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Instruments > Banjo > Banjo Lessons with Tony Trischka

Online Banjo Lessons
with Tony Trischka

Tony Trischka has crafted a definitive banjo lesson library with hundreds of online video lessons. Students have unlimited access to in-depth banjo instruction, tablature, backing tracks, interviews and performances with dozens of bluegrass legends. Learn essential skills from one of the world's top banjo players.

 5-string banjo rolls  Solo & ensemble tips

 Lots of banjo tabs  Interviews with bluegrass icons

About Online Banjo Course with Tony Trischka

Immerse yourself in the world of Banjo music with Tony Trischka's comprehensive online Banjo course, available exclusively on ArtistWorks. Whether you're a complete beginner or an advanced musician, Tony Trischka, one of the most influential banjo players in the roots music world, is here to guide you through your musical journey.

This course offers a wide-ranging curriculum designed to suit all skill levels. It encapsulates everything from basic tuning and finger-picking techniques to advanced improvisation skills and in-depth study of various banjo styles, including bluegrass, old-time, folk, and more.

What sets this course apart is its interactive Video Exchange Learning® platform. This innovative feature allows you to submit practice videos to Tony himself. In return, you'll receive personalized feedback and instructions directly from the master, helping you understand and overcome your unique challenges.

Key Features:

  • Step-by-step Instruction: Clear, in-depth, and easy-to-follow lessons for players at every stage of their banjo journey.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Covers a wide array of banjo techniques and styles, ensuring a holistic understanding of the instrument.
  • Interactive Learning: Leverage the unique Video Exchange Learning® system to get personalized feedback from Tony Trischka.
  • Access to a Vibrant Community: Join a worldwide community of banjo enthusiasts, exchange ideas, ask questions, and share your progress.
  • Unlimited Access: Learn at your own pace with unrestricted access to hundreds of high-quality video lessons, sheet music, and more.
  • Exclusive Extras: Enjoy interviews, performances, and bonus content from Tony Trischka.

Don't miss this chance to learn from a banjo legend and unlock your musical potential. Enroll in Tony Trischka's online banjo course on ArtistWorks today and transform your banjo playing skills!

About Video Exchange® Learning

What ultimately sets these banjo lessons apart from other offerings is the ability to submit a video for review using the ArtistWorks Video Exchange Learning® platform. Tony reviews each submission and records a video response, offering specific guidance to take your playing to the next level. All students can access the Video Exchange library and watch each other’s interactions with Tony. This library is constantly expanding and may contain the key to unlock your playing.

About Tony Trischka

For nearly 40 years, Tony Trischka has been an inspiration for countless bluegrass and acoustic musicians. Tony made his recording debut with the band Country Cooking in 1971. Since then, he's recorded numerous solo albums, collaborated with artists like Peter Rowan and Stacy Phillips, and produced Steve Martin's Grammy-nominated album Rare Bird Alert. His 2004 album Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular also received a Grammy nomination and multiple IBMA awards. He has continued to push boundaries as one of the world's top banjo players, lending his expertise as music director for the documentary "Give Me the Banjo". Tony has taught banjo lessons at ArtistWorks since 2009, building a global learning community around his Video Exchange library.

