Best Beginner Banjo Tunes For A Newbie (2022)

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Beginner Banjo Tunes


Playing a song is the best way possible to learn any new instrument as a newbie. In this article, we shall be focusing on some of the best and easiest beginner banjo tunes. These easy to play banjo tunes are ideal for claw hammer banjos, learning Scruggs style as well as bluegrass jamming among other essential techniques and plays that you will come across during your journey.

There are various drills as well as practices that you should consider using when learning the banjo. Despite the fact that most of these drills are not as fun as a learning tune, they remain to be vital. It is highly recommended to divide your banjo learning lesson time into several equal drills and songs.

What makes a banjo tune ideal for a beginner?

This is something worth understanding before going through some of the best beginner banjo tunes. You should always keep in mind that the hardest part of learning a new instrument is trying to figure out what you need to learn first. As a newbie to banjo, you are no exception. Here are the essential aspects that you will need to consider when picking up the best banjo tunes for a beginner;

  • Chords number. For beginners, having a song with no more than four chords makes it easy to understand how to play an instrument. Most of the songs we have on our list have four chords and below.
  • Key of G. When it comes to standard tuning, playing the five strings creates a G chord. This makes it relatively easy for a beginner to play any song that has a key of G. Moreover, the key of G features some of the easiest banjo chords which of often used in several songs out there.
  • Easy strumming. You should note that not every song we have featured here has smooth strumming or a finger-picking pattern. However, as a beginner, it is highly recommended that you start with four down strum per bar.
  • Fun. This is a highly essential aspect when it comes to learning any new instrument out there. It is highly recommended to feature fun songs for beginner banjo players. Despite us loving twinkle, twinkle little star, it is high time you learn how it is played. Most individuals who get stuck when playing such stuff they end up not playing after their classes or lessons.

Best beginner banjo tunes

These banjo tunes are relatively easy to master, by getting them under your finger, you will be able to develop some fantastic techniques with the utmost ease. These banjo tunes include;

1. Hot corn, cold corn

You should note that this banjo tune is relatively easy to play; however, it is highly tricky as well as it ends. This is because there is an extra measure when it comes to playing it.

2. Clinch Mt. Backstep

This is the classic tune by Ralph Stanley; it is incredibly easy to play it, and it opens up the melody on its 1st string. Furthermore, this tune incorporates bending notes hence giving it a bluesy feeling

3. Cripple creek

This banjo tune is common among individuals who are leaning 5 strings. It is relatively easy to master and utilizes the slide on your first string.

4. Ground speed

One of Earl Scruggs classic; this tune is one of the most straightforward banjo tunes out there. It involves playing the neck with the use of diad chord forms.

What should you do with your right hand as a newbie?

The left hand is often the center of focus in several introductory courses. This is highly essential; you should note that chord changes are not always there when playing banjo. Despite the fact that we will not be focusing on the right hand as you learn to play banjo tunes, it is vital for you to understand more on strumming and finger-picking.


Strumming is said to be the most challenging part when it comes to learning the banjo. Particularly when changing chords and keeping up with the time it becomes overwhelming for beginners. Therefore, you should consider getting a metronome as the first thing while learning to play the banjo. By doing so, you will be able to subconsciously focus on a specific tone and learn rhythm as you concentrate on chord changes.

Once this is done, you can now begin strumming on every bar. If you find it too easy, then you should consider strumming only on beats one ad three. When this becomes easy as well, you can now begin strumming on every beat. Therefore, whenever you have your rhythm mastered and have consistency in strumming, you can go ahead and begin adding strums on effective spots.


You will find out that most banjos that you are familiar with are played using a finger-picking style. This might be a bit challenging when compared to strumming; therefore, you will have to elevate your level of concentration whenever you try to change the chord.

Leaning the pitch should be your top priority. Usually, this is accomplished through the use of thumb as well as a middle finger; you will simultaneously pluck the 1st and the 5th strings, which are the bottom and top shortened strings, respectively. By plucking an individual string, you can combine it, and you will end up playing your first every thumb pitch.

You should then pluck your 2nd string using the middle finger, which should then be followed by playing a pinch. Consider following it up using a 3rd string pluck, which should be accompanied with a pinch as well. As you practice this drill, you should not forget about maintaining your time. You should consider using the metronome as you would have used for strumming.

Beginner Banjo Tunes FAQs

Some of the frequently asked questions on banjo tunes include;

Why learn banjo tunes?

As a newbie in playing musical instruments, the first thing that you will need to learn is various tunes. This is highly essential when it comes to learning strings, and it makes it much easier to master them.

How can I tune a banjo to open G tuning?

One of the most common tuning in banjo tunes is open G tuning. All that is required of you is to strum the banjo, and you will achieve your G-chord.

What is tuning by ear?

A perfect pitch is a rare ability whereby you can sign or name a note by just listening to it. Individuals with this kind of talent find it easy to learn instruments quickly and easily.

Final verdict

After reading through this article, you are now have a better understanding of how to play banjo tunes. With this in mind, you can then start to enjoy practicing this exciting instrument.

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