Ten Great Books to Learn to Play the Banjo

I have bought a lot of books to learn the banjo, some are good and some aren’t so good. Here is a list of some of the best and most popular banjo books. I get something out of almost every book that I buy, but some stand out of the crowd. If you want more information or would like to buy one of these books, just click on the pictures. I’m sure I’ve missed some, but here they are – The Banjoblogger’s Ten Great Banjo Books:

You Can Teach Yourself Banjo – Janet Davis. A perennial best seller and always highly praised.





Earl Scruggs and The Five String Banjo – Earl Scruggs. The one and only Earl Scruggs, a must have book.





Banjo For Dummies – Bill Evans. Loaded with all kinds of banjo information.


Teach Yourself Bluegrass Banjo – Tony Trischka. One of the best banjo players around, covers backup, Scruggs Style, Reno Style, Melodic Style and more.


The Banjo Primer – Geoff Hohwald. A lot of people have learned the basics with this one.

Bluegrass Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus – Wayne Erbsen. A technique that stresses the basics and focuses on the melody of the song.

Banjo Case Chord Book – Larry Sandberg. A handy reference to keep in your case.

The Mel Bay Banjo Encyclopedia – Ross Nickerson. Everything about the five string banjo – you’ll keep picking up ideas from this book.

Bluegrass Banjo – Pete Wernick. A great book that has stood the test of time.

The Ultimate Beginner Series Bluegrass Banjo – Dennis Caplinger. Everything from backup to melodic and of course a healthy serving of Scruggs.

A great selection of books, don’t you think. If I missed your favorite, I apologize, there are too many banjo books out there to choose from. If you have enjoyed Banjoblogger.com please buy the banjoblogger a beer – Click on the Beer Mug to your left.


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5 Responses to “Ten Great Books to Learn to Play the Banjo”

  1. Subscribe to my Feed at Banjoblogger.com | banjoblogger.com on March 11th, 2008 11:30 pm

    […] keeps you supplied with banjo lessons, helps you decide which banjo book to buy, tells you why you should record your rehearsals, and more. So check out the Banjoblogger.com RSS […]

  2. Banjo Practice Tips - Learn the Banjo Faster | banjoblogger.com on June 23rd, 2008 9:07 am

    […] You often hear people say; “I’m self taught” or ” I taught myself to play”, this may be true, but the majority of banjo players have used some kind of learning method to help them along. A good Banjo method, whether it is an instructor (the best option), a DVD, CD, book, hand written notes from articles or the internet is necessary to keep you moving ahead and learning. This leads us to the next topic: Focus. Here is a link to some books to help you along – Ten Great Books to Learn to Play the Banjo […]

  3. ron shane on September 14th, 2008 11:14 pm

    Thanks for the information. I have found it hard to find tab banjo books on the internet. I’ll hit this site again.

  4. Banjo Steve on October 13th, 2012 2:34 pm

    That is a great list. There is another book that’s for beginners that’s really fun called The Best Banjo Book.


  5. coachgids on September 10th, 2013 7:05 am

    What about the Pete Seeger book? I have a 1990 or so edition, where he admits it needs a rewrite. He lists a complete different way to start than in the rest of the book. Everybody seems to have the book, though.

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