19 Best Banjo Book Reviews 2020 (Best Books to Learn Banjo)

Best Banjo Books & Best Book to Learn Banjo

Best Banjo Books & Best Book to Learn Banjo

The banjo book is a guide as well as instructional book that contain all the information, techniques and method needed to become a good banjo player. The Banjo books are your indispensable companion when it comes learning how to play the banjo. The Banjo books are not only recommended for beginners, banjo players are also advised to get the book as it exposes them to the basics and enhances their playing Skills.

No mater your level of expertise, you will always learn something new from a banjo books. This Banjo Books buying guide is packaged to familiarize you with the best banjo books available and also give you some facts about the banjo and the features you stand to enjoy when you get your copy of Banjo book.

What are the Best Banjo Books to Buy?

2) Banjo for Dummies: Book + Online Video and Audio Instruction

  • A full banjo buyer’s guide
  • Techniques for picking Bluegrass
  • Over 150 video as well as audio examples

1) Bluegrass Banjo for Complete ignoramus

  • Pure & Naked Melody
  • Ninety-nine instructional materials
  • Popular Songs
  • Great Value

3) Earl Scruggs and the S –string Banjo: Revised and Enhanced Edition – Book with CD

  • Banjo Tuning
  • More than 40 songs
  • Right hand rolls as well as left-hand techniques

Interested to Learn Banjo Online? Check These Websites!

What is a banjo?

A banjo is a stringed instrument that has between four to six strings, equipped with a thin membrane that stretches over a mount or space which helps it with resonation. The frame or cavity is usually circular in shape and is known as the head.

Some facts about Banjo

  • The banjo is a musical instrument that was invented by the west African living the Caribbean in the 17th century
  • The ancient banjo’s body was made of gourd while a wooden stick was used for its neck
  • The origin of the word banjo is still uncertain and it remains a topic of debate. According to the Oxford dictionary, the origin comes from the Portuguese word known as bandore while others claims that the word was originated from the Kimbundu word known as mbanza
  • The four string plectrum banjo has featured in several musicals such as Hello, Dolly! Cabaret and Annie
  • The Banjo music is not limited to folk and rock music, others kinds of music can be played on this fantastic instrument. Some renown professional banjo player like Bela Fleck plays classical, jazz as well as R&B on the Banjo
  • Just like other string instruments there numerous ways a banjo can be played. The traditional style involves the player picking the string in upward motion with the use of the fingers while using the thumb for the downward motion. The Clawhammer technique is also referred to as frailing. This techniques employs the use of down-picking almost exclusively.

What does banjo book contains?

When you buy a banjo book today, the following are part of what the book is expected to contain. You must be aware of the fact that there are varieties of banjo books with varying features and contents. When you open a banjo book you will find the followings:

  • The Basics of banjos
  • Banjo maintenance tips
  • Practice exercises to boost your playing skills
  • Downloadable Practice example and videos
  • Classic Bluegrass songs
  • How to choose and change strings
  • Tips and strategies to make you a better player

There are many other features that come according to the type of the banjo book and the aspects which the author likes to emphasize. To known the best banjo book to buy, we have painstakingly reviewed the best Banjo books available.

When you go through the reviews, you will discover the distinct features of each of the books. This will guide you toward getting the one that is perfect for you whether as a beginner, intermediate or an expert banjo player.

19 Best Banjo Book Reviews

1) Bluegrass Banjo for Complete ignoramus

Authored by Wayne Erbsen, The bluegrass Banjo for complete ignoramus will teach you how to play banjo with fun. This banjo book is ultimately packaged for absolute beginners without any prior knowledge of banjo. This book is unequalled because it comes with a personal guarantee by the author affirming that it will help you learn how to play a bluegrass banjo effectively.

The Bluegrass Banjo teaches the pure and naked melody to the 23 simple bluegrass favorite. This book is an excellent banjo book that teaches learner how to play a song in multiple ways instead of just memorizing a single way.

The author is a seasoned banjo teacher; he has presented the book in an unbeatable way that will make you become an independent banjo player. Apart from that, Wayne shows an easy way to embellish each melody with the help of the simple rolls.

