-to photos and 130 musical examples. 94 track CD included - hear and play along with every exercise and song. The only book to offer instruction in clawhammer, bluegrass, melodic, single-string, minstrel and classic styles. From Earl Scruggs’ driving bluegrass picking to the genre-busting jazz fusion of Béla Fleck and the multi-million selling movie soundtrack O Brother Where Are Thou?, the five-string banjo can be heard just about everywhere in American music these days. Banjo For Dummies is the most complete guide to the five-string banjo ever written. It covers everything you need to get into the banjo: including how to choose, tune and care for your instrument, developing a good playing posture, fretting your first chords and getting comfortable with the left and right hand picking patterns used for clawhammer and bluegrass playing techniques. You’ll then add the left hand, spicing up your playing with slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and chokes for an authentic five-string banjo sound. From there, you’ll move on the play 19th century minstrel style, early 20th century classic style as well as try your hand at more advanced examples of bluegrass style. An in-depth chapter on bluegrass music explores Scruggs licks and techniques as well as melodic and single-string styles, with song examples. Also included is a banjo buyer’s guide, a section on music theory as applied to bluegrass and old-time music, an accessories guide (advice on cases, picks, straps, metronomes, computer aids and much more), information on how to find a good teacher, banjo camp or festival, chord charts, bios of twelve influential players, practice tips and much, much more! Banjo For Dummies is accessible and fun to read and it’s easy to locate just what you’re interested in playing. Included are 20 songs including several new compositions written by the author just for this book, including Reno Rag (single-string style), “Winston’s Jig” (Irish three-finger), and “Everyday Breakdown” (Scruggs style). All musical examples are played slowly on the accompanying CD, many with guitar and mandolin accompaniment. Bill Evans is one of the world’s most celebrated banjo players and teachers. He has taught thousands of people to play the five-string banjo in private lessons and group workshops literally all over the world. In addition to leading the Bill Evans String Summit, Bill has performed with Dry Branch Fire Squad, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka and many others and he hosts his own acclaimed banjo camp, the NashCamp Fall Banjo Retreat in the Nashville area. As an American music historian, he has taught at San Francisco State University, the University Virginia and Duke University. He has written a popular instructional column for Banjo Newsletter magazine for the last fifteen years and hosts three popular instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications. To learn more about Bill, visit his homepage at www.nativeandfine.com.