Banjo Lessons

Level 1: Beginner

Welcome to the School
Working on Right Hand Separation of Notes
Playing with Others Part 1
Beginning Hammer-Ons Part 1
Beginning Hammer-Ons Part 2: “Shady Grove”
Holding The Banjo
Playing with Others Part 2: Beginning Back-up
Tuning the Banjo
Playing with Others Part 2B: Rolling Backup
Intro to Chords G C D7
Playing with Others Part 3
“This Little Light of Mine”
Right Hand Position
Left Hand Position
Reading Tablature
“Ode To Joy” Preamble
“Ode to Joy”
“Bucking Horse”
“Ode to Joy” - Part B
“Soldiers Joy” (Aunt Bertha Robinson Version)
Finger Picks
Finger Picks - Additional Tips On Placement
Pick Placement
Alternating Thumb Roll Exercises
Forward Rolls: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
“Raise a Ruckus” by Eric Weissberg -NEW!
Mixed Rolls: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
The Slide: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
"Skip to My Lou" - Down the Neck
Palming The Banjo
How to Practice
Osborne Roll: The F Chord - “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
Osborne Roll: “Boil Them Cabbage Down” Variation on 5th Fret
Osborne Roll: Fingering
Osborne Roll: “Sourwood Mountain”
D Chord
Note Emphasis
“Michael Row the Boat Ashore”
“Penny's Farm”
"Go Tell Aunt Rhody"
Practice Techniques & Reaching Goals
“Wildwood Flower” Key of C
“Wildwood Flower” - Version 2 - Down the Neck
“Old Joe Clark” Osborne Roll
Osborne Roll: “Cluck Old Hen”
"Chicken Reel" -NEW!
“The Watermill”
“Spanish Fandango”
Important Reminders From Tony
Call For Videos
Separation of Notes
Hitting the Head with the Picks
Keeping a Positive Attitude
Using the Capo
Beginning Hammer-Ons Part 3: “Mole in the Ground”
Right Hand Distance From The Bridge
Pull-Offs Part 1
“Buffalo Gals”
Pull-Offs Part 2: 3-2
Pull-Offs Part 3: “The Old Cat Died”
“The Old Cat Died” - Up the Neck
Pull-Off Etude 1
Pull-Off Etude 2
Choking the 2-3 Slide
2-3 Hammer-On Instead of 2-3 Slide
“John Hardy”
“You Are My Sunshine”
3/4 Time: “Down In The Valley”
Standing Position
Ear Training: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”
Finding the Melody: “When the Saints Go Marching In”
Record Yourself
Up the Neck Part 1: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
Up the Neck Part 2: “Skip to My Lou”
“Old Dan Tucker”
“Jesse James” by Eric Weissberg -NEW!
"Blackberry Blossom" - Barre Positions
Changing a String
Working on Speed
Roll with No Name - “Old Joe Clark”
Roll with No Name - “Shortnin' Bread”
Roll with No Name - “Cripple Creek”
“Cripple Creek”
“Cripple Creek” - Up the Neck
“Lil' Liza Jane” and the 2-3 Hammer On
“Red River Valley”
Straight Time vs. Bounce Time
“Shortnin' Bread”
Interchangeable Slides and Hammer-Ons
“Bury Me Beneath the Willow”
G Major Scale 3 Ways
Submit a Placement Video
Other Student Submitted Tunes: Beginner

