Rick's Banjo University

If you enjoy these lessons please leave something in the "tip jar."


Thank You!

Sign up HERE to receive updates about new lessons and special offers.

Home Guitar Lessons CBG Lessons Student Comments My Guitar Heroes

Rick's Banjo University "Listening CD"
There are a lot of different arrangements for any given song, and it can be confusing. If you are working on one of my arrangements, you can download the mp3 file HERE. Feel free to download and just listen or burn the tracks to a CD. For the track list click HERE.
Banjo 100: Basic Roll Patterns and Technique
Let's Play Banjo! Booklet

This free booklet contains all of the tabs and diagrams for the basic roll patterns. Click HERE for the booklet.
Alternating Thumb Roll (video) Licks and Runs Forward Roll Forward Reverse Roll

Tuning The Banjo: G Tuning (video)
An Amazing Variety of Tunings! (pdf) This list detailing several different tunings for the 5-string banjo was compiled from: http://www.zeppmusic.com/banjo/aktuning.htm 
Practice Routine Suggestions (pdf)
Speed Building (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Fretting Chords: How To Ger A Clear Sound (video) Fretting Chords (pdf)
Progress Checklist (pdf)

Focus and Anticipation (pdf)

This PDF document is an excerpt from my book The Natural Banjo Player.
Chapter 4 emphasizes focusing on the target.
Chapter 9 encourages you to anticipate what is coming next. 
Banjo 200: Beginning Level Songs
Banjo In The Hollow (video lesson) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Boil Them Cabbage Down (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Bury Me Beneath The Willow (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Clinch Mt. Backstep (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Cripple Creek (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Arrangement (pdf)
Froggie Went A-Courtin' (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Home Sweet Home (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Mountain Dew (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
The Ballad of Jed Clampett (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Tom Dooley (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Worried Man Blues (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
You Are My Sunshine (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Banjo 300: Video Jam Tracks
Backup Banjo: Vamping (video) Page 20 (pdf)
Here are some rules regarding jam etiquette Jam Etiquette (pdf)
Introduction To Jam Tracks (video)
Jam Track: Boil Them Cabbage Down (video)
Jam Track: Worried Man Blues (video)
Jam Track: Pig In A Pen (video)
Jam Track: Hot Corn Cold Corn (video)
Substitution Licks (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Banjo 400: MP3 Jam Tracks
Hope you enjoy these jam tracks! Play along and let me know what you think. My email address is rmckeon4@cableone.net
Boil Them Cabbage Down 80 bpm 120 bpm
Cripple Creek 80 bpm 120 bpm
Jesse James - Key of C 100 bpm 150 bpm
Jessie James - Key of G 100 bpm 150 bpm
Worried Man Blues 100 bpm 120 bpm
Pig in a Pen 100 bpm 120 bpm
Hot Corn Cold Corn 100 bpm 120 bpm
Two Dollar Bill 80 bpm 100 bpm 120 bpm
Banjo 500: Intermediate Level Songs
Banjo Signal (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Hot Corn Cold Corn (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Jesse James (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Jesse James: Right Hand Closeup (video)
Pig In A Pen (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Rocky Top (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Wildwood Flower (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Banjo 600: Gospel Songs
Angel Band (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
What a Friend We Have in Jesus (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Banjo 700: Altered Tunings
Double C Tuning
Stephen (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)

Gm Tuning
House of the Rising Sun (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Mary Did You Know? (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
What Child Is This? (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)

Open D Tuning
Fishin' Blues (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
John Henry (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Glory Glory with Slide (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Banjo 800: Pop, Rock, Blues and Classical
Knocking On Heavens Door (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Arrangement (pdf)
My Sweet Lady (video) Lyrics (pdf)
Rag Mama (video) Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) Lyrics (pdf)
Rag Mama - Alternate Licks Tab (pdf) Tab (tef)
Banjo 900: Essays and Speculation
This section is just for fun! Here we talk about music related things that are not lessons or tabs.

Sierra Impressions

After publishing this beautiful book of photos and thoughts from my hiking adventures in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California I discovered that my hiking journals were filled with music related thoughts. So I want to share this free pdf copy with you. Click HERE.
Banjo 1000: Music Theory for Banjo Players
 This free booklet has all of the tabs and diagrams referred to in this Music Theory series of lessons.
Click HERE for the booklet.

Lesson 1: The Major Scale (video)
Lesson 2: Key Signatures (video)
Lesson 3: How To Read Tablature (video)
Lesson 4: Timing Part 1 (video)
Lesson 5: Timing Part 2 (video)
Lesson 6: Chord Construction (video)
Lesson 7: Vamping With Movable Chords (video) Jam Track (mp3)
Lesson 8: Playing up the Neck (video)
Lesson 9: Chords in a Key (video)
Lesson 10: Harmonized Scales (video)
Lesson 11: Musical Intervals (video)
Banjo 1100: More Theory
The Balancing Act (pdf)
How To Memorize A Song (pdf)
Creating Banjo Arrangements (pdf)
Swing Eighths (pdf)
Musical Pitch and MIDI Numbers (pdf)
Banjo 1200: Banjo Blues
Blues is an amazing form that influences virtually all American music! Here are a few ideas as they relate to the banjo.
G Blues Scale: Box 1
G Blues Scale: Box 2
G Blues Scale: Box 3
G Blues Scale: Box 4
G Blues Scale: Box 5
Banjo 1300: More Tabs
These are fun arrangements and variations of songs that I hope to produce video lessons for one day. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these tabs!

Note: The mp3 audio files were generated using the TablEdit. I didn't play them, but you can get the idea how they should sound.

Banjo in the Hollow - Basic Version Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo in the Hollow - Variation #1 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo in the Hollow - Variation #2 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Basic Version Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Variation #1 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Variation #2 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Variation #3 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Variation #4 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Variation #5 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Banjo Signal - Endings Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 150 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm

Dueling Banjos:
This is a pretty complicated song, so after presenting the complete arrangement, I have broken it down into: Introduction, Four parts and an Ending. Also, I present the mp3 audio files at three different speeds where it might be helpful for practice.

Dueling Banjos - Complete Arrangement Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3

Dueling Banjos - Introduction Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3

Dueling Banjos - Part #1 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 100 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm
mp3 at 300 bpm

Dueling Banjos - Part #2 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3

Dueling Banjos - Part #3 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3

Dueling Banjos - Part #4 Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 100 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm
mp3 at 300 bpm

Dueling Banjos - Ending Tab (pdf) Tab (tef) mp3 at 100 bpm
mp3 at 200 bpm
mp3 at 300 bpm