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West McLean, VA Banjo Lessons

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Popular Banjo Teachers near West McLean, VA

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About Mike T.

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Manassas, VA

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Scruggs Style Bluegrass 5-String Banjo

About Mike
I have played bluegrass banjo since I was 16 (I am now looking at Social Security). I have been instructing for six years since semi-retiring from my day job. I use various teaching methods and aids and have participated in training programs with the finest banjo players in the country, including Sonny Osborne, Bill Emerson, Tony Trischka, Ned Luberecki, Pete Wernick, Jim Mills, Bill Evans, Charlie Cushman and Alan Munde.

My banjo philosophy is that while we may aspire to play banjo like Earl Scruggs, it is not necessary to be at that level to enjoy playing bluegrass music. The organic simplicity of bluegrass songs, the repetition of components, and the strong melody lines makes entry level playing fun and rewarding and within the reach of anyone who is willing to try.

When bluegrass musicians are jamming together, using
new skills, learning with and from each other, there's little chance they will give up playing music. I'd say they're hooked -- on bluegrass! More people spending less time in front of a TV, and more with each other. Wholesome fun. A bigger, thriving bluegrass community. A better world!

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that anyone learning bluegrass should first learn the chords to favorite easy songs, and a simple way of accompanying. Playing songs smoothly in real time while using a songbook (or a fellow picker) for the words, is easy, fun, and builds a rhythmic/chordal foundation and repertoire.

Easy jamming is highly recommended and will be part of the learning program. Good sounding rhythm techniques can be added easily as they are learned. Through this process, overall technique is expanded and the music sounds more interesting. Once we have the chords and rhythm, different types of soloing can be added. The easiest method is to "fake it" by just playing simple licks and rhythm techniques while following the chord changes. The next step up might be to play an exact tabbed (a form of written banjo music) basic solo, or (better) a self-composed one featuring melody. This phase is exciting to enter, and of course it creates motivation to really improve and master those solos we all want to play. Since all students come to bluegrass banjo with their own unique skills and experience - I will design a program just for you to ensure you reach you playing goals.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Little equipment is required for bluegrass banjo other than the instrument.

*** Specialties ***
5 string Bluegrass Banjo
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Reviews
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Christine November 10, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
Very good at teaching technique as well as breaking songs down so they are easier to pick up.
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Chris S. November 10, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
I'm as new as they come; zero banjo experience. Mike was absolutely outstanding! In my first lesson he taught me how to tune, 3 major chords, strumming, picking, rolls, and I got my first song to practice. I highly recommend Mike!
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Jay June 6, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
Although it is but one lesson I have had with Mike, I know he has the ability to help me get to the "next level."I could not be happier with my selection of Mike as my instructor.
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Mike T.

Mike T.

Manassas, VA 20109
(12)
starting at
$35 / 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, Ukulele, and Piano
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano, Ukulele, and Drums
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 Ar
ea.

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 opportunities to perform for friends and family at my studio every few months. Once or twice a year we'll also stage a larger event off site for more individual students and bands classes to perform.
Adult students also 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:

*Music Stands

*A P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, Ukulele, Banjos, etc

*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 and Yamaha organ

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, Saxophone, 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 Phil H.

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Rochester, NY

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About Phil
I have my degree from The Eastman School of Music and have played rock and roll for decades. My joy is bringing people to music and music playing. As Music is an infinite language it has always been an eternal joy to teach and relate to my beloved students what music can say to them and what they can convey to others.

*** Lesson Details ***
"If music is not fun it is useless" I urge my students to play their instruments not practice! I will teach music theory as I teach you any style or all styles. Patience is the key and I am constantly filled with it. You will progress as you learn the ins and outs of your instrument and music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Room setup for lessons, with small keyboard and instruments. Ample parking available, parents can sit in on lessons and waiting area available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
The student is
expected to provide the instrument including full keyboard or piano.

*** Specialties ***
all
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Reviews
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John November 6, 2017
· Banjo · Online
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Pamela March 19, 2017
· Flute · In studio
Phil is so wonderful. After I retired I wanted to learn to play the flute, so I signed up for 30 minutes. I signed for 30 because you never know if you and the instructor are going to get along. I discovered that while I was in session I did fairly well. But once home alone, I would end up in tears. I decided to go from learning the flute to learning the clarinet. I was afraid I would have to find another teacher, but no. Phil pulled out his clarinet and I have been happy ever since! He has a calm demeanor, never talks down to you, multi-talented and encourages you. I finally had to go from 30 minutes to an hour. I found I would have about 15 minutes of questions on symbols, word meanings, etc.; which only left me 15 minutes of actual music. So this may also be something to think about.
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Yvonne Bryant September 28, 2015
· Mandolin · In home
Enjoying the lessons. Phil is very knowledgeable and pleasant.
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Phil H.

Phil H.

Online
(4)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About John B.

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Arlington, VA

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Learn how to play Banjo!

