Mark of Cain

Makin Music

Edited: June 3rd, 2014

In 2012 I decided to act on a long time desire to investigate the 5 Sting Banjo.  I guess my historical roots in the Appalachian Mountains were a significant contributing factor to that desire.  My family attended community square dances when I was a child and I remember Grand Pa Jones on the TV show "Hee Haw" being about the happiest man I've ever seen playing an instrument.  In some degree the uniqueness of the instrument fueled my attraction.  In 2012 I knew no one, personally, who played the instrument.

Enter the internet and Youtube.  After watching a few videos on youtube, I found a style and teacher who had a huge number of instructional videos.  Those videos were by Patrick Costello.  He teaches a banjo style known as frailing or clawhammer.  He has enough videos in progression that you will be able to grasp the basics of the instrument and he will take you to advanced techniques.

Patrick's philosophy of music and instruction are somewhat unique in the world of online banjo instruction.  All of his books are in the public domain and his teaching style is very personable. Here is one of his videos: