Welcome to month two of Breakthrough Banjo! The primary objective for this month is to introduce you to the concept of drop thumb. We’ll also continue to develop the skills we’ve previously learned, and add some more tunes to your repertoire.
Prerequisites for Month Two
Before you work through the content for this month, I’d recommend that you at least be able to play through the level one arrangements for Long Journey Home, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, and Cripple in time with the backing tracks (if you haven’t reached that point, it is fine to work through the Drop Thumb lesson video if you’d like, since this is focusing on single skill development, but wait to work on the tune tutorials until you’ve met the prerequisite).
I’d also recommend continuing to revisit all the level one and two tunes from month one until you can ultimately play them all along with the “performance speed” backups.
Goals for the Month
Here are your goals for this month’s installment of Breakthrough Banjo. Remember, the monthly installments are here to provide you with the right structure and sequence. Do not worry if it takes you more than a month to reach these goals.
- Watch the Drop Thumb video lesson and practice the exercises
- Practice the new arrangements (with drop thumb added) to Cripple Creek, You Are My Sunshine, and Darling Nellie Gray.
- Work through the tune tutorials for Cluck Ol Hen, John Henry, and John Brown’s Dream. If you conquer these, take a stab at the Level 3 arrangement for “Angels We Have Heard on High.” This is the most challenging arrangement I’ve given you to date as part of the course, and should tax the full range of your technical skills. So don’t worry if it’s too much for you at this point – just something to be working towards.
Prior Skill Reinforcement
- Continue progressing through the level 1 and 2 arrangements from month one
- Check out the level 2 arrangements for the “12 Days of Banjo” (coming soon). Learn any that strike your fancy.
Month Two Course Contents:
Video Lesson: Drop Thumb Without Tears
Video Lesson: Drop Thumb Picking Exercises
Drop Thumb Exercises (from the video) in PDF
TUNES FOR THE MONTH
Tablature for this Month’s Tunes
Tunes from Month One with Drop Thumb
As covered in the Drop Thumb video lesson, I’ve added in some drop thumb to a few of the arrangements from last month. Here are the tabs for those:
Here are the tabs for the new tunes for the month (with video tutorials for each below).
Video Tune Tutorials and Backups
Click on the name from the menu below when you’re ready to start learning:
You can download the slow, moderate, and performance speed backups for all this month’s arrangements with the link below (as a .zip file). This is to allow you to practice along with the backup tracks when you’re away from your computer (by transferring these files to a smartphone or other playback device):