Welcome to your first month of Breakthrough Banjo! The primary objective for this month is to get you familiar with playing the primary chords in standard G tuning, getting a few more tunes under your belt, and preparing you for next month when you start learning how to drop your thumb (and if you don’t know what that means yet, don’t worry!).
Prerequisites for Month One
The content in month one assumes you have worked your way through the Clawhammer Banjo in 8 Essential Steps video series, or have already learned the fundamentals covered in these videos. This includes how to the basic clawhammer stroke, hammer ons (same and alternate string), pull offs (same and alternate string), and slides.
Download the accompanying ebook for the 8 steps series here.
Goals for the Month
Here are your goals for this month’s installment of Breakthrough Banjo. And though you’ll be getting a new set of materials next month (including the lesson on drop thumb), don’t feel like you have to finish this one before then. Take your time, and move on to the next content when you feel ready:
- Watch the chords video and practice the exercises
- Read the article on the 7 Reasons Why Clawhammer Banjo Players Should Know Their Chords
- Learn the level one arrangements for Long Journey Home, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, and Cripple Creek. Ideally, get to where you can play along with the “performance speed” backup tracks (in video or mp3 form). Start with the slow speed, then moderate, and then on to performance when you feel ready. Don’t rush it. Your patience will be rewarded.
- If you make it through those three, then work on the other level 1 arrangement tutorials.
- If you can comfortably make your way through all the level 1 arrangements and are looking for more, try your hand at the level 2 arrangements. Don’t worry if you don’t make it to these this month, they’ll always be there for whenever you feel ready.
Month One Course Contents:
Video Lesson: Chords in Standard G Tuning
Tunes for the Month
Click on the link to download the tabs for this month’s tunes:
Level 1 Arrangements
Level 2 Arrangements
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):
Up Next Month
Next month our video will be on a simple, “no tears” method for learning how to drop thumb, more tune tutorials to practice your new skills, and more. See you then!