Dr. Banjo » Books » Masters of the 5-String Banjo

Masters of the 5-String Banjo


The Banjo Bible, the most comprehensive banjo book ever published.

Nothing else even comes close.

By Pete Wernick and Tony Trischka
432 pages, over 200 photos, 50 tablatures of all-time favorite arrangements.

“I spent endless hours reading it in my teen years. It's a wonderful resource for banjo players and essential for anyone who is serious about playing.”
Kristen Scott Benson
Five-time winner IBMA Banjo Player of the Year

This book is a treasure trove with:

Style, influences, tone, technique, learning, practice tips, improvising, backup, favorite banjos and equipment, set-up, and much much more in this ultimate banjo book — the “Banjo Bible”.

See these excerpts from the Earl Scruggs chapter, concerning melody and tone of the Scruggs sound.

Shipping for 1 Book

  • U.S.: $10
  • Canada: $33
  • All other countries except AU/NZ: $44
  • For shipping to Australia or New Zealand, or for an order of the book with other items, please write us at [email protected].

List price: $60. Is the Masters Book Worth $60? This question came up on the Banjo-L discussion list, and here’s how people responded.

I was looking at the book “Masters of the 5 String Banjo” on line. It looks interesting. Is it worth the almost $60 they are asking for it?

“I have read my copy a minimum of thirteen times since I got it. I continually refer to it. In my estimation, the banjo players of the world should kiss the feet of Pete and Tony!!

It’s that good.”
— Julio
“Well, I for one, certainly prize mine. There is an amazing amount of data and the interviews are priceless. Go for it!”
— Carl
“I have a daughter in college – with the prices they want for textbooks these days, $60 for this book is a bargain, and anything less is a great deal. Thanks, Pete, (and Tony) for making the material in this book available to us all. It’s a great resource!”
— Chuck
“Every banjo player should own this book.”
— Mike I.
“I love my copy of the book! Definitely worth the money IMHO. Thanks to John Lawless for getting it reprinted as I lost my original copy.”
— Brink B.
“I like books and I like reading about banjos so it was worth it to me. It also has tab of a bunch of songs, and a lot of neat pickers talking about how they learned and what influenced them. It reads a lot like this list would if it were only populated by professional pickers who had all their posts edited by professional writers.”
— Mike M.
“This book is one of the most important books to have been written on banjo. It obviously took Tony and Pete a long time and a lot of work to complete it. I got mine for Christmas back when it was first published. It’s old and dog-eared now, but it’s been a resource I’ve turned to again and again.

If I can remind some of you, before this book was reprinted, original presses of Masters were selling on ebay for $200 and above. Considering what you would have had to pay for a copy prior to the reprint, $60 is a good deal.”
— Jim