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Essex Fells, NJ Banjo Lessons

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About Nick R.

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Forest Hills, NY

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-5 string Bluegrass (Earl Scruggs technique)
-Tenor banjo (plectrum techniques)
-Plectrum banjo (plectrum techniques)
-Bluegrass, Country, Blues and Folk
-Gullah Geechee, North Indian classical music and other world music rhythms

About Nick
Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 16 years via Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Queens College and at schools, nationally.

-Down Beat magazine current issue [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review

-Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015]
2.5 page interview

-Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue]

-Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview

"Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while
he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel

-Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Anastasia Rene, Jon Weber, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups.

-Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go"

-Movie Soundtrack: King George.

-Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others.

-Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre)

-Author: Metallica Legendary Licks series,volume 1 & 2)
-Editor GRP chords (both Cherry Lane Music/Hal Leonard).

M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College
(partial scholarship)

B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters

-Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus)

-Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat"

- Current adjunct professor at Essex College

-Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College

-Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College

-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.

-Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas)

-Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001)

-Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current

-Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser

-Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht

*** Lesson Details ***
With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time.
As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!)

*** Specialties ***
Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe.

Nick teaches:

-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar)
-acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar
- jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres.
- tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music)
-5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country])
-tenor guitar
-ukulele
-mandolin
-resonator slide/Dobro.
-baritone resonator (slide)
...
Reviews
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Matthew H. January 18, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
He does a great job cater the lessons to your needs
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Bryan October 8, 2016
· Guitar · In home
At just my 1st lesson with Mr. Russo -- HE'S THE MAN!!! Very concerned with getting the most out teaching/reaching the student!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; thanks to Takelessons!!!
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Sara G. October 3, 2016
· Ukulele · In home
Great musician, great instructor. Learned more than I ever thought I would be able to at this age. Very patient.
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Nick R.

Nick R.

Forest Hills, NY 11375
(16)
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About Gio A.

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New York, NY
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I've played guitar since I was eight years old and various other stringed instruments for several years. I love the banjo sound and played a bit on my original album Heliotropism. I'd love to help novice players get their feet wet with the instrument, strumming and plucking away at their favorite songs.

About Gio
I studied music at UCF (Orlando), focusing on classical and jazz guitar, but I also have years of experience playing rock, blues, folk, hip-hop, and musical theater on both guitar and drums.

I have been teaching guitar, drums, and piano for about eight years to students of all ages. Music is what I'm passionate about and it's what I enjoy. I want to inspire that same passion into the hearts and minds of others.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid-back teacher, fun, and I focus on the needs, abilities, and ambitions of the student. In turn, students must realize that learning an instrument takes a lot of work and dedication. One can't expect to learn very much if s/he only practices or thinks about the instrument during the lesson. If the student is willing to put some time into practicing, then I will help them go far!

*** Studi
o Equipment ***
I have several guitars, a drum kit, djembe, mandolin, clarinet and full-size keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar: Classical, jazz, American or Irish folk, rock and pop; lead or rhythm.
Drums & Percussion: All genres
Piano: Classical (includes sight reading)
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Reviews
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Ian C. July 7, 2017
· Drum · In studio
1 lesson and he wants to go back so it is a win for me.. Gio is an educator and knowledgeable on many instruments.
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Steve May 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Gio is an encouraging and helpful teacher!
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Julianne April 26, 2016
· Piano · In studio
My son Joseph just completed his 5th lesson with Gio and he LOVES his piano classes. Gio is very patient and dedicated to Joseph. Glad that my son is taking lessons from him.
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Gio A.

Gio A.

New York, NY 10034
(15)
starting at
$28 / 30-min

About Daniel E.

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Jersey City, NJ

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Beginner banjo lessons. Basic technique, chords, strumming. So much fun playing songs!

About Daniel
- I have a record of success with students of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and goals
- I teach using a variety of methods and styles, including my own authored books
- I own a music academy where I train others to be successful instructors
- I have a very high student retention rate
- I've been playing over 25 years
- I have a BA in Music from Florida State University
- I have been teaching for 17 years
- I have personally taught over 15,000 private lessons
- I have played in numerous bands
- I have gigged professionally

*** Lesson Details ***
I customize the lessons to the goals of each student. Whether it's for fun and leisure or a driven passion with serious goals, I can give you the tools to accomplish what you want! I love teaching people through the music that they love. So, whether that's Britney Spears, Metallic
a, or Bach, the concepts underlying music are basically the same. I will make sure you can play the music you love and hopefully help you explore new music as well.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In my studio I have a Guild Classical, Alvarez Acoustic, and Epiphone Electric.

