When it was first published in 1982, Scales And Arpeggios For Five String Banjo by Pete Pardee, was a groundbreaking effort. The book offered serious students of the banjo the sort of reference volume of applied music theory that had been common for some time on many other instruments. When the book sold through, financial considerations prevented Pete from a reprint, but he is now poised to offer it again.
The book has been completely reworked for a second edition, bringing it up to the standards of modern typography and music engraving, and legitimately laying claim to be “the most thorough study of five string banjo technique and theory ever written.” It runs to 254 pages, with six common scale forms shown in all 12 keys – one and two octave, and across the entire fingerboard. Arpeggios are similarly shown for 26 chord types, along with charts, diagrams and movable patterns.
Financial considerations still being a concern, Pete has devised a plan for measuring the interest in this reprint, which will ship for $60, by asking potential owners to advance him a mostly-refundable deposit of $5 towards an order of the book, with the reprint going forward if the demand justifies the costs.
This book won’t appeal to every banjo player, but anyone with an intention to become a true master of the instrument would find it to be a real time saver, as compared to compiling all this information yourself. Even those with only a passing interest in music theory for banjo should consider it as a useful reference you can draw on as needed.
Full details on the book and the pre-order process can be found on Pete’s site, The Banjo Man.
Category: Bluegrass instructional resources
About the Author (Author Profile)
John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.
If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to receive more just like it.