Bluegrass Banjo Jam Survival Guide from Ned Luberecki

The IBMA’s reigning Banjo Player of the Year, Ned Luberecki, has created a second instructional video for the Truefire platform. Following the December release of Bluegrass Banjo for Beginners, he has just released a new one for more experienced players, Bluegrass Banjo Jam Survival Guide.

The course runs for an hour and twenty minutes, and is available either on DVD, or by instant download using the free Truefire software for PC or Mac, plus Android and iOS devices.

As the title suggests, this video is designed to help players that can play a bit, but may be leery about trying their hand at jamming, or who may have given it a try and been frustrated by their inability to keep up. Ned goes over chord shapes, chord groups, and the chords by numbers system commonly used in jams along with many other tips and tricks for becoming comfortable in this environment.

He explained a bit about why he likes working with Truefire, and what is included in the Survival Guide course.

“The TrueFire platform has some really cool features. The video is shot with three cameras (in HD) so you can see the full body shot, and closeups of left and right hands. The video has a speed control so that allows the student to slow the video down to 50% or speed it up to 150% without changing the pitch. The tab is synced with the video using Soundslice, which scrolls along in real time with the video and audio examples.

The Jam Session Survival course covers several typical bluegrass chord progressions, using the chords most common to a particular key (1, 4, 5, 2m, 6m and b7), a section on ear training to help identify the chords, licks and chord positions to use for jamming over these progressions, video examples of me playing over the chord progressions using the techniques in the lesson and guitar jam tracks (playalong tracks) for the student to play along with and practice the techniques on their own.”

Here’s a quick video overview.

If you choose to order it on DVD, you also get the download version for $49. The download only sells for $29. Both are available directly from Ned’s web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

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.