Every musician wants to be able to choose the best music for their instrument. How do you choose the best tunes for your instrument? It is not worth wasting your time trying to learn the wrong songs when you can easily learn the right ones in half the time. You won’t lose your motivation quicker than learning a difficult tune.
Here is my top 5 picks for your beginner banjo journey
My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean
“My Bonnie lies over the Ocean”, a traditional Scottish folk song, is still very popular in Western culture. The song is available in many variations and parodies. Many of these variations and parodies are the result of the song being sung frequently to children and being a popular campfire song for Boy Scouts. Sometimes, interactive movements are used to accompany these campfire renditions. For example, you can stand up or sit down every time a word begins with “b”.
Londonderry Air by Peter “Banjo” Meyer was written and published by [Traditional]. It was released by Peter “Banjo” Meyer on the 1983 album Duelin’ Banjos
Mary had a little Lamb
Mary Had a Little Lamb” (English language nursery rhyme) is of American origin from the nineteenth century. It has a Roud Folk Song Index of 7622
Row Row Row your boat
“Row, Row, Row Your Boat” a nursery rhyme in English and a well-known children’s song, is often sung in the circle.
Jim Ward’s Jig
Jim Ward’s, also known by Jimmy Ward’s and The Clare Jig (not to be confused with Jim Ward’s Downfall), is a great tune that beginners banjo players will love. You will need to use your fingers only and a simple hand position. You can also play it using the G and D strings.
As you can see, the long Gs at beginning of phrases can be strummed in three separate notes. You have many options to simplify or enhance the tune to suit your needs.