Primary Learning Modules

Welcome to your Primary Learning Modules. This is where the meat of your learning will occur, where you will progressively acquire picking skills of increasing complexity on your way to making amazing sounds on your instrument.

Based on the Brainjo Method, these lessons are designed to be moved through in sequential order. Furthermore, each lesson will provide you the criteria to be met before moving onto the next lesson.

Resist the temptation to rush through these modules, as your future success depends heavily on building a solid foundation from the beginning.

And, most importantly, enjoy yourself!

The Modules

Module 1 The Mighty Thumb
In this module, you'll learn how to develop a dextrous and dependable thumb, the most pivotal appendage in the world of banjo pickery. We'll begin by reviewing the basic picking motion, then get cranking with some tune exercises to help mold a mighty thumb.
Mission 1 The Thumb Strike
Mission 2 The Thumb Squared (thumb & fifth)
Module 2 First Chords
In this lesson, you'll learn your first 3 chords in standard G tuning, unlocking the door to playing a surprising number of tunes!
Mission 1 Your First Chords
Module 3 The Index Finger
In this module we'll start getting the index finger in on the action, greatly expanding the range of potential amazing sounds we can make on the banjo!
Mission 1 The Index Pinch
Mission 2 Thumb Lead Banjo!
Module 4 3 Finger Banjo
In this module, we'll start add our 3rd and final finger, fretting hand techniques, and then dive into the nitty gritty of the various 3 finger styles of banjo.
Mission 1 3 Finger Banjo - the MIDDLE finger!
Mission 2 The BAR Chord
Mission 3 Introduction to Fretting Hand Techniques
Mission 4 Fretting Hand Technique #1: The Hammer On
Mission 5 Fretting Hand Technique #2: The Slide
Mission 6 Fretting Hand Techniques #3: The Pull Off
Mission 7 Fretting Hand Techniques: Practice Exercises
Module 5 Module 5: Scruggs style banjo
In this module series, you'll learn the essential elements of Scruggs style banjo, and then how to use that knowledge to "Scruggs-ify" any arrangement.
Mission 1 Scruggs Style Banjo, Part 1
Mission 2 Scruggs Style Banjo, part 2
Mission 3 Scruggs Style Banjo: Practice Exercises
Module 6 New chord shapes and playing backup
In these modules, you'll learn new moveable chord shapes, and we'll review some simple strategies for playing some really effective backup.
Mission 1 The "F" and "D" shape chords
Mission 2 Stupid Simple Backup, Part 1
Mission 3 Stupid Simple Backup, Part 2
Module 7 How To Play By Ear
Learning to play by ear is the single best way to accelerate your development as a player, and something that ANYONE can learn how to do. In this series of lessons, we'll break down the process of playing by ear into a series of steps anyone can master.
Mission 1 How To Play By Ear, Part 1: How to Hear Chord Changes
Mission 2 How To Play By Ear, Part 2: Finding the Melody
Mission 3 How To Play By Ear, Part 3: Building A Complete Arrangement from Scratch
Mission 4 The Playing By Ear Laboratory
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