The Bluegrass Banjo for Complete ignoramus comes with a link that can be used to download about ninety-nine instructional materials. This excellent banjo book will teach you how to play the following songs:

  • Down the Road
  • Mountain Blues
  • Long Journey Home
  • Nine Pound Hammer
  • Man of Constant Sorrow
  • Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms
  • When the Saint go matching in
  • Shall we gather at the river
  • And many more

2) Banjo for Dummies: Book + Online Video and Audio Instruction

Authored by Bill Evans, the Banjo for dummies is a great banjo book to consider buying. The book gives a clear presentation of steps involved in mastering the 5 –string banjo. The book takes you through with great attention to details as well as easy-to –comprehend instructions. The banjo for Dummies is an excellent banjo books for beginners with lots of attention given to the mechanics of banjo. The book is a great learning tool that comprises of song that are not so many.

The banjo for dummies is ideal for any individual who seek to learn this great instrument. It is also a useful guide for musicians who intend to boost their skills. The Banjo for dummies is a straightforward guide that everyone who is keen on playing banjo successfully must have.

When you get this book you will be able to get started with chords as well as picking patterns. Also, this excellent book will enable you explore Clawhammer and bluegrass banjo style. The Banjo for dummies comes with several notable features which are:

  • Tuning advice for your banjo
  • A full banjo buyer’s guide
  • Techniques for picking Bluegrass
  • Over 150 video as well as audio examples
  • Effective ways to change strings and select accessories and many more

3) Earl Scruggs and the S –string Banjo: Revised and Enhanced Edition – Book with CD

This is one of the best selling Banjo methods. The Earl Scruggs and the S-string Banjo Book has been of tremendous help to numerous players of banjo all over the world. The revised ad Enhanced edition comes with lots of intriguing features such as up-to-date lessons, more songs and lots of other amazing improvements.

The Earl Scruggs and the S –string Banjo book is all you need to start playing banjo. It will interest you to hear that the book comes with a CD featuring Earl Scruggs making explanations and also explaining over 60 examples. The Earl Scruggs and the S –String comes with all information that is you need to know in order to start playing the banjo professionally. You will get the following from the book:

  • History of the 5-string banjo
  • Getting familiarized with the banjo
  • How to read music
  • How to read tablature
  • Banjo tuning
  • Autobiographical notes
  • Steps on how to build a banjo
  • Right hand rolls as well as left-hand techniques
  • More than 40 songs and many more

4) You Can Teach Yourself Banjo

This is an excellent banjo book by Janet Davis. It is a great banjo book for new players. The book is clearly written and it comes with simple and easy-to-follow tablature. It also comes with CD that allows you to know how a song and exercise should sound. This awesome banjo book is an effective teaching guide for banjo tutors and also a great reference book for individuals learning the instrument.

Janet Davis is an outstanding author that presents her ideas in a direct, simple-to-comprehend video for the 5-strng bluegrass banjo. When you buy this book you will learn the following:

  • Simple ways to read tablature
  • Roll patterns
  • Licks
  • Chords
  • And many other guidelines that will help become a great melodic-style and bluegrass banjo player.

The book comes with a 60 minutes video which can be used to learn by hearing or with the tablature that comes with the companion book. The video comparison book can be purchased on its own. Another outstanding feature of this book is the inclusion of DVD. The DVD will take you through lesson 22 while the rest of the lessons requires a CD to enable you listen to those licks.

5) Clawhammer Banjo Tunes

This amazing banjo book was first published in 1973 and has taught a lot of people the techniques involved in playing a Clawhammer Banjo. This book has outperformed other banjo books in this category in a good number of ways.

The Clawhammer Banjo for the complete ignoramus is a designed to help beginners master the act of playing banjo easily and fast. The 40th Edition of this book is newly updated and repackaged with excellent spiral binding.

The new edition consists of the same easy-to-read, friendly and simple instruction just like the original book. Also, the new edition has been repackaged to teach you how to play up to 31 old-time songs. The banjo book teaches with a sense of humor as well as the laid back approach. The Clawhammer banjo for complete ignoramus will teach you how to play the following songs:

  • Buffalo gals
  • Cotton –eyed Joe
  • Cripple creek
  • Down in the willow Garden
  • East Virginia

This book is an excellent banjo book to consider buying for easy and swift learning of how to play banjo.

6) How to Play the 5 – String Banjo: Third Edition

Authored by Pete Seeger, this is a perfect banjo book for learners who are willing to practice and work hard to achieve their dream of becoming an excellent Banjo player. The book contains an highlight which that gives an extensive history of banjo and it also features a very explanatory section that teaches how to tune and hold the banjo. Buying this book is a great way to start learning banjo as a beginner as it takes you through every bit of info you need know regarding the banjo.

This is an essential manual for banjo players as well as tutors who want to upgrade their knowledge. The book includes lyrics melody line, solos notation in standard form, banjo accompaniment and tablature. This outstanding is well structured for easy learning, the chapters covers materials like hammering on, pulling off, double thumbing, a basic strum and so on.

