Banjo player Hank Smith leads an online workshop for banjo players of various skill levels, from beginners to more experienced players. Using the tune “John Hardy” in the key of G, Hank will walk participants through building a song. Beginning with the basic version of the tune, Hank will demonstrate some tips and techniques for “coloring” the song according to individual styles and feelings. Some topics he will cover in this workshop include:
- Basic song structure/melody on the banjo.
- Simple opening lick.
- Rhythm structure (aka “boom-chucks”).
- Adding color to basic rhythm structure.
- Vamping over different voicings of one chord.
- Accents/offbeats and extras that more experienced players can incorporate
- Substitution sections, options, and opportunities.
As participants move through the tab with Hank, each player can decide if they want to play it “as is” or substitute a more challenging version of the same passage. There will be time for questions and answers during and after the workshop.
Space is limited, and registration is required.
Hank Smith grew up in rural Florence, South Carolina, where he adopted the banjo as his instrument and his passion as a teenager. He honed his skills at the Saturday jam sessions of the nearby Southeastern Bluegrass Association. As a student at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Smith expanded his musical influences to include all manner of rock, jazz, reggae, folk, blues, and classical, while earning a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies, followed by an M.A. in Middle Eastern History.
A professional musician based in Raleigh, Smith plays with the progressive bluegrass band Hank, Pattie & the Current, whose latest album, Rise Above, appears on Robust Records (2019). Previous bands include Blu-Bop: A Tribute to Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; Hank Smith & Lindsey Tims; The Morning After; The Kickin’ Grass Band; and Barefoot Manner. He is a graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program; co-founder of the non-profit American Music Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.; and a lecturer in UNC-Chapel Hill’s music department. Smith has extensive experience teaching banjo, mandolin, and guitar. He is also a composer, currently writing “24 Preludes For String Quartet and Banjo.”
You can find information about taking lessons from Hank in PineCone’s Find A Teacher Directory.