All the accessories needed as well. Music Stands, Foot Stools, Picks, Straps, Slides, Tuners, Books, etc.

I also use an iMac in lessons. I like incorporating technology when appropriate, to look up tunes, or do a recording session, it's a necessary tool to learn nowadays.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will bring everything we need to conduct a proper lesson remotely. I do recommend you have your own guitar though.

*** Specialties ***
For all the advanced knowledge I have and years of teaching students of all kinds, my favorite is teaching beginners. I love seeing someone come in with no knowledge of music, and taking them from milestone to milestone. I love watching new musicians blossom.

I play, teach, and perform most frequently in classical, rock, blues, and pop genres.
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Jean-Baptiste April 28, 2017
· Mandolin · In studio
Daniel knows music and teaching very well. Looking forward the next lesson!
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Tom April 9, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
Dan has been really great to work with. He made sure to cover all of the necessary basics during our first session and gave me several techniques to practice on my own before our next lesson. I would definitely recommend him if you're looking to take lessons in the Jersey City / Hoboken area.
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min October 16, 2016
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Good instructions, and perfect teaching pace according to student's skill level.
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Daniel E.

Daniel E.

Bayonne, NJ 07002
(19)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Sam K.

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Oakdale, PA
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Bluegrass (Scruggs/Keith) and Old-Timey (Clawhammer)

About Sam
I play and teach Guitar (Electric/Acoustic), Bass (Electric/Upright), 5-String Banjo (Bluegrass and Old-timey), Violin/Fiddle, Mandolin, Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar and Lap Steel Guitar, Ukulele, Piano and Piano Accordion. I have been teaching in the Pittsburgh area for over 20 years and owned my music studio/store for over 10 years. I have instructional book/cd(s) and instruments for purchase or rentals usually available on-site. I am experienced and friendly. Parking lot is free and off-street.
...
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Marc S. October 8, 2016
· Fiddle · In studio
Great first lesson with Sam. Learned a lot the entire way through
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Karen May 27, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
I went into banjo lessons not knowing if I could master the instrument or not, being nearly 70 years old. While by no means a master (and never going to be), I have learned so much from Sam and he has shown such patience with me. I often leave my lessons wondering how he ever puts up with me - but he does. His encourgement, laid-back style, expertise and knowledge of music (plus theory) and the banjo is impressive. His good nature makes my lessons so much more pleasant. I would say Sam is a a great teacher for both a beginner or an accomplished musician or in between. He likes to talk and demonstrate (nice and slowly if requested) so I would recommend hour-long lessons at first.
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D. B. February 4, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
Four lessons with Sam have been amazing. I had previous banjo lessons and plodded from one song to the next. Sam has expanded the entire scope of music for me. I continue with the lesions and enjoy music much more
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Sam K.

Sam K.

Online
(7)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Richard W.

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Minneapolis, MN
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I teach all styles, including Clawhammer and Scruggs. Currently I play Banjo in local bands The Como Avenue Jug Band, Four Pints Shy, and The Brian Just Band.

About Richard
Rick's been teaching Guitar, Banjo, and Ukulele at his home, and at the Mount Olivet School of Music in South Minneapolis, ever since graduating with a degree in Music from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2003. He also teaches traveling lessons to students in the south and southwest metro areas. Rick plays around town in 3 bands and also does the occasional Musical Pit Orchestra and Wedding gig. He also taught at Dayjams Rock Music camp in St. Paul for the five summers of its existence. In his spare time he writes YA Stories and Musicals, as well as running a Songwriting and Music Theory Blog about Tonal Trends in popular music, and a Guitar Curriculum Blog based on Karate Belts.

