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Chris Quinn began playing banjo in 1979.  Chris has performed on stages across Canada, the U.S., as well as parts of Europe, and Asia.  As a session musician, he has recorded on over 100 projects.  He is renowned for his solid timing, his sense of taste and tone, and his creative back-up playing.  A sought after teacher with 30 years of experience, Chris has taught hundreds of people at camps and workshops.  Chris currently performs with The Foggy Hogtown Boys, and The Hamstrung Stringband.   Chris maintains a busy schedule teaching private music lessons.

Beginner Bluegrass Banjo

In beginning banjo, you will learn how to hold and tune the banjo, picking patterns, some basic chord shapes, how to find simple melody and how to get that bluegrass sound.

Banjo is fun, banjo is fun, banjo is fun!


Chris doesn’t mind if students don’t have much experience playing banjo as long as they come prepared with the following:

Before coming to class, spend some time listening to some classic bluegrass.  Listen to Flatt and Scruggs, JD Crowe, Jimmy Martin, Don Stover, The Stanley Brothers; something like that.  I am always surprised how many banjo students don’t listen to bluegrass.  To make better progress, it really helps to listen to the music.

Bring to class:

  • Your 5 string banjo. Something playable.  Nothing broken.  Some adjustments can be done if set up is needed, but no “tennis rackets”.
  • Your picks. A thumbpick and two metal fingerpicks.  Bluegrass banjo players wear picks.  If you do not use fingerpicks, you would have a better experience enrolling in the Clawhammer banjo class.
  • Extra strings. (Can’t play a banjo without strings.)
  • A capo for your banjo. Google it.
  • A strap. To wear your banjo over your shoulder to keep the banjo stable and not wobbling around.  This is a really important detail.  Please bring a strap.
  • Bring any wrenches, screwdrivers, tools that come in your banjo case. We might need to adjust your banjo and sometimes there are tools that came with your banjo.  If not, I might have a tool or wrench that you can use.
  • Bring a video recording device. iPhone, video camera, etc…
  • Bring an open mind and an appetite for bluegrass.

If you have any questions before we meet, feel free to email me at

I look forward to working with you.

Chris Quinn