Level 2: Intermediate

Working on Right Hand Separation of Notes
Travis Style - “Freight Train” -NEW!
Melodic Style - “Molly Bloom” by Alan Munde -NEW!
Sixths: “Dark Hollow” by Sammy Shelor -NEW!
Ideas for Composing on the Banjo -NEW!
Backup Off Beats - 3 Different Ways
Single String - “New Bedford” -NEW!
"Loch Lomond" in Double C Tuning
Fancier Backup
Playing in Bb without a Capo - “Sally Goodin” -NEW!
Earl's Backup for “My Little Girl in Tennessee”
Playing in Bb without a Capo - “New Camptown Races” -NEW!
Earl’s Backup for “Doin My Time”
Earl's Backup for “Cripple Creek”
Important Reminders From Tony
“Little Birdie”
Backup in D Without a Capo
“Long Journey Home” Developing Solos (with Bill Evans)
“Banks of the Ohio” - Down the Neck
JD Back-Up
“Banks of the Ohio” - Up the Neck
Earl's Backup for "Cripple Creek" - 1st and 3rd Backup
Earl's Backup for "Little Darlin Pal of Mine"
“Wildwood Flower” - Up the Neck Version
"The Old Spinning Wheel" -NEW!
Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll
"The Crawdad Song"
“Train 45”
“John Henry” by Ralph Stanley - FMB Roll
“Man of Constant Sorrow”
Chordal Inversions: Barre - F - D
“Jesse James” Double Banjos (with Bill Evans)
“Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms”
“Grandfather's Clock”
Roll Variety Hour Fun Fiesta
Bridge Placement
“Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind” - Key of C
“Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” - Key of D
Hot Licks (with Bill Evans)
3-0-2 Lick - “Black Mountain Rag”
Practice Techniques & Reaching Goals
Index - Middle - Index Exercise
Intermediate Hammer-Ons
“Bill Cheatham”
“Bill Cheatham” Hammer-On Etude
“Lonesome Road Blues”
Earl's Downward Thumb Rake
Earl Scruggs: “The Girl in the Blue Velvet Band”
“Wildwood Flower” - Earl Scruggs Version
“Lonesome Road Blues” by Earl Scruggs - Down the Neck
“Shortnin' Bread” by Earl Scruggs
Earl's Syncopation
20,000 Leagues Under the Banjo - “Old Joe Clark”
20,000 Leagues Under the Banjo - “John Hardy”
20,000 Leagues Under the Banjo: “Cripple Creek”
11 Ways to Leave Your Level
“Happy Birthday” (Key of G)
Transposing 1: “I'll Fly Away” (Key of G)
Transposing 2: “I'll Fly Away” (Key of C)
Transposing 3: “I'll Fly Away” (Key of D)
"Bury Me Beneath the Willow" - Bobby Thompson - Part One
"Bury Me Beneath the Willow" - Bobby Thompson - Part Two
“Bury Me Beneath the Willow” - Key of F
"Bye Bye Blues" by Allen Shelton -NEW!
“Shady Grove” (Modal)
“Sally Goodin” Position
The Diggy Diggy
Developing Scruggsy Solos
“Worried Man Blues”
“Worried Man Blues” - Up the Neck
“Salty Dog” by Ralph Stanley
“Sandy Boys”
“Sandy Boys” - Version 2
“Sitting On Top of the World”
“Sitting On Top of the World” - Up the Neck
“Shenandoah” - All Forward Rolls, All the Time
Pull-Off Etudes: "Cripple Creek"
“Swanee Jig” Pull-Off Etude
“Cindy” by Pete Seeger
Free Improvisation
Scruggsy Improvisation
“Whoa Mule”
“Cacklin' Hen”
Keith Tuning Pegs - Part 1: Setup & Use
Keith Tuning Pegs - Part 2: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
Keith Tuning Pegs - Part 3: “Silverado Trail”
Melodic Style Part 1
Melodic Style Part 2
Melodic Style - “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
Melodic Style - "Devil's Dream"
Melodic Style - "Sandy River Belle"
Melodic Style - "Sore Fingers Hornpipe" - Version 1
Melodic Style - "Sore Fingers Hornpipe" - Version 2
Melodic Style - "Black Mountain Rag"
Melodic Style - "Turkey in the Straw" (Jerry Garcia Arrangement)
“Blackberry Blossom”
Melodic Style - "Skip to My Lou" (Key of C)
Melodic Style - "Redwing"
“Sweet Georgia Brown”
Melodic Style - "Sweet Georgia Brown"
Melodic Style - “Big Sciota” - Down the Neck
The Bodacious Blend: Scruggs & Melodic - Introduction
The Bodacious Blend: Scruggs & Melodic - “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
The Bodacious Blend: Scruggs & Melodic - “Oh Susanna”
The Bodacious Blend: Scruggs & Melodic - “9 Pound Hammer”
Melodic Style - Key of C - Etude
Melodic Style - Key of C - "Oh Susanna"
Melodic Style - Key of C - "Billy in the Lowground"
Moveable Lick Pattern: 2 Frets Apart
“Little Rabbit”
More Metronome Work
Theory - Scales
Theory - Chords
Theory - Major Chords
Theory - Minor Chords
E Minor Part 1: “Pretty Polly” (Down the Neck)
E Minor Part 2: “Pretty Polly” (Up the Neck)
E Minor Part 3: “Red Rocking Chair”
Bluesy Solo
Chord Extension Theory
Melodic Style: “Skip to My Lou” (Key of D)
Chords in Proximity
“Roving Gambler”
Fiddle Tunes in D Part 1
“Old Molly Hare”
Fiddle Tunes in D: “Arkansas Traveler”
Fiddle Tunes in D: “Chinquapin Hunting”
Fiddle Tunes in D: “ Fox Chase”
“Nine Pound Hammer” Improv
Bela Single String Concepts - Getting Started
Single String Part 1
Single String Part 2
Single String: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
Single String: “Bill Cheatham”
Single String: “Arkansas Traveler”
Single String: Chordal Approach
Single String: “Green Fields of America”
Single String: "Arkansas Traveller" - Don Reno
Single String Finger Leaps
“Remington Ride” by Don Reno
3 Finger Single String - Exercises
3 Finger Single String - “June Apple”
3 Finger Single String: “Three Toed Rabbit”
“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”
Travis Style Part 1: “Yankee Doodle”
Travis Style Part 2: “Buckdancer's Choice”
Travis Style “Edgy”
“Red Haired Boy” Version 1
“Red Haired Boy” Version 2
Arpeggios in G
Arpeggios in C
Arpeggios in D
“Great Big Taters in a Sandy Land”
Blues Etude
Composition Part 1: Noodling
Composition Part 2: Numbers
Composition Part 3: 30 Seconds to a Minute Part 1 - “Napa Scramble”
Composition Part 4: 30 Seconds to a Minute Part 2
“Happy Birthday” (Key of C)
Thirds Exercise
Thirds: “John Hardy”
Bill Keith - Thirds Meet the Osborne Roll
“Danny Boy”
“Golden Slippers” - Up The Neck
“Golden Slippers” - Down The Neck
Hammer-On Etudes
Slide Etudes
“Soldiers Joy”
“Rickett's Hornpipe”
Diatonic Chords
“Sugar Coated Love” & Honky Tonk Licks
Tuning to D
D Tuning Part 1
“Ruben” - In D Tuning
“Shortnin' Bread” - in D Tuning
D Tuning Part 2: “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane”
D Tuning Part 3: “Soldier's Joy” 1
D Tuning Part 4: “Soldier's Joy” 2
D Tuning Part 5: “Liza Jane”
Double C Tuning
“Liberty” in Double C Tuning
“Cumberland Gap” Alternate Tuning
“Cumberland Gap” Alternate Tuning - A Part Variation
Full Diatonic Chords - Part 1
Full Diatonic Chords - Part 2
Other Student Submitted Tunes: Intermediate

