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Palisades Park, 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 Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn basics about rhythm, harmony, and melody, and how they apply to the banjo.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...
Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Online
(87)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Andrew P.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Playing music is demanding yet very enjoyable, so my main approach in teaching is to keep it fun, and keep it focused. For the past 16 years, I’ve taught many students from age 5 to 75, in most musical styles. The early lessons are for establishing fundamental technique and theory. We can also begin to incorporate the student’s goals and favorite musical styles. Eventually, lessons will often begin with me asking them “What are we working on today?” and the student will bring me their work and questions. We laugh a lot, work hard, and make great music!

About Andrew
Hello! How are you? What do you love about music? What do you want to learn? I can help you get there.
Playing music is demanding, and can be an amazing experience, so my main approach in teaching is to keep it fun, and keep it focused. For the past 16 years, I’ve developed my own style, teaching hundreds of students from age 5 to 75, in most types of music. The early lessons are for starting to learn basic techniques and music theory. We can also begin to play your favorite songs and musical styles. Eventually, lessons will often begin with me asking “What are we working on today!?” and the student will bring me their work and questions. We laugh a lot, work really hard, and make some great music!

Let me know if you have any questions, and hope to work with you soon!
Thanks, Andrew
...
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Andrew P.

Andrew P.

Brooklyn, NY 11211
starting at
$50 / 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.
...
Reviews
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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.

Jersey City, NJ 07302
(19)
starting at
$39 / 30-min
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About Ben Z.

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San Diego, CA
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I can teach 5 string banjo basics to beginners. Emphasis on music fundamentals, popular banjo standards, and improvisation.

About Ben
Ben Z. has been helping people achieve their goals in guitar and music since 2001, and is passionate about teaching students of all ages and skill levels. As an instructor, Ben combines traditional teaching methods with ear training and improvisation to create well rounded experience for the student. Proficiency and creativity are both emphasized in lessons that are designed to be both fun and rewarding. Ben is an avid performer, regularly playing a wide variety of genres. Blues, Oldies, Soul/R&B, Funk, World Music, Classic Rock, Country, Musicals, Ragtime, Gospel, Acoustic fingerstyle, Travis picking, Chicken pickin', Slide guitar, Chord melody/solo arrangements, Lead/rhythm techniques, Music theory, and reading music are all topics that can be covered in lessons. Ben welcomes children and beginners with the same enthusiasm as adults and
experienced players. Ben also offers Lap Steel, Pedal Steel, and Banjo lessons for beginners.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Breedlove AC25/SR Plus Acoustic Guitar
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Telecaster
Goldtone Dojo (Banjo/Dobro)
Emmons Pedal Steel
Gretsch Lap Steel
VOX AC-30 amp
Fender Bassman amp
Fender GDEC amp
...
Reviews
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Tim D. November 3, 2017
· Banjo · Online
I was a great experience and Ben is very knowledgeable easy to learn from
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Lance August 9, 2017
· Country Guitar · In studio
My first lesson with Ben was great. He got straight to what I was interested in learning and even helped me figure out the chords to a song I've been wanting to play. Can't wait to learn more :)
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Rick June 6, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Just my first lesson with Ben. But clearly he's very knowledgeable and loves what he does. He quickly assessed where I was, stayed positive, and gave me some things to work on and practice before our next lesson. Glad I found him!
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Ben Z.

Ben Z.

Online
(14)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Mel P.

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Union, MO

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5 string banjo Skruggs style bluegrass.

About Mel
I have tons of experience and formal university training in music education.
...
Reviews
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Louis O. January 7, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Mel is an excellent instructor, not to mention his experience and expertise as a violinist. Our son is five and looks forward to his lessons. We do not have a music background, and with Mel's instruction we have found it easy to practice at home.

- Louis O.'s parents
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Anna August 10, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Although I was forced to select a subject of Acoustic Guitar on the review form, my children and I have also taken lessons with Mel Parker on every subject in the pick list plus a few more. Theory, composition, recording. Improvisation techniques, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, violin, bass, mandolin, ear training, techniques applied to all music genre's, group and solo performance techniques, ETC! The main point here is that as an accomplished and talented musician, Mel Parker is fluent in the music industry and very skilled at teaching all skill levels, from beginner to pro. He can teach very rigid focused lessons or he can shift and adjust the lesson instantly to meet the needs of the student. My children have been able to explore and experiment different instruments, genre's and other areas of the music industry as their interests grew and changed over the years. They have had many changes in their interests but the one constant has been the TEACHER! It is wonderful to be able to have 1 teacher adjust his education for the ever changing and growing needs of my family. Both of my children are now very accomplished award winning performers and we all agree that Mel Parker has been/is the primary influencer in their accomplishments.
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Kim August 10, 2016
· Violin · In home
My daughter has been one of Mel's violin students for 5+ years. He is an accomplished musician who teaches his students with a kind and gracious demeanor. She also has had the opportunity to play solo's in recitals and yearly contests that Mel's studio arranges for his students. Because of his well-rounded attention to instruction, practice, and performance, her growth as a violinist has been immense. This growth has also allowed her to compete at the district and state level in school.
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Mel P.

Mel P.

Online
(7)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

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.
...
Reviews
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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 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!!!
...
Reviews
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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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Banjo Lesson Reviews from Students

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Our teachers have taught

2 , 2 0 7 , 9 8 7

lessons and counting!

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Recent Banjo Articles from the Blog

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