7) Banjo Primer Book for Beginners Deluxe Edition

This is an excellent Banjo book written by Geoff Hohwald Geoff. This primer book is designed for beginning students who are keen on learning the playing techniques of the Scruggs style five string bluegrass banjo. The book presents its banjo teaching method in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

The Banjo Primer Book for beginner Deluxe Edition start with the banjo basics for the beginners. The book starts with an introduction into what a banjo is, some simple guides and These beginners lesson comes with an easy–to-follow guidelines that are very effective as a banjo teaching aid for individuals as well as group of learners. The course will serve as a bluegrass song book after mastering the basic techniques.

The Banjo book comes with a DVD that gives video instruction on each exercise allowing you to listen to all songs at three speeds. These are slow speed – for learning, medium speed – for practicing and up-tempo –for performance.

The Banjo Primer book comes with features that will help you learn fast and become a professional banjo player as fast as possible. You should note that the audio exercises, video lesson and tablature are also accessible online.

8) The Ultimate Banjo Songbook

The Ultimate Banjo songbook has an excellent compilation of banjo Solos that will enhance your learning. It is indeed a book for intermediate as well as those with little advanced knowledge of the instrument. The Ultimate Banjo Songbook is a super book that teaches you all what is required to become a professional Banjo player.

This book is comes with fantastic packages that allows you record demo for listening as well as playing along. The book comes with a code with which you can use to access online audios. A notable feature of this book is the multi –functional audio player which helps to carry out some functions such as setting the loop points, slowing down audio without changing the pitch, changing keys and others.

The Ultimate Banjo songbook is an excellent combination of banjo classics which include the following:

  • You are my sunshine
  • Great Balls of fire
  • Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  • Bye Bye Love
  • The Entertainer
  • Lady of Spain
  • Rocky Tops
  • An Antonio Rose and Many others

9) Hal Leonard Banjo Method – Book 1: for 5 – string Banjo

This is a fantastic banjo book that is well structured and written by a person who appreciates the importance of music theory as well as playing of instrument. The Hal Leonard Banjo method is a book that is highly recommended by music professionals and Teachers due to its simplicity and it is very easy to use.

The book presents the basic introduction to music theory as well banjo Playing Techniques for beginners. With just few lessons in this book, you will learn the chords, Banjo rolls and some classic songs.

The Hal Leonard Banjo Method comprises two cross referenced supplement books as well as two instructional books. These books are carefully structured to give learner an effective approach to the bluegrass style.

The audio can be easily assessed online with the help of the distinct code provided in each of the books. These audio can be streamed or downloaded as well. The audio files comes with a multiple – function audio player that helps you set loop points effectively, Change keys, slow down audio without affecting the pitch and Pan right or left.

The Hal Leonard Banjo Method is a good banjo book for beginner who needs a comprehensive and a detailed approach to the bluegrass style.

10) Bluegrass Banjo for Dummies

The Bluegrass Banjo for Dummies by Bill Evan is what you need to become a professional banjo player. You will definitely gain a lot from the book whether you are an absolute beginner or an experienced banjo player. The Bluegrass banjo for Dummies is your complete guide toward mastering the recent most popular contemporary and traditional picking styles.

The Bluegrass banjo for dummies comes with many outstanding features. Some of the features of this excellent banjo book are step by step instructions that give an unmatchable banjo playing experience, video clips, online audio and many more.

The book offers you everything you need to know in order to play any type of music on the five stringed Banjo. The books will get you started with the roll Pattern basics to Scruggs style picking.

When you get this book, you will be able to learn the left-hand techniques like pull-offs, slides and hammer- on. In addition, you will be able to play excellent sounding licks and perform nice tunes such as old Joe clack, Cripple Creek and many more.

11) Easy Banjo solos: For 5 – String Banjo

Authored by Mac Robertson, this Banjo book is an excellent guide book that is recommended by music instructor for effective learning of banjo playing techniques. It is an ideal banjo book for players who like the three finger playing style.

Also, the book comes with fantastic songs that are very easy to learn due the division of each song into two versions – the super easy version and the advanced version. The super easy version allows learners to get familiarized and master the song before proceeding to the advanced version.

The Easy Banjo solos is a book that allows you to play 5 –string banjo arrangements of your favorite songs like Merle Travis, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, and many others which are included in the updated second edition of this excellent reference to the banjo methods.