Level 3: Advanced

Working with Limitations - "The 3rd String Etude" -NEW!
Working with Limitations - "The 5/4 Waltz" -NEW!
Working with Limitations - "Nicolai's Jig" -NEW!
Working with Limitations - Old Time F Tuning -NEW!
Working with Limitations - Highest to Lowest -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - Thirds -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - Chromatic Scale Pattern -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - Béla's Break on John Hardy -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - New Grass Revival Lick -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - Early Béla Blues Scale & Exercise -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - 80's Exercise -NEW!
A Potpourri of Early Béla - "Major Honker" -NEW!
Playing in the Key of E without a Capo -NEW!
Bela Rhythmic Subdivisions
TT Tidbits - Part 1
TT Tidbits - Part 2
“Sailor's Hornpipe”
Advanced Triplets - Part 1
Advanced Triplets - Part 2
Advanced Triplets - Part 3
Advanced Triplets - Part 4
“Heavy Traffic Ahead”
Other Drones - Part 1: 3rd String Pattern
Other Drones - Part 2: “John Hardy” Using 3rds
Other Drones - Part 3: Rhythm Variation
Other Drones - Part 4: “John Hardy” Using Rhythm Variation
Other Drones - Part 5: “Cripple Creek”
Other Drones - Part 6: “Cripple Creek” Variation
Other Drones - Part 7: 4th String Pattern
Other Drones - Part 8: 3rd and 4th String Pattern Etude
Other Drones - Part 9: Pinch Pattern Variation
Other Drones - Part 10: "Cripple Creek" A Part Variation
Other Drones - Part 11: "Cripple Creek" B Part Variation
Other Drones - Part 12: 1st and 3rd String Pinch Pattern
Other Drones - Part 13: "9 Pound Hammer" Useful Pinch Lick
Other Drones - Part 14: "John Hardy" Using 6ths
Other Drones - Part 15: 1st and 3rd String Pinch Pattern Variation
Other Drones - Part 16: "John Hardy" Using Chromatic Pattern
Other Drones - Part 17: Middle String Pedal Pattern
Other Drones - Part 18: Middle String Pedal Pattern Etude
Melodic Scale Patterns
Single String Scale Exercises
“The Hee Haw Theme”
Don Reno: “When You and I Were Young Maggie”
“Sally Johnson”
Backward Alternating Thumb Rolls
Shelton Roll 1: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”
Shelton Roll 2: “Salty Dog”
Shelton Roll 3: Ending Lick
“The Danny Thomas”
Advanced Scale Techniques
Improvisation Technique: Ron Cody
Four in a Row 1: “John Hardy”
Four in a Row 2: FMB Lick
Four in a Row 3: Etude
Four in a Row 4: “Salty Dog”
“Blackberry Blossom”
“Salt River” - Key of A - No Capo
Drop C Tuning: “Espanoletas”
”Cattle in the Cane“ - Key of A - No Capo
Double Forward Roll
Transposing: “Turkey in the Straw” in G and C
“Death March”
E Flat
E Flat: “Whiskey Before Breakfast”
Advanced Improvisation
“Cherokee Shuffle” - Noam Pikelny's Break
“The Band Beautiful”
“Plantation Symphony”
Bela Arpeggio Technique
Bela Scale Technique
Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Bach Violin Sonata
Bela Bartok - 6 Miniatures #1
“Allegretto” by Stravinsky
“Chorando Em Sao Paulo”
Mixolydian Mode
Aeolian Mode (Sixth)
The Dorian Mode - Part 1: The Dorian Scale
The Dorian Mode - Part 2: Dorian Etude 1
The Dorian Mode - Part 3: Dorian Scale Pattern in 3/4 Time
The Dorian Mode - Part 4: Dorian Etude 2
“Devil's Dream” - Variations
“Old Joe Clark” (Advanced)
Playing in the Key of E Without a Capo
Other Student Submitted Tunes: Advanced

