Win a Deering banjo from Tony Trischka

Tony Trischka - photo credit: Angelika RinnhoferOK… not from Tony directly. But his new banjo teaching site, The Tony Trischka School of Banjo, together with the good folks at Deering Banjos, are offering the chance to win a $1500 Deering gift certificate.

The contest is open to all students at the Trischka School ($60 for 3 months), and entries are submitted as videos posted online prior to the deadline of 8:00 p.m. (EST) on December 17, 2010.

Entries will be accepted in three categories (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and judged against the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness to skill level
  • Timing
  • Note separation
  • Clarity
  • Variations
  • Improvisation
  • Personality

In addition to the top prize of $1500, second and third place finishers will receive six and three month scholarships to the school respectively. A panel of professsional judges will select the winners.

The Trischka School offers individualized lessons via video exchange for banjo students at any level, as well as more generalized video lessons from Mr. T. Students post their own videos, which are critiqued by Tony, with his video response available to the registrants at large for their benefit as well. It is powered by ArtistWorks Video Management System, an interface and software system whose patent is being considered by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The site also has a social networking component, and includes loads of general interest banjo content in addition to the lessons, including interviews with top players and set up tips on video.

The rules require that each submission be a continuous video (no edits) of them playing Shady Grove in the beginner category, Redwing for intermediate, or Blackberry Blossom for advanced. The complete contest rules (posted online) do not offer guidance as to how to categorize your own playing, but that may be a function determined after enrolling in the school.

More details and sample lessons can be found at

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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.