  • The Easy Banjo solos comes with numerous classical songs for practice, some of these songs are:
  • This Land is Your Land
  • Nine Pound Hammer
  • Ballad of Jed Clampett
  • Will the circle be unbroken
  • Hey, Goog Lookin
  • I will fly away
  • Ashokan Farewell and many more fantastic songs

This is an ideal banjo book to consider buying for practical learning of banjo playing techniques.

12) Absolute Beginners – Banjo: The Complete Picture Guide to Playing the Banjo

This is a great work of Bill Evans and it is a very good first book for bluegrass banjo. The Absolute Beginners – Banjo Book contains nearly everything a beginner will need to become familiar with Basic rolls, chords and many other basics. Bill Evans is a great teacher with many years of professional experience. This is evident from his book as the methods there are presented in a simple and easy-to-understand way.

The Bill Evan’s Absolute Beginners – Banjo Book is an ideal instructional material that can be used for classroom teaching as well as self-learning. This fantastic banjo book uses a method designed to make learning the five-string instrument simpler than what it used to be.

This book explains with step-by-step pictures as it takes you from the exercises of the first day of learning to the stage where you can play a complete song on your own. This banjo book is a one of its kind; it presents learners with the owner’s manual approach to the banjo. The Absolute Beginners – Banjo features the following:

  • A look and learn course
  • Practical tips about setting up, maintaining and playing your banjo
  • CD tracks that guide you on how things should sound
  • And many more

13) Clawhammer Banjo – Tunes, Tips & Jamming (book & CD set)

The Clawhammer Banjo – Tunes, tips & Jamming is an excellent banjo book that is purposely structured for beginners. The book presents the basic mechanics of Clawhammer in a simple method that anyone can understand easily. Apart from the fact that the book is beautifully organized, it is entertaining with concise and clear instruction. 

This book is ideal for everyone no matter your level of expertise whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced banjo player. The Clawhammer Banjo book comes with myriads of unparalleled features.

Some of these features are instructional MP3 CD, tabs and lyric to about forty-four ancient banjo tunes, effective tips on learning tunes on the fly. This excellent Banjo book will tutor you on how to jam as well as the art of faking it and improvising.

When you buy the Clawhammer Banjo – Tunes, tips & Jamming, you will learn how to play the following songs:

  • Big –Eyed Rabbit
  • Barlow knife
  • Blackest Crow
  • Chilly Winds
  • Hang Me

To enjoy these songs and many more, get your copy of the book on your next visit to the market.

14) Blues Banjo: Lessons, Licks, Riffs, Songs & More

This is a great banjo book credited to Fred Sokolow. The Author is a resourceful musician and writer. He has written lots of instructional materials and musical topics. The banjo book comprises the basics of banjo and examples that will help greatly in perfecting your banjo playing skills. This Banjo book adopts excellent teaching methods to enhance learning.

The book stands out among others because of the unique way it teaches how to play blues on the banjo. This is a fantastic banjo book to buy for effective learning of this amazing instrument. This fantastic banjo book will teach you the following:

  • How to play blues using different banjo tuning
  • How you can play in the style of blues such as John Hurt, Mississippi and many more
  • Scales
  • Chords
  • Numerous approaches to soloing
  • Tune around and boogie backup
  • How you can play blues up and down the neck
  • And many more

You will also have access to the songs listed below when you buy this great Banjo book:

  • Careless love
  • John Henry
  • The midnight special
  • Nobody knows you when you are down and out
  • See See riders
  • James inflammatory blues and many more

When you get this book, you will have access to online audio tracks that can be streamed or downloaded

15) Bluegrass Jamming on Banjo Books with CD

This is an awesome book for beginners with lots of songs for practice. It allows learners to play at their choice speed and style. This banjo books explains in a simple way the tools, tricks and tunes needed to jam in bluegrass style.

The bluegrass Jamming on banjo will teach practical method on what step to take as at your debut jam, how you can play tunes in a unique and improvised way each time you play and ultimately, hoe you can play up to thirty-one bluegrass jam standard.

The book is endowed with some unique features such as 200 vintage photo illustration, spiral binding, inclusion of instructional CD containing up to 197 MP3 tracks that can be played on your personal computer and so on.

The Bluegrass Jamming on Banjo books will teach you how to improvise by making your own tunes. Not only that you will be exposed to the techniques of playing melodies and include your own roll to the 31 classic jams. Apart from that, the Bluegrass jamming on Banjo books will teach you the following using a simple and easy-to-follow method:

  • How to lead a song
  • The jam etiquette
  • How you can start your break
  • How to jam on songs you are not familiar with
  • The ways to read tab
  • Structure of bluegrass songs and many more

16) Back–up Banjo

This is an amazing Banjo book written by Janet Davis. The book is well organized as it takes you from the basics of chords to playing backup. The Back –up banjo is an excellent book that is quite easy to follow with unmatchable backup banjo techniques.

