Tyson Farmer:   Music Lessons

Banjo Lessons

Comedian Steve Martin once said it is impossible to play a depressing song on the banjo. Once I learned how to fingerpick the guitar as a classical guitar major in college, learning the banjo was a pretty simple transition. As a result, I learned quickly because on guitar, I'd already done any hard work needed to have a fun and easy payoff with the banjo. I have recorded with the banjo and played for fun with other musicians in the years following, and am glad I took the time to learn to play, since it is an instrument that always makes people smile.
    The hardest part of learning to play the banjo is learning to fingerpick. Once you learn this skill, everything else becomes a bit easier to learn and make music with. So after teaching the basic chord shapes, I make this a priority and apply it to playing with songs you like. In fact, there doesn't have to be a banjo in a song for you to be able to play along with it- chords are a universal factor with guitar, piano, and any other instrument that plays more than one note at a time.
    Although the banjo is most often associated with the musical style of bluegrass, it is featured in many country, crossover country, southern rock, classic rock, and even pop songs since its sound lends a high energy feel to music wherever it goes. Musicians from The Eagles to Taylor Swift to Led Zeppelin have used the banjo in their music. If this kind of sound and musical feel appeals to you, give banjo lessons a try!

My teaching skills with this instrument

I taught myself to play the banjo in my early college years, and have played it for fun as a side hobby ever since. I teach beginning up to intermediate-advanced levels, as well as some advanced concepts. Since I have a wide variety of musical tastes and am versed in many music styles, I can teach bluegrass style banjo as well as rock, southern rock, country, and any other style that can accommodate the sound of the banjo.

If you have any further questions I couldn't answer here, check out my FAQ section.

Concepts I teach:

Right and left hand techniques
Open major and minor chords
Developing hand muscle memory
Right hand picking patterns
Clawhammer technique
Changing chords while fingerpicking
Reading banjo tablature
Playing melodies and lines
Names of the frets
Chord construction
Sharps and flats (# & b)
Octaves and their role
Bar chords
Chord embellishments: 7s, 9s, etc.
Tuning with an electronic tuner
Tuning by ear
Rhythm and tempo
Rhythmic notation
Reading chord charts
Improvisation and soloing
Playing by ear
Slurs- hammeron, pulloff, slide, bend
Using the internet as a song resource
...and much more than I can list here!