*** Lesson Details ***
Depending on student interest, lessons can consist of Ear Training, Improv/Jamming, learning Popular Guitar Riffs/Changes/Parts/
Etc., Note Reading, the Music Biz, and learning about all the cool new Music Technologies of the day. Rick also loves to transcribe any and all music the student wants to learn but for which they cannot find the sheet music or internet tab. Rick prefers to teach what the student wants to learn, but if they're not sure what that is, he helps them figure that out.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Wifi, Computer, and iPhone. I make good use of technology during lessons. Much used apps include Guitarbots, Slow Down Music Trainer, TabPro, and the Guitar Toolkit (metronome, tuner, etc.)

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music Stand (if needed), and iPhone tech.

*** Specialties ***
Music Theory and Songwriting.
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Reviews
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Penelope S. July 15, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Richard was willing to introduce my 4 year old granddaughter to the instrument and he helped her with the most basic aspects of playing - how to hold it (he adjusted the strap to fit her properly) how to strum and how to use her left hand on the frets, etc. He was clear, concise, encouraging and patient!
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Huda G. March 12, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great teacher! Funny, easy going and went along with me at the right pace. Totally recommend him.
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Emma R. January 24, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
My 7 year old daughter had a great experience with Rick and is looking forward to her next lesson!!
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Richard W.

Richard W.

Online
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Stephen D.

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Yonkers, NY
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Banjo is very different from most other instruments, and requires a special technique. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must project the melody, and everything else comes from that.

About Stephen
I have been playing music on the violin since the age of 7, composing since I was 14, and playing and performing on the guitar since I was 18. I've written a lot of music, and this past spring had works performed in Virginia and two in Manhattan.

I have taught music for over 15 years, in colleges, music schools and privately. One thing that I have noticed is that, with more experience, I have a lot more fun--and so do my students.
...
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Sandra March 8, 2017
· Banjo · In home
Stephen is amazing and talented. He is very understanding of the initial frustration of learning a new instrument and makes it interesting and fun.
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Megan October 14, 2015
· Violin · In home
Mr. D is a very good teacher at violin. I give him 5 stars because he is nice and a good teacher.
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Eve September 29, 2015
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Stephen has been teaching my son Classical Guitar lessons for over four years now, and he is one of the best music instructors we've had. Stephen is a very motivated and inspiring teacher, my son absolutely loves his music classes. We are happy to have a truly dedicated teacher, who loves working with kids and is able to pass his genuine passion for music to others. Thank you, Stephen!
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Stephen D.

Stephen D.

Yonkers, NY 10705
(4)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Melanie C.

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New York, NY

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Want to play fast, fun, chunky Clawhammer banjo by ear? I teach the basics of old-time banjo to people who want to use the instrument to have a good time. We'll learn different tunings, fun songs and tunes, the boom-chuck rhythm, drop thumbs, and some banjo history. I am a great teacher for people who want to learn to sing while playing, and who are working up to jamming with other human beings. Remember, BANJO IS A GATEWAY DRUG. I teach in New York City. Let's play.

About Melanie
I am an old-time singer, banjo and guitar player. I have toured and picked with the finest, along with the beginners! I rest somewhere in the middle on the great nebulous cloud of American Sound. I am all about chord progressions. I love Ragtime and Blues and sometimes Pop Country music. Bluegrass can come sometimes. I write songs and perform them in dive bars and around campfires. If you're into having a fun and hilarious time with music, I do hope you become my student.
...
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Melanie C.

Melanie C.

New York, NY 10024
starting at
$59 / 30-min

About Jordan G.

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West Orange, NJ
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I have been playing banjo for a couple of years. There is no denying that the banjo isn't my first instrument, however, I am capable of teaching beginner banjo students every thing they need to know to give them a solid foundation. I teach out of a book, but I also focus on applying banjo skills to learning popular songs and melodies.

About Jordan
Hi, my name is Jordan. I am a Freshman Music and Theatre Education student at Seton Hall University. I have experience with many genres of music including classical, jazz, pop/rock, and Broadway. In addition to being a multi instrumentalist, I am also a songwriter, and have released a full length country album with Bongo Boy Records. My specialty and biggest passion is country and rock music, however I'm also classically trained in voice and in various instruments. Although I'm young, I have lots of experience so if you are looking for quality lessons in voice, stand up bass, guitar, bass guitar, banjo, ukulele, piano, or other beginning instruments, id be happy to oblige :)

PS. I didn't renew my background check but I'm a 19 year old college student, not a criminal.
...
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Jordan G.

