So you want to learn how to play the banjo…? You’ve come to the right place!
I have been playing bluegrass banjo for more than 15 years. I have had the good fortune of playing with some of the finest bands from across the country – including Big Fat Gap, Blue Canyon Boys, Mipso, Meadow Mountain, Thunder and Rain, Scott Slay and the Rail, and Mandolin Orange – and some of the premier bluegrass musicians in the country – including members of Leftover Salmon, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Larry Keel, Jon Stickley Trio, Town Mountain, and many more.
All the while, I have enjoyed teaching the banjo to a wide variety of students, hoping to instill in them the confidence and ability to play with others and to foster a love for bluegrass music. Outside of music, I also led a 7-year career as a middle school math teacher, which gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time thinking about teaching and how students learn. I love teaching, I love the banjo, and I’d love to help you in your journey to learn the banjo!
Why Banjo Lessons with Chris Roszell?
After teaching banjo lessons to a wide variety of people and teaching math to hundreds of middle-schoolers, I have learned (over and over again!) that everyone learns differently. It is my job to teach in a way that fits your learning style and gets you closer to your goals.
The Goal: Playing with People
Sure – it can be enjoyable and relaxing to sit at home and play tunes, but the real joy of bluegrass begins when you are able to play with other people. I always encourage my students to work towards the long-term goal of being comfortable playing with other musicians. Most of my students have gone on to play bluegrass socially, and a handful have even gone on to join bonafide bluegrass bands!
Picking the Banjo Is Fun
Whether you’re working on ripping Foggy Mountain Breakdown at break-neck speeds, or learning to cruise with the Kruger Brothers, I guarantee you’ll have a good time doing it. Learning any new skill requires practice and discipline, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a grind. Let’s have fun learning and picking!
Learning By Ear and Learning How to Learn
One nice thing about learning bluegrass is that you don’t have to know how to read music to learn new tunes. Bluegrass is based in a tradition of teaching person-to-person and played without sheet music. If you’ve never learned by ear before – its fun, its intuitive, and it helps you make music with other people more easily. Eventually, you will get to the point where you can sit down with your banjo and your favorite recording and learn it by ear.