Your Guide to the Best Banjo Song Selection for a Beginner – and How You Can Easily Play Them

Your Guide to the Best Banjo Song Selection | Your Guide to the Best Banjo Song Selection for a Beginner – and How You Can Easily Play Them | If you are a beginner at any musical instrument, one of your best bets to get better is to practice as much as you can. Of course, you may already know this, but there are some things you can do to get even more acclimatized to playing your musical instrument – you can get to know certain songs so you can have an easier (and more fun) journey.

If you are enthusiastic about learning the banjo and getting thoroughly familiar with this instrument, you’ll be happy to know that some songs are best-attuned for beginners. And while your practice drills and methods are necessary, learning a few songs can spur you on and motivate you even more. Here, then, is your guide to the best banjo song selection for a beginner – and how you can easily play them.

The basics

Here’s something you should remember – most introduction banjo courses tend to concentrate on the left hand. And while this is all well and good, you should also focus on your right hand, especially since it’s essential to get your finger-picking and strumming down pat before you can get any further in your banjo journey. 

For strumming – strumming is a challenge for beginners, particularly if you are trying to change your chords and keep proper time. The first thing you can do is invest in a metronome, and this allows you to concentrate on a tone and practice your rhythm while you also focus on the changes in the chord. 

For finger-picking – the banjo playing you probably know and are familiar with is often played in a rolled or finger-picked style. It’s a bit more complicated than strumming, so experts recommend focusing on it if you are not trying to modify your chords. One of the first things you should learn is the pinch, and you can do this by using both your middle finger and thumb to pluck the very first or bottom and fifth or top strings. Then mix this up with trying to pluck a single string, and you will already have your ‘thumb’ pinch.

The best and easiest songs 

There are indeed plenty of easy banjo songs for beginners, and you can find a lot to practice with – but here are a few:

  • Cotton-eyed Joe

Cotton-eyed Joe is one of the most popular banjo songs around, and it’s a long-time favorite at many parties. As you get more familiar with it, you can speed up! It’s not such a difficult song to master but build it up by playing slowly. 

  • American Pie 

American Pie is a definite classic, and it’s an enjoyable song that everyone knows. But the best aspect about the song is that any beginner can learn it. All you have to do is strum using four left-hand positions. If you are a bit more advanced, you can go for chord variations and picking and add a few extra notes. 

  • Ground Speed 

Ground Speed is one song that doesn’t need any introduction if you’re a banjo enthusiast, and it was originally performed by none other than Earl Scruggs. If you want to practice with this song, you can as well – and once again, you can start slowly and speed up as you go along.