Reno-style banjo DVDs

Jason Skinner is a devoted student of the banjo style of Don Reno. At age 29, he’s spent 15 years studying the Reno style, and has set out on a crusade to bring more banjo players to embrace Don’s music by producing a 5 DVD set of Reno style instruction for banjo, and offering the entire set for only $65.

“It really bothers me that even to this day Don doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I think it is partly because people find his style hard to figure out. So I figured the best way to help get more people interested in Don’s music was to help them learn.”

For Reno devotees, the fact that the Earl Scruggs banjo style has largely eclipsed Reno’s is a bone of contention, and anyone who spends time with banjo pickers has probably encountered an episode of the long running “it all would have been different had Reno gone to work for Monroe instead of joining the Army, forcing Monroe to go with his second choice, Earl Scruggs” argument.

Jason is unique in having taken steps to educate more banjo players – or at least help them educate themselves. Last year he introduced an online Reno workshop, which uses text descriptions, tab displays and audio clips to both distinguish Don’s style from Earl’s, and to teach many basic elements of Reno’s approach. This workshop is offered free of change, and is still available online.

There are some video snippets from the Reno DVDs available on the The Skinner Family Band web site and on Jason’s YouTube page.

“I did not do this DVD set for the money as you can see that I am not charging a lot for them. I just want to share my love of Don Reno’s music with as many people as possible. Maybe these DVD’s can help people get over that first hump so they won’t give up on his style.”

A full description of the 5 DVD set (tunes, topics) can be found on online, along with ordering information.

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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.