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After years of 3 fingerpicking a bluegrass banjo, I started venturing into other genres.  I was wondering how many others out there play rock or folk rock banjo?  The way I do it is just like a guitar-chord and strum or "travis pick" it.


How about you?  Please no-I just do bluegrass or clawhammer,   I want to know if you play rock or folk rock on banjo and how you do it.

Tags: banjo, folk, picking, rock, travis

Views: 155

Replies to This Discussion

I do play stuff like Eagles and Heart who used banjo, but it's regular three-finger stuff just like they used. I've strummed, as you say, various R&R and blues but not in performance. Besides bluegrass I think the banjo is more suited to jazz and classical where you can really get some good sounds. I'm told Earl believed the banjo's range was limitless and he wanted to show that to the world. He recorded a few R&R pieces. Have you heard his "Nashville's Rock" CD? How about some of his Earl Scruggs Review stuff? Not my cup of tea but definitely working the banjo into R&R. And, of course, there are the "Picking on the Beatles" and other "Picking on..." CDs. The banjo is really good for folk music. You can take just about anything and frail, clawhammer, or pick your way through it, though you often need to slow it down a bit. I've been putting off working up a "Stairway to Heaven" banjo version; I think it would be really nice. What have you had success with?
Remember the banjo in the WHO song "Squeezebox"? That was a great one! Edward
Actually I do NOT remember a banjo in Squeezebox. The version I heard had a mandolin in it.- Our modern rock station down here plays it everyday.
I've recently picked up the banjo and uke after playing guitar for decades. The uke has been a cinch and really fun, but the banjo is a real challenge because of trying to master techniques with both hands. I'm self-taught with the help of youtube and netflix, but as much as I'm enjoying learning the rolls of bluegrass picking style, I'd like to fall into a style of my own bringing all of my instrumental influences into the banjo. I'm learning to pick more like the banjo in Old Man or the end of Squeezbox. Midnight Flyer by the Eagles is my favorite song at the moment. Pete Townsend, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon all played banjo! I'm discovering a whole, new, exciting world of rock banjo.
Hey Ragtime;

Don't give up! I actually am having difficulty mastering guitar-even fingerstyle of play. I suspect it is because I am making it too difficult for myself. I am being to hard on myself. The one important thing is to keep plugging at it and have FUN with music.

Uke is an instrument I would love to get one and try my hand at. I even have a uke instruction book laying around somewhere, just waiting for the day.
I have in the studio but it's hard to be heard over them live. I've tried it with a few Dead style jam bands and it was big fun. Banjo also sounds great on blues, old school soul, and R&B.
Hi Kerry:

which is tough-banjo or uke? (she asks with a grin). If banjo then yuou haven't tried a quality buegrass banjo


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