Courses  Instructors  How It Works Plans & Pricing Blog Resources 

Log In

Log In 
Don't have an account? Sign Up

Reset Password

An email has been sent with instructions on how to reset your password.

Sign Up For Free

Then join a course

Our store is currently undergoing maintenance. Check back in a few hours.
Already have an account? Log In

10 Advanced Banjo Techniques Every Bluegrass Musician Should Master


Bluegrass music is a genre that resonates with the soul, and the banjo is its beating heart. If you're an intermediate or advanced musician looking to elevate your bluegrass banjo skills, mastering certain techniques is essential. Here, we'll dive into 10 advanced banjo techniques that are pivotal for any bluegrass musician. Plus, we'll link you to some fantastic ArtistWorks courses and provide access to some helpful free video lessons to aid your learning journey.


1. Three-Finger Roll Variations

The three-finger roll is the cornerstone of bluegrass banjo playing. Advanced players should experiment with different roll patterns to add complexity to our playing.


2. Up-The-Neck Playing

Moving beyond the first few frets opens a new realm of sound. Explore up-the-neck playing to discover melodic and rich tones.


3. Syncopation

Syncopation involves altering the expected rhythm to add interest and complexity. This technique can truly make your playing stand out.


4. Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs

These techniques add fluidity and expressiveness to your playing. Advanced players should aim for clear, precise hammer-ons and pull-offs.


5. Crosspicking

Crosspicking creates a layered, textured sound and is essential for solos.


6. Choke Bends

A staple in bluegrass banjo, choke bends add a unique twang to your playing.


7. Double-Thumb Roll

This advanced roll adds a driving rhythm to your playing.


8. Backup Playing

Being able to play backup is crucial in a band setting.


9. Melodic Playing

This style allows for playing complex melodies on the banjo.


10. Advanced Rhythm Techniques

Incorporating advanced rhythm techniques can elevate your playing significantly.


Mastering these 10 advanced banjo techniques will not only enhance your skills but also deepen your appreciation for the art of bluegrass music. Remember, practice and patience are key.


Our banjo courses at ArtistWorks led by master musicians Tony Trischka, Noam Pikelny, and Alison Brown provide amazing resources to take your bluegrass banjo playing to the next level. We also offer FREE sample lessons from any of these amazing instructors to get you started on your musical journey. Happy picking, and may your banjo journey be as enriching as the music you create!


This blog post is just a starting point. For more in-depth learning and expert guidance, explore the full range of courses available at ArtistWorks. Our extensive library of lessons caters to all levels, ensuring that your journey in bluegrass music is well-supported.



Bluegrass Banjo Lesson: Tag Endings with Alison Brown

Tony Trischka Releases New Single Featuring Billy Strings, "Brown's Ferry Blues"

Banjo Lesson: An Introduction to Single String Playing with Noam Pikelny




Affordable Plans

Each subscription is for a single school. Pricing and features can vary slightly per school.

1 Month membership
renews monthly
Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
Exclusive Content
$35/month (prepaid)
3 Month membership
renews every 3 months
Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
Exclusive Content
$30/month (prepaid)
12 Month membership
renews every 12 months
Unlimited Access to Lessons
Unlimited Video Exchanges
Exclusive Content
$20/month (prepaid)