Banjo / Mandolin (Ages 7+)
The banjo and mandolin have been staples of folk music worldwide for centuries, with ancestor instruments found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Guitar Shed’s expert in folk music is multi-instrumentalist Max Godfrey. Max is primarily a clawhammer banjo player, but enjoys 3-finger picking (also known as “Bluegrass picking” or “Scruggs Style”), and can teach beginner to intermediate levels in that technique. Max also teaches beginner to intermediate mandolin, using traditional notation, method books, and playing by ear. The mandolin can play lead melodies to folk songs and fiddle tunes, as well as accompany the voice with different strumming styles, and songs Max has taught recently range from the traditional “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” to Taylor Swift’s “Invisible String.” Since the strings require a little more muscle, Max recommends mandolin for ages 10 and up.
The 5-String Open-Back variety of banjos are recommended. They are much lighter and easier to hold than the resonator models.
Either A or F style mandolins work well.