Best Ways to Start Learning Banjo – Read this first.

Pete’s guide to starting bluegrass banjo — the most results-proven, easy, and motivating steps, refined over 45 years of teaching beginners. All of his instruction is based on this philosophy. The article is aimed at banjo teachers, but all beginning and novice players will learn from it — and save a lot of time and frustration in reaching their goals.

A New Direction for Teaching and Learning Bluegrass Music

How to make it easy and fun to learn to play. Pete’s approach differs from most bluegrass teachers’, and here is his compelling rationale for why ensemble skills should be learned and encouraged from the first week.

See what you and your teacher think.

Videos/Books for Beginning Banjo Players


Get Rolling: Ultra-easy, No-fail Intro To Bluegrass Banjo
Only $17.95 for one hour video with tab.
Any new banjo player, even a child, will be playing along almost immediately with Pete on over twenty well-known songs. Basic strum and 3-finger roll technique, plus simple chord changes, yields good-sounding music. Two of Pete’s students show the basic of playing together.

Bluegrass Slow Jam for the Total Beginner
Just Right for the Brand New Picker! A super-easy, no-fail play-along session with Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick. Anyone, with any instrument, can get into this bluegrass jam session, even if you’ve never tried it before. All you need to know are four basic chords (G, C, D and A) to play along with the band.

Beginning Bluegrass Banjo
Best Seller! Two-hour video + tab. Months’ worth of learning, just $24.95. A step-by-step method based on 20 years teaching. Split-screen closeups, fast/slow repetitions make video learning best!

Bluegrass Jamming, A Guide For Newcomers and Closet Pickers
Seventeen bluegrass standards at moderate speeds, a soloing opportunity in each song, chords clearly shown, many pointers on the how-to’s and etiquette of bluegrass jamming. Lyric book included.

Click for information about Pete’s latest videos: How to Make Up Your Own Solos and Bluegrass Banjo Backup, Basic Level.


Bluegrass Songbook
140 classic songs. The only book with instruction on bluegrass singing, including bluegrass harmony, and many pages of tips from the all-time greats!

Bluegrass Banjo
The “classic” that started many professional players, with almost a quarter-million copies in print! A clear, complete course from the easiest chords, songs and beginning rolls to advanced licks and instrumentals. 143 pages with many photos, 43 tablatures.

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam Classes

“Wernick Method” certified teachers offer classes and camps in communities throughout the U.S. and in other countries. Every banjo player will gain important musical skills by learning how to keep it together in a jam session and make a valued contribution. Skills like good timing, following new songs, backup, and how to blend your instrument with others must be learned “in context” — can’t be learned in the closet!

Memorized solos can be hard to pull off, so learning how to stay on your feet while faking a solo is a highly useful skill. And it’s all easier and more fun when your fellow jammers are in the same boat, trying to learn the basics.

Learn to jam with other folks in your area!

Banjo players need to meet up with other musicians: guitarists, mandolin, fiddle and bass players, and people who like to sing. Just a few people working on a few songs is great fun and also a chance to really improve. Wernick Method classes help this happen!