Dr. Banjo » Videos » Bluegrass Banjo Backup, Basic Level

Two hours of the instruction you need to play backup!

A step-by-step method based on 20 years teaching. Split-screen closeups, fast/slow repetitions make video learning best!

“Packed with basic skills for students who crave to know what to play on the banjo when not soloing.”
— Bluegrass Newsletter

Comes with tablature for all banjo playing on the DVD.

This video has two hours of backup banjo instruction, using many excerpts from the Bluegrass Slow Jam and Bluegrass Jamming videos. After each excerpt, Pete shows very clearly how the patterns and licks are done. All moves shown are also in an accompanying tab booklet.

The first important goal for beginning banjo players is to learn to play with other musicians and singers in a bluegrass jam session. It only takes knowing 4 chords to play along with anything on this video!

Pete Wernick developed this lesson especially for new pickers. Based on footage of bluegrass jam sessions, Pete shows in slow and clear detail the techniques you’ll need to fit into a real jamming situation. You’ll move from the simplest strum for the total beginner to chord vamping, rolls, up-the-neck positions and many of the fill-in licks that banjo players use to spark the bluegrass sound.

As you learn the techniques, you can put them into practice by playing along with Pete’s companion bluegrass jamming videos. Dr. Banjo’s prescription for solid banjo accompaniment is filled with sage advice and powerful pointers on how to become a great backup player.

Published Reviews

Comments from Satisfied Customers

Banjo Newsletter, by Ben Freed

Bluegrass Banjo Backup, Basic Level

Pete Wernick has distinguished himself in the bluegrass music world in ways almost too numerous to mention. As a picker, songwriter, band member and author he has done as much for the promotion of this great music form as anyone. Not only is he a world-class musician, but as an educator, Pete has a rare gift for teaching a full spectrum of bluegrass musical skills in an organized and patient fashion through well-received books, [videos], workshops and camps. In his new Homespun DVD, “Bluegrass Banjo Backup, Basic Level” Pete delivers a comprehensive 2 hours packed with basic skills for students who crave to know what to play on the banjo when not soloing.

Because the program develops concepts in a step-wise and gradual fashion, it is an appropriate product for both the absolute beginner and the intermediate picker who has learned some basic solos and wants to learn the standard back-up techniques that the pros use. He covers a variety of areas including, but not limited to basic right hand roll patterns and how to specifically fit them into songs, and left hand fingering and chord formations. All “required reading” for beginners. There are also plenty of split-screen segments(right hand and left hand)which help in clarifying technique. Perhaps most importantly, content is presented in an encouraging, non-intimidating style, which is needed for learning at any level.

Note to bluegrass banjo teachers: This DVD is an excellent resource for you to know about, as it is a reliable high-quality product to suggest to your students. It’s got lots of good ingredients for them to digest on their own, after which they can return to you for reinforcement of Pete’s suggestions. There’s a lot of ground covered here, really enough to last a serious student a few years. After all, isn’t backup considered by many pros to be a more elusive skill than soloing?

Along the way, he makes helpful reference to his other Homespun companion “Jamming” DVDs. These are particularly useful for students when time comes to play the back-up licks in the context of a real song.

It is clear from the quality of the content in this DVD that Pete has developed a technique for teaching banjo that can only be attained after decades of experience. It is also evident that he believes strongly in the power and beauty of this music and gets a lot of joy illuminating the way for newcomers. Recommended highly.

“WOW Dr. Pete! Where has this DVD been? This is probably the most important instruction tool I’ve ever purchased! I have all three of your jamming videos, but I couldn’t seem to keep up all the time, even on the basic level. I just got the Bluegrass Banjo Backup – Basic Level DVD today. The light bulbs are popping on in my head so fast that they are outdoing the Christmas display my wife makes me put out every year! This DVD brings everything I’ve struggled with over the years together. Some of it is even making sense to me now! “Thank you, thank you, thank you for this invaluable learning tool. I sincerely hope that you are planning on intermediate and advanced levels coming out in the near future. I have learned more in one sitting than I have in years of struggle with the banjo.” — Tom F. Jackson, MI

I’ve have already begun to use it and it is exactly what I have been searching for. I’ve been playing for about five years but it has been hit and miss. Your DVD pulls it all together and fills in (no pun intended) the gaps. This is just marvelous.”

— George G., PA

“Hi Pete,

“I had to tell you how pleased I was with your Banjo Backup (video). I’ve been playing guitar since I was a kid and I never bought an instructional video before. Never thought I needed one until I started banging on this banjo. I had the chords down, but was even boring myself with the monotony. I was looking for a way to speed the learning process up a bit, and got it with your (video).

“I’m about half way through the DVD right now. A friend loaned me a DVD made by someone else and the differences in teaching were so startling, I played parts of both for my wife. She confirmed my thoughts that you are a great teacher.

“My only fear is that I am going to get good at this, and won’t be able to torture my fellow musicians for much longer.”

— Greg C. sent through Banjo Hangout

“‘Bluegrass Banjo Backup basic level’ is what I was looking for. It has so much information on one disk, plus you describe everything so well as you go, even down to how to study and learn everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have opened a whole new world for me.”

— C.L.