Jordan G.

West Orange, NJ 07052
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Barton D.

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Nashville, TN

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Each lesson, we will work on developing a solid, bluegrass foundation, as we approach the basics of the 5-string banjo together.

We will start by learning the correct right hand technique and then focus on the left hand. I will also teach you how to read banjo tablature, so that you can work through the bluegrass songs, rolls, and chord formations that I will provide for you each week.

From there, I will give you some options. We can work through the traditional Earl Scruggs songs, or we can go off-the-beaten path, so to speak. If you like Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, Trampled By Turtles, or any of these "New-Age" bands that feature banjo, then we can go with a more modern approach to the 5-string!

From the very first lesson, I will make a point to jam with you. I think playing songs WITH me is just as important as playing them FOR me. Being able to jam with other musicians is huge aspect to learning an instrument that often gets overlooked by teachers. It's also WHY we ...

About Barton
Hello! I am a Nashville native and have been playing 5-string banjo for 7 years now. I am an avid songwriter and formed an Americana-roots band, Boy Named Banjo, back in 2011. We played Bonnaroo in 2015, and have performed at many historic venues like The Bijou Theatre, The Altamont Theatre, Eddie's Attic, and Mercy Lounge, to name a few.

In May of 2016, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Sewanee: The University of the South, where I was an American Studies Major (with a focus on American music) and a Music Minor.

In my 3 years of teaching the banjo, I've always emphasized to my students the importance of jamming with others. I want you to experience the joy of playing music with somebody else as soon as possible - that's what it's all about! While giving you a solid foundation, I will dedicate time during each lesson to doing just
that, so YOU can take what I give you and run with it!
...
Reviews
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Josh B. November 7, 2016
· Banjo · In home
I sought an instructor who would be interested in what I hoped to learn, melodic beautiful banjo as well as blue grass staples. As a song writer that elicits specific emotions in his music and an accomplished player, Barton fits that bill well. Most important he bring a joy to playing that is infectious, and he is careful to teach technique. I've had a lesson per week since early July and have been thrilled with the progress.
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Tess October 27, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
Barton is the BEST! He is really patient and extremely good at the banjo and I would recommend him to anyone who wants to learn. Really nice guy and a great teacher
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Erin October 27, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
Barton was very prepared and organized for each lesson. I really enjoyed taking from him while he was still in college at Sewanee. He helped me get started and now I've been playing for several years! I would highly recommend him to anybody learning the banjo for the first time!
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Barton D.

Barton D.

Online
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jason M.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Lessons with me will cover History of the banjo and the people who have popularized it, different styles of playing, basic to advance playing techniques. Subject material will cover Scruggs, Melodic and Single String and Clawhammer styles

About Jason
I have been playing music professionally for over 30 years. I have toured the world extensively, performed and recorded on nearly 100 albums. I have worked with the likes of Ani Difranco, Ron Sexsmith, BareNaked Ladies, Jason Collette, Rick Moranis and many others. I am a multi instrumentalist primarily focused on banjo, electric and upright bass. I have a solid foundation in music theory and performance.
Students will learn how to approach their respective instruments but more importantly will explore the joy of making and creating music and have a great time doing so!!!
...
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Brittany January 15, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
Great first banjo lesson! Can't wait to go back!
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Jason M.

Jason M.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(1)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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Are Heavy Metal Banjos The Next Big Thing?

Loud, jangly, and twangy, the banjo is an instrument with a distinctive voice that immediately evokes the spirit of the American South. Long a mainstay of bluegrass music, banjos have recently been incorporated into pop music as well by bands like Mumford and Sons. And, if YouTube trends are any indication, it looks like the banjo is making another genre shift! A pack of viral videos featuring banjo covers of hard rock classics are making the rounds and proving that banjos can shred just a … Read More

Are Heavy Metal Banjos The Next Big Thing?
Loud, jangly, and twangy, the banjo is an instrument with a distinctive voice that immediately evokes the spirit of the American South. Long a mainstay of bluegrass music, banjos have recently been incorporated into pop music as well by bands like Mumford and Sons. And, if YouTube trends are any indication, it looks like the banjo is making another genre shift! A pack of viral videos featuring banjo covers of hard rock classics are making the rounds and proving that banjos can shred just a
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