By the end of the course you will have a repertoire of fifteen popular Irish session tunes. The course has 18 lessons, broken into 3 to 4 tutorials each, where tunes are taught phrase by phrase.
This course is aimed at the absolute beginner tenor banjo player. It’s for a four-string tenor banjo tuned to GDAE. Lessons cover how to hold the instrument and plectrum, how to tune the strings and the proper hand and finger positions. There is a progressive study of scales and ornamentation throughout the course. Trebles, triplets and the use of double stops will feature, particularly in the later lessons. A wide variety of tune types and keys are taught, phrase by phrase.
Here are the popular Irish traditional tunes that are taught in this course:
Britches Full Of Stitches
The Taureen Polka
The Lilting Banshee
Gerry Beaver’s Hat
Out On The Ocean
The Concertina Reel
The Rights Of Man
The Winnie Hills Of Leitrim
The Humours Of Westmeath
Humours Of Whiskey
John Blessing’s Reel
The Golden Stud
Sheet Music and Mp3s available to Download for each Tune
Sample Sheet Music
Sample mp3 of The Kerry Polka
Recommended Tenor Banjo for Beginners
17 fret (short neck) 4 string tenor banjo tuned to GDAE is recommended for these lessons and Irish music in general. Entry level banjos can be bought from Gold Tone which are fairly good for beginners and improvers but better quality vintage instruments can be got within the same price range with some shopping around.
Advice Starting Out with the Tenor Banjo
Enjoy the journey, the process of learning, and don’t be too focused on the end goal, be patient. It is highly recommended to be familiar with any tune you are learning before learning how to play it, so download the mp3 file and listen to it frequently first before picking up your instrument. Watch and listen to the tutor and try to copy the notes she is playing exactly. After a while you will be familiar with the notes and how they should sound, meaning you will have trained your ear, to hear if you are playing correctly. This is how Irish music has been traditionally handed down through generations.
Detailed questions and discussion on the course can be found in the Community Forum, available to paying members only.