Lesson #001, Introduction to the Banjo

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #001, Introduction to the Banjo

Hello Everybody,

My name is David Cavage, and welcome to MusicMoose.org. Now here on Music Moose, I'm going to be teaching you how to play the 5-string banjo. As a matter of fact, I'm going to be teaching you most everything I know about playing the 5-string from beginning Bluegrass for those of you have never played the banjo before, or for those who have never considered it right through to advanced playing techniques and concepts for Bluegrass and beyond.

Now, whether you want to play Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues, Rock or any other type of music, you can do it all on the 5-string banjo. It is truly an amazing instrument of which the possibilities are endless. So, I hope you'll pick one up for yourself and start to explore for yourself.

Now, I'm going to be beginning these series with beginning Bluegrass banjo and then along the way I'm going to be talking about many different things from scales, chords, backing up other musicians, music theory, improvisation among other things. Actually, I'm going to be talking about improvising from almost the very beginning because its my hope that as you continue through these lessons, your playing becomes highly individualistic and to be able to play how you want to play the banjo, to have it sound how you want it to sound and bring out your artistic side and bring out your creativity. When that happens, it is a very excellent feeling to be able to express yourself with your instrument.

Now, I do have to say that when you fist start out learning Bluegrass banjo, it is very important to listen to and mimic others playing. Now, I'll take Earl Scruggs for example. I'm going to be teaching in the style of Earl Scruggs. We'll explore different rolls, and roll patterns that he's developed and still does to this day, which is very cool. I'm also going to be giving you my own interpretations of songs until you begin to feel comfortable on your own to go and explore your own ideas.

Now, I also have to say that these things are going to take a little time. Playing banjo isn't going to happen over night, its going take a little time to take your playing through different levels of ability. Now, you can play however you want, whether you want to learn the whole spectrum of banjo playing or just dabble here or there or just learn one song for yourself. Remember, you're only a click away from anything you want to pursue with these lessons.

So thanks for joining me everybody and continuing to join me with these lessons here on Music Moose. I know I'm very excited myself about watching these videos and learning new things because the process of learning never ends. There is always something new to learn, and something new to create. So once again, welcome to MusicMoose.org and we'll see you next time right here.


David Cavage

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About Me

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In 2009, at the age of 60, I decided to learn to play the 5-string banjo. I searched the internet for lessons and struck gold when I found David Cavage's free banjo lessons at Musicmoose.org. His video hosting site revver.com was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. Revver.com stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, Musicmoose.org is no more. I contacted David early 2020 and he told me he no longer had the original master videos and feared they may have been lost forever. This amazing course of free banjo lessons, from absolute beginner to advanced player, is too good to be forgotten, so this is my attempt to get David's work back out there again so that he can teach, inspire and spread the joy of banjo pickin' to more generations of budding musicians, just like he did with me. I've rounded up all the Moose stuff I could find and put it here, so start pickin' and enjoy!-------MooseHerder.