The author presents the basic techniques that are commonly used to play the five stringed banjo. These techniques are usually employed to accompany instrumentalist as well vocalists.

The Back-up banjo is a standard banjo book to consider buying, it differentiates the various techniques in back-up into categories according to the tempo of the song, the fingerboard area in which a song is being played and the accompanying lead instrument.

The Back- up Banjo is a great banjo book authored by an experienced Banjo teacher that is referred to as a bluegrass and five-string banjo specialist. The Back – up Banjo Book comes with lots of intriguing features that will help you learn effectively and become an expert player within a very short period of time. All you need do is get the book and start practicing today.

17) How to Play Banjo – A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners

This is an highly recommended book authored by Ben Parker. Ben Parker is a great Musician, Producer, Songwriter having more than ten years of experience in musical teaching. He has presented every detail in this book with a touch of professionalism. This unique book is a short guide that is enough to get started.

The book covers the banjo basics and it is very simple to comprehend and follow. This excellent Banjo book is ideal for those without musical knowledge as it presents each detail with a simple yet comprehensive method. The book is perfect for learners of all ages. Some of the unique features of this book are listed as follows:

  • Easy-to-understand illustrations and methods
  • Easy practice exercise to follow
  • Learn at your own speed
  • Lots of playing methods and tips
  • Understanding banjo tablature reading techniques and many more

To start playing banjo like an expert, follow the instructions and the lessons in the book and practice as many times as possible to perfect your playing skills.

18) Easy Banjo songbook for Beginners with video & Audio Access

The Easy Banjo Songbook for beginners is an amazing banjo book designed to teach learners how to play beginners arrangement for ten standard blue grass songs. The Easy Banjo songbook for beginners comes as a perfect follow up for the Banjo Primer Deluxe edition earlier discussed.

This high-quality banjo book is designed to help you showcase your skills a jam session. The Easy Banjo songbook is endowed with features that are unequalled as it teaches how to play each song with a simple step-by-step instruction. Then, you will have an avenue to practice the songs along with a backup track.

Some of the features of this amazing Banjo book are the quick and easy online access of audio jam tracks, over three hours of video instructions, tabs for each song and so on. The Easy Banjo songbook for beginner’s course covers many songs and courses that will help improve skills quickly.

19) Complete 5 –String Banjo Method

This is a very detailed banjo book for beginners. The book is the brainchild of Ned Luberecki who is a fantastic banjo teacher as well as a great player. Considering the professionalism and the experience of the author, this banjo book is an indispensable resource for everyone who desires to learn the banjo. This banjo book is an excellent book that can be bought for family members and friends that desire to learn the playing techniques of banjo.

Apart from the beginners, banjo players who want to sharpen their playing skills can go for this excellent book. When you buy the book, you will have access to everything you need to know in order to start effective practice.

Also, the book is highly recommended for guitar players who are keen on expanding their musical horizon. The Complete 5 –string Banjo method teaches you all you need to know about banjo and how to play the instrument. You will learn the followings from the book:

  • Basic theory of music
  • Chords
  • Strumming
  • Reading of tablature

The book comes with classic songs such as folk, bluegrass and many others. it also comes with a video that makes learning easy and entertaining.

Choosing the Best Books to Learn Banjo

There are various kinds of banjo books in the market and they differ according to the author’s preference. This Banjo book buying guide has definitely exposed you to the necessary information you need to know before buying a banjo book.

2) Banjo for Dummies: Book + Online Video and Audio Instruction

  • A full banjo buyer’s guide
  • Techniques for picking Bluegrass
  • Over 150 video as well as audio examples

1) Bluegrass Banjo for Complete ignoramus

  • Pure & Naked Melody
  • Ninety-nine instructional materials
  • Popular Songs
  • Great Value

3) Earl Scruggs and the S –string Banjo: Revised and Enhanced Edition – Book with CD

  • Banjo Tuning
  • More than 40 songs
  • Right hand rolls as well as left-hand techniques

These extensive and eye-opening reviews of the best Banjo books contains major the information you need to know regarding the banjo, the banjo books and the best banjo books to get as a beginner, intermediate or an experts who wants to enrich his/her Knowledge and playing skills.