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Learn How To Play Five-String Banjo

by Bill Evans

The lively music of the five-string banjo is increasingly at home in all kinds of folk and popular music these days, from bluegrass to jazz and even classical music. Bill Evans has taught thousands of students over a career that now spans 45 years and he loves to create an individualized 1-on-1 course of instruction, based on the player's experience level and short- and long-term goals. 

  • Course Duration10 Weeks

  • Course LevelBeginner

  • Instruction LanguageEnglish

Taught On

  • Skype

US$102(1-on-1 Class)

per class

(Tax Exclusive)

Recommended - 1 Week = 1 Class

1 Class = 60 minutes

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Educator Profile

Bill Evans

45 Years Experience

From: United States

  • Teacher Skill Keywords:
    five string banjo, melodic style, Scruggs style, single-string style

Course Details

Bill's teaching is shaped to the needs and goals of each individual student. Playing with relaxation and utilizing comfortable hand positions for fretting chords and picking melodies is essential to a foundation of great playing. Bill will help you find what hand positions work best for you. From there, you'll learn the essentials of Earl Scruggs' three-finger picking styles and play bluegrass banjo classics such as "Cripple Creek," "Cumberland Gap," "Fireball Mail," "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and much more. Other topics that can be discussed include accompanying others in bluegrass and folk ensembles, playing melodic and single-string styles, and learning the progressive banjo techniques of Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Noam Pikelny, and others playing fiddle tunes, jazz and contemporary tunes using the three-finger technique. Tablature examples are included in all of Bill's lessons and he has hundreds of topics to present. Student requests are more than welcome! The frequency of lessons is up to each individual student, depending upon their budget and available practice time.

The three-finger right-hand picking technique developed by Earl Scruggs ("Foggy Mountain Breakdown") opens the door to play all kinds of music on the five-string banjo. "Scruggs style" is great for playing bluegrass, country, and folk standards and also provides the technique that is ideal for accompanying singers and other instrumentalists in bands. In addition, Bill teaches melodic and single-string styles, which both can open the door to a more advanced study of scales, chords, and modes, while you learn to play fiddle tunes, jazz standards, Beatles songs and much more.

About the Coach: Bill Evans is a highly recognized and revered banjo player, known internationally for his talent and even being described as a "five-string banjo life force" by his peers. With a career that has spanned over thirty-five years, Bill is a passionate performer, a deeply knowledgable teacher as well as an excellent composer and writer. His thousands of fans worldwide, as well as his students, would agree that he brings an intense level of virtuosity as well as a contagious and unwavering passion to everything about the banjo.

Bill is known for successfully bridging the gap between contemporary and a more traditional sound, as well as shaking up the traditional playing techniques. Using these unusual methods, he has created a new style of music that is still firmly situated within the traditions of bluegrass while also drawing upon his vast wealth of knowledge of world music, classical and jazz.  He has achieved this fine balance by using his previous experiences as a Music at the University of California graduate, his time in Berkeley, and of course, the International Bluegrass Music Museum where he is the associate director.  As an expert player of the mid-19th century minstrel style banjo as well as late 19th to early 20th-century classic style banjo, Bill has a uniquely authentic performing style and showcases all of his widely diverse performing interests at his solo concert, "The Banjo in America."


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