While learning the Banjo, students will learn specific rolls such as forward and backward rolls, chords strum patterns, rhythm playing and various songs such as Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Dueling Banjos. They will learn the styles of Bluegrass and Claw Hammer playing.

About John
I have been playing for about 35 years and teaching music and guitar for 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Classical guitar. I've taught at the University level and currently maintain a professional studio in Arlington, Virginia. I am very well versed in many different styles of music including, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Suzuki guitar. Students who decide to sign up with me, will have a lesson plan, a strategy for meeting their musical goals and will enjoy themselves in the process.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are custom designed to meet the needs of every student, whether it is someone just starting out with the basics or for that seasoned player that wants to hone their professional skills. As a teacher, I consider myself easy going and laid back, with an emphasis on encouraging each student to do their very
best.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitar, instruments, keyboards recording equipment, waiting room, seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music stand, foot stool, cables.- Teacher
Own instrument, amplifier if needed, notebook.-Student

*** Specialties ***
I have been teaching for about 25 years and am well versed in Jazz, Classical, Rock, Blues and Country genres. I focus on anything from note reading, theory, improvisation and composing.
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Reviews
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Curtis H. January 19, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In home
John is so encouraging, and he was able to read my abilities and needs in just a few moments. I'm looking forward to more lessons!
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Kent January 9, 2018
· Banjo · In studio
Knowledgeable. Excellent corrective feedback. Appropriately challenging. Highly recommend.
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John December 29, 2017
· Mandolin · In studio
First lesson helped to get a solid footing and decide what course to take with the lessons.
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John B.

John B.

Arlington, VA 22202
(63)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Speedy B.

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I teach the five string banjo from the beginning, I use the book "Bluegrass Banjo Level One by Edward T Wing. This is a great progressive method for learning banjo. I teach all the right hand picking and left hand fingering techniques for learning to be a great banjo player. You will enjoy this study. Banjo is great fun.

About Speedy
I have been teaching music for over fifty years. I have taught many professional teachers and students over the years. I have played professionally in Many Classical and Jazz groups. My quick start method gets beginners playing music right away.
I studied classical violin from Don Samuleson, Professor at Western Washington College during my Junior High and High School years. I also studied from Lamar Barus at Ricks College and Paval Farcus at the University of Redlands and from Leslie String of the Redlands Symphony.
I studied Classical guitar from Seko Sessoko a Brazilian guitar player and Jazz guitar from Studio musicians Howard Roberts, Joe Pass and Horace Hatchett.
I have played violin in the Bellingham Junior High School Orchestra, the Bellingham High School Orchestra, the Ricks College Orchestra, the University of R
edlands College Orchestra, the Riverside Symphony, the Palomar Symphony, and the North Coast Symphony in San Diego. I am currently playing with the Timpanogos Symphony in Highland Utah.
I played guitar with the Woody James big band and with the big band and hall of fame orchestra. I've played classical guitar for weddings and dinner parties. I played guitar with the variety band "Sound Investment" and other rock, blues and jazz bands
My theater performance experience includes play violin for Annie, Hello Dolly, Chess, Cinderella and more. I also played guitar in theater performances of Les Miserable, Man of La Mancha, Hairspray, Marvelous Wonderettes, and Catch Me if You Can.
My studio, The Speedy Beers Music Studio is a highly professional studio equipped with computer, recording equipment and video lighting and camera for making highly professional videos.
I teach all styles of music on the guitar and violin including classical, jazz,rock, blues, country, folk and fiddle. I have a strong back ground in applied music theory that works for all instruments.
I have a Bachelors degree from the University of Redlands and I have studied privately from some of the best teachers in the world.
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Reviews
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Gary D. January 4, 2018
· Guitar · Online
Speedy is very competent and is a great teacher, he will take me on a musical journey, thanks
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Hope December 19, 2017
· Violin · Online
Speedy is a very patient & knowledgeable instructor to my super active (not always attentive) 8 year old. He has been making many improvements.
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Miranda November 26, 2017
· Viola · Online
I've been getting lessons for 2 years and I've improved greatly.
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Speedy B.

Speedy B.

Online
(7)
starting at
$35 / 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 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.
...
Reviews
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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 Mark B.

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Park Rapids, MN
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I teach beginning to advanced students in Scruggs or 3 finger style, melodic style, Reno style and Minstrel or stroke style. Other areas covered are basic music theory, chord inversions, back up techniques, creating leads and many other valuable subjects.

About Mark
Mark B. has played and taught banjo and mandolin for over 30 years and has performed with the Circle B Cowboys, The Blue Bell Lodge Wranglers, The Smokey Hills Wranglers and has performed at venues at Disney World, the National Festival of the West, Medora Cowboy Poetry Gathering, The Journey Museum and many more. Mark currently teaches at the Itasca School of Folk Music, The Headwaters School of Music and Art and at Overbeek Music in Bemidji, MN. Classes are also taught through community education in a number of towns as well as online.

