Featured on Guitar Noise


  1. Danie
    March 8th, 2012 @ 2:08 am

    thank you this is realy helping ,im just Batling with my pinky on the D note but ill just pracise.

  2. Anthony
    May 28th, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Hi Please confirm,You mention chords and not notes on the banjo, my friend playes banjo his fingers just keep hopping of what looks like notes on the fret board,it does not look like he is holding down chords, am i right

    Kind Regards Anthony

    • David Hodge
      June 1st, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

      Hi Anthony

      And thank you for writing. Chords are made up of notes and, usually, when a banjo player (or a guitarist for that matter) is jumping around on the fretboard, they do so in particular patterns, which are (again, usually) based on scale positions which are, in turn, based on where various chord shapes are played up and down the neck. When one is starting out, it makes sense to concentrate on learning where these chord shapes are so one can quickly develop the technique and speed to shift from one position to another.

      There are, of course, many ways to learn!

      Hope this helps.


  3. Lorraine
    June 1st, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    Great! Haven’t played in a while and it is coming right back. How do I find the next lesson? T.Y.

  4. Robert
    June 28th, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    As in playing Guitar there are the 5 Root shapes on the fretboard.I have a copy of the complete fret board for 5 string Banjo but for the life of me I am unable to find the root shapes. Any Help would be appreciated!!!


    • David Hodge
      June 30th, 2012 @ 11:11 am

      Hi Robert

      Because of the open G tuning of the five-string banjo, players tend to focus on three basic shapes instead of five. The first one is simply barring all the strings at any given fret, such a playing all open strings for G or all the strings on the fifth fret for C. The root note of this shape will be on the G string.

      The other two chord shapes you can find in this lesson: https://www.guitarnoise.com/lesson/mastering-the-neck-of-the-5-string-banjo/ For the “F” shape, the root note is on the D string. For the “D” shape, the root note is on the B string.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to post any further questions you may have. I look forward to chatting with you again.


  5. Bill
    November 20th, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Hi Pease,
    I am just starting on the chords and I have really large hands and fingers. I find that I am not able to single out a string without touching another string that should be open.
    Do you know of any finger ‘gloves’ that can be worn so as to be able to pick out only a single string for chords?
    Many thanks,


  6. Harke
    December 7th, 2012 @ 3:28 am

    Hey, thank you very much for the lesson. iam looking forward for the next one.
    Nice greetings from Germany

  7. johnny vee
    February 15th, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    this is awesome. thank you for doing this. tremendous help!!!!

    March 3rd, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    This is great…. Thank You SO MUCH. I took clawhammer lessons several years ago and have played that style since.. I now want to play bluegrass picking style in the worst way !!! I have been practicing with tidbits like this that I pick up . I must say that this is the most helpful one yet. I may be learning bad habits by doing it myself, without lessons, but I am enjoing it at 61 years old. I really wish I had done this 40 years ago !!! Thank You Again for your time !!!!

  9. Flausch
    February 13th, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

    I live in germany and its extremely hard (or should i say impossible?) to find anione here who teaches the five string!I have to rely on youtube lessons and good stuff like this here!i play for allmost 3 years and still didnt get surten stuff.Your lessons really help to actually understand whats giong on without digging my way through tons of music theory! Great I love it had such a good evening with your lessons
    Liebe Gr├╝sse

  10. Tim
    August 27th, 2015 @ 8:38 am

    Thank you for taking the time to develop and post these lessons. I’ve just started learning to play the banjo and love it. I find learning the chords and consistently finding them challenging, but rewarding when my picking starts to resemble the makings of a melody. The visual tabs along with the MP3 downloads are very beneficial. Tim

  11. tony
    October 2nd, 2015 @ 2:46 pm

    I bought a 5 string banjo on Monday,found your site on Friday and think its great for learners.
    Look forward to continued viewing.
    Thanks very much
    Tony ( U K)

  12. andrew deshaw
    May 31st, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

    I am really enjoying working on the rolls and the way they sound on the banjo. Great lessons. I can use these rolls in folk finger picking as well.