My friend Steve Baughman recently released a new DVD entitled Zen Banjo, Music and Mindfulness. It is a clawhammer banjo instructional DVD aimed at beginners with plenty of material for more advanced folks as well.
Steve walks the viewer through all the techniques needed for clawhammer banjo like the bum ditty, drop thumbing, and double thumbing. Throughout the DVD Steve and Buddhist monk Hung Sure also talk about the banjo as a contemplative, meditative instrument. One of the cool discoveries on the DVD for me is what Steve calls Trance Tuning, ebCGCD. It is totally cool and allows one to make beautiful haunting music with very little effort.
If you are not into Zen and mindfulness don’t worry, there is enough instructional material to keep one busy for quite a while. Steve teaches a number of advanced techniques such as the Frisco Flick and the California Roll. He goes over twelve tunes and more than twenty individual lessons.
It is available as a digital download through the Zenbanjo website and as a physical DVD through CDBaby. If you are a beginner starting out or just someone looking for a different perspective on clawhammer and some new techniques its worth checking out.