The internet is loaded with free video lessons for banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and every kind of instrument under the sun. But even videos can be a static method of learning when compared to personal lessons taken in real time. Nothing can replace having a teacher to guide you step by step as yo
u learn to play your favorite instrument. Interactive online lessons will help you to avoid the stumbling blocks and hang ups that occur while using books and videos – nothing can replace live lessons with a caring teacher. Now, no matter where you live, you can take lessons in real time with a qualified instructor – it’s almost like taking lessons at the local music store.

Lessons are structured for each individual student to provide the personal attention needed for effective learning.

*** Lesson Details ***
Through my in person and online lessons, a music student will not only learn to play a stringed instrument he or she will also learn important elements of basic music theory. The student will be taught timing, notation, improvisation, chords, tablature, playing in group situations and more. With this knowledge, an aspiring musician will be prepared to enjoy a lifetime of playing music. Basic music theory can be taught using popular fretted stringed instruments like guitar, banjo, mandolin, and mountain dulcimer that can be played and enjoyed for an entire lifetime. Here is some of what will be covered in your online music lessons. The fundamentals of music covered are Note Values and Rhythm, Time Signatures, Sharps and Flats, Common Scales, Chord Structure, Chord Inversions and more of the elements of music. Lessons will also cover improvisation, playing with other people, music styles and other skills that will help students of any age to open doors to the world of music. *You will be up and playing quickly with painless and fun lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Deering Banjos, Boucher Minstrel Banjo for early playing styles, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, autoharp.
High defination webcam.
Full recording studio.
Cubase DAW.

*** Specialties ***
Banjo styles include Scruggs or 3 finger, Reno, melodic, early minstrel style. Mandolin style folk, country. Autoharp and dulcimer are taught using traditional styles.
...
Reviews
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Ze D. May 25, 2017
· Banjo · Online
Mark is a great teacher. He is patient, flexible and quick at spotting what you are doing wrong and how you can improve it. I am a novice banjo player, and have been struggling for the longest time with some basic issues. Mark has been helping me move past these fundamental difficulties, and it has been fun too.
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mike May 24, 2017
· Banjo · Online
Mark is a great teacher, especially for a beginner adult like me.
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Gordon S. May 9, 2017
· Mandolin · Online
Mark is an excellent teacher. He is well versed in Banjo and Mandolin techniques and music theory. He also teaches mountain Dulcimer, I believe. He brings forth the information in an interesting fashion as well as fun. His sense of humor is a delight which helps in the learning process. All in all, he is a teacher worth learning from.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Online
(19)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Ryan B.

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Chicago, IL

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I've been teaching banjo for 4 years helping students develop a love for the instrument and learn more about music along the way. My specialty is Scruggs style picking, but I'm also comfortable teaching clawhammer, reno, or melodic styles and enjoy working on hybrid and progressive styles, too. Within the first few lessons you'll have a solid base of picking and chord changes and even a few simple songs under your belt. Moving on from there I will craft lessons to move you toward a "goal song," making sure to cater your progress to your needs while keeping a focus on good technique. I enjoy working with students of all ages and experiences and I can't wait to meet you!

About Ryan
Ryan is a musician from Jefferson Park who plays a plethora of different instruments. He specializes in guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele, but also dabbles in accordion, piano, drums, harmonica and several others. Learning to play instruments is one of the true pleasures in his life and he hopes he can make it one of yours, too.

As a teacher Ryan's goals are fairly simple. First and foremost he wants to make his lessons comfortable, interesting and fun. A close second is to build a strong foundation on the basics, so as we learn more advanced techniques we have a solid base of technique to build upon. And third, an understanding of the theory and history behind the music is a great way to engage in the music beyond just the rote learning of technique.

After a brief foray in physics, Ryan settle into a degree in music at the Univer
sity of Illinois, specializing in Ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures). This education gave him a strong background in music theory and history in the Western tradition, but also opened him up to a vast experience of a diverse cross section of music from around the world. His insatiable love for learning new instruments started here, where he studied music from West Africa to Bali.

Currently Ryan is a co-lead singer, songwriter and stringed instrument player for the local band Distant Brothers, a folk rock band based out of Chicago. They play venues throughout the Midwest, with some of the notable venues being House of Blues, Metro and Cubby Bear in Chicago. Another highlight of his time with the band has been a collaboration with Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra, where he not only was able to play in collaboration with the orchestra, but joined in the arranging and conceptualization of some of the pieces played.
...
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Sydney January 17, 2018
· Banjo · Online
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CPO Rob January 12, 2018
· Banjo · Online
This was my first meeting an Banjo lesson. It was just perfect for my abilities. Homework was just great. One problem is my Web Cam is vertical not horizontal.
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Sigrid October 22, 2017
· Banjo · Online
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Ryan B.

Ryan B.

Online
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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Banjo Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Banjo instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Our teachers have taught

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Recent Banjo Articles from the Blog

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Are Heavy Metal Banjos The Next Big Thing?

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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