Landon Robinson's Blog

hiking | woodworking | banjos



How To Tune for and Play Minstrel (Old Time) Songs on the 5-String Banjo: g#CGBD Tuning

If you’re like me, you don’t own a several-thousand dollar replica of the Minstrel banjo, an old-time banjo with far-reaching 18th century African roots. And if you’re like me in another way, you crave the ability to play those old-timey songs (like Brigg’s Corn Shucking Jig, Juba, and Hard Times), but only have a good ol’ American 5-string banjo.

Don’t panic. You can still play them, and play them right now with the┬átrusty 5-string beside you. Keep reading, and learn a little first — it’ll make your banjo-ing experience all the more satisfying. Because unlike many other instruments, half the fun of playing banjo songs is knowing the history behind them. Continue reading “How To Tune for and Play Minstrel (Old Time) Songs on the 5-String Banjo: g#CGBD Tuning”

Tabs with Lyrics for “Worried Man Blues” on Banjo

Most of you might know this song as one made popular on the banjo by Woody Guthrie in the 40s and 50s or even Pete Seeger in the 60s and 70s. No matter how you look at it, it’s a fun little tune that’s a lot of fun to sing and clap along to. I’ve taken it upon myself to post the tabs here (so they’re easier to find), and I’ve added lyrics to each bar so you know when to start singing each line. It’s useful if you’re not used to switching your line on chord changes, like most bluegrass songs.


View or download the tab here, or view it below.


More Banjo Playin’: ‘I Saw the Light’ and ‘I’ll Fly Away’

Some of you know I play the banjo. Mostly old gospel songs. Here are two updated favorites I’ve played before. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.


With Lyrics

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