Lesson #004, Fingerpicks and Tuning the Banjo

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #004, Fingerpicks and Tuning the Banjo

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to the Moose. The fingerpicks are used to pick/play the banjo. They consist of a thumbpick for your thumb and two fingerpicks for the index and middle fingers of your right hand. The standard tuning of the banjo used largely in bluegrass is called open G-tuning. It consists of tuning the first string to D, the second string to B, the third string to G, the fourth string to D( an octave lower in pitch than the first string which I'll be explaining in the next segment), and the fifth string tuned to G ( and octave higher in pitch than the third string). The first string is located on the lower end of the banjo head as it is sitting in your lap. You can also hear the tuning of the banjo in the video and try to tune the banjo to either the sound of the video, or an electronic tuner.

Thanks again for joining me and we'll see you next time right here.


David Cavage

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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.