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: “Happy Birthday” (Key of G)

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.
Is a tune beloved by millions.
I wish I had written and was collecting
royalties, I'd be very happy.
Anyway, Happy Birthday, I've had a number
of requests for Happy Birthday.
And I will be doing two versions.
This is the version in G.
Pretty straight ahead, scrugsy, rolly sort
of a thing.
So, it's just very straight ahead.
Happy birth, you're playing the syllables.
Two forward rolls, quarter.
Now you're playing the bottom part of a D
chord, with the index on the second fret
of the third string and
the ring on the fourth fret of the fourth
Kind of a quarter note and then a forward,
turning into a backward roll.
Then going to the fifth string for
the next measure.
Another happy birth.
Day to.
Quarter notes with eighth notes.
Back to G.
And three forward rolls.
One, two, three, back to the third string.
Happy birthday.
Now I'm doing a pinch on the first two
Third fret of the second with a middle
Open first.
And two forward rolls.
So a quarter note.
Two forward rolls, alternating thumb
Two eighths.
I just have the ring on the fourth fret of
the fourth.
You can use the middle, it doesn't really
I like the ring.
then you're gonna go to a C cord with an
open first string.
Forward into a backward roll.
Bring the thumb down the the first.
I'm sorry, the first fret of the second
Now sliding into some rolls.
Fifth, first, thumb.
D seventh.
>> And then this all standard lick.
So that lick.
If you haven't learned that elsewhere in
these lessons, make sure you get that lick
It's the most used lick in the entire
bluegrass banjo vocabulary.
That should be second nature to you.
And there are some variations on that like
Again, the thing that people have trouble
with is, the forward roll going in to the
third string.
Going back again as opposed to.
There seems to be this, in, in human DNA,
this thing where people wanna go.
After they do a forward roll.
They wanna go to the fifth string.
But we're gonna do some DNA engineering,
some genetic engineering to make you not
go to the fifth string, necessarily.
But go back to the third string with the
one more time slowly all the way through.
And then up the tempo.