Old Time Fingerpicking

New Tuning: Calloway
Dock Boggs Part 1: “Pretty Polly”
Dock Boggs Part 2: “Coke Oven March”
Dock Boggs Part 3: “Sugar Baby”
Dock Boggs Part 4: “Cumberland Gap”
Snuffy Jenkins Part 1: “Cripple Creek”
Snuffy Jenkins Part 2: “Wood Pile”
“Black Jack Grove”
“Tom Dooley” by Pete Seeger
“Bucking Horse”
“Soldiers Joy” (Aunt Bertha Robinson Version)
"Marching Jaybird" -NEW!
"Jonestown Blues" -NEW!

Classic Style Banjo

Picking In The Parlor- Classic Style Banjo
“Home Sweet Home”
“This House Is Haunted”
“Plantation Symphony”
“Washington Post March”
“Onion Rag”
“Rattling Clog”
“Pauline Waltz”
“Prairie Breezes”
"The Hurricane Rag" -NEW!


“Chinquapin Pie”
“Boatin' Up The Sandy”
“Last Chance”

Celtic Tunes

“Sheebeg Sheemore”
“Kinlock of Kinlock”
“A Stranger in Cork”
“The Golden Castle”
“Saint Patrick's Day”
"Loch Lomond" in Double C Tuning

Playing Backup

Playing with Others Part 1
Playing with Others Part 2: Beginning Back-up
Playing with Others Part 2B: Rolling Backup
Playing with Others Part 3
Backup Off Beats - 3 Different Ways
Fancier Backup
Earl's Backup for “My Little Girl in Tennessee”
Earl’s Backup for “Doin My Time”
Earl's Backup for “Cripple Creek”
Backup in D Without a Capo
JD Back-Up
Earl's Backup for "Cripple Creek" - 1st and 3rd Backup
Earl's Backup for "Little Darlin Pal of Mine"

40 Warm Up Exercises

40 Warm Up Exercises

30 Day Challenge

30 Day Challenge - 2017 (Archive)
30 Day Challenge - 2018 (Archive)

Earl Jam Tunes -NEW!

"Brown's Ferry Blues" -NEW!
Earl Jam - "Cripple Creek" -NEW!
Earl Jam "Lady Madonna" -NEW!


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  • Unlimited Access to Lessons
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  • Unlimited Video Submissions to Teacher
  • Music Theory Workshop
  • Backing Tracks across Instruments
  • VIP Bonus Content
  • 100s of banjo lessons at your own pace
  • All levels and styles of playing welcome
  • Slow Motion & Looping on videos

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