This is a public version of the members-only Banjo with Tony Trischka, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Banjo with Tony Trischka.
Join Now

Level 1: Beginner
Level 2: Intermediate
Level 3: Advanced
Old Time Fingerpicking
Classic Style Banjo
Celtic Tunes
30 Day Challenge
Playing Backup
«Prev of Next»

Banjo Lessons: Composition Part 2: Numbers

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Level 1: Beginner

+Level 2: Intermediate

+Level 3: Advanced

+Old Time Fingerpicking

+Classic Style Banjo


+Celtic Tunes

+Playing Backup

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Banjo with Tony Trischka.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Banjo with Tony Trischka. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Banjo Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Another thing that you can do is take
somebody's phone number and
take those notes and, and turn them into a
I'm not gonna mention names because I
don't, I was,
I was asking the phone number of the fine
folks who, are running this company.
And, David and Patricia.
And they had a zero in their area code.
Zero's kind of a hard number to work with,
so I bailed out on that, and asked for
their birthdays.
And unfortunately, maybe I'm giving too
much away here, but so
one of them, their birthday is July 8th,
So, the numbers, you get from that are
7,8, 59.
The other, the birthday is April 11th,
1954, 4, 11, 54.
So, what I did is I wrote down 7, 8, 5, 9,
4, 11, 5, 4.
Now, each one of those numbers can relate
to a, a,
a note, in the scale.
So, since I'm always thinking about G,
let's say you're in G.
What's the seventh note of the G scale?
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
it's F-sharp, or the fourth fret of the
first string.
The eighth note is G.
The fifth string, then the fifth note.
D and the ninth note, A.
So thus far you have.
And you might wanna move these fingerings
around because I was fretting the, the
first note, the seventh at the fourth fret
of the first string and then I ended up
moving it up here to the seventh fret of
the second string 'cause it worked a
little bit better for what I'm doing here.
So that's one birthday.
And then the next birthday, 4, 11, 54,
I broke down to 4, 1, 1, I'm sorry, 4, 11,
I kept the 11, and then 5, and 4.
So you have 4 which is a C.
The 11 which is the same as
the fourth note.
Up an octave.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
And then five.
D, and then four.
And you put it together and you got.
So, it actually turns out to be a very
pretty kind of a thing.
And then I just changed it at this point.
Take it from the beginning.
I'm sorry.
So that's what I came up with just taking
these two birthdays and stringing them
together and you get a very pretty sound.
So, and again this isn't a completed piece
it gets you li, like an A section and you
can just go off and explore from there.
So that's another strategy.
Take someone's phone number.
And use the numbers, to give you notes of
the scale,
one being the first note of the scale,
five being the fifth note of the scale.
And I happen to do this in G because I'm
so G centric from playing the banjo for
all these years, but you can say I'll try
this in D, or E, or F sharp, or
wherever you wanna do it.