Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo cover

A couple of years ago I was asked to write a banjo tutor book to add to the growing “Absolute Beginners” book series by the international Music Sales Group. And so I did in the form of “Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo” which came out in March 2015.


I hope some of you will get some use out of it.


Here’s how they describe it:

The Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo book tells you everything you need to know about playing this unique instrument from the very first moment you pick it up. Featuring helpful and practical guides to everything from holding your Tenor Banjo to playing your first tunes, this book and accompanying download card will take you through your beginning stages and beyond.


Beginning with a short history of the instrument, the book takes you through the anatomy of a Tenor Banjo, how it’s tuned and how to hold it, before getting you playing and picking. The book continues by teaching you the D Major scale and basic rhythm, then moves on to your first tunes. The inclusion of real songs (in notation and tablature) from the very beginning helps you to put what the theoretical concepts that you’ve learned into context, developing your musicality as well as your knowledge. As you are introduced to more strings, more scales and more tunes, you will see how Tenor Banjo players use ornamentation to embellish their playing and make it more musical and more fun.


With helpful, detailed explanations of each concept, clear pictures throughout and short musical passages transcribed in standard notation and tablature, the Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo tutorial book will teach you the basics and get you playing some really fun tunes at the same time. The unique download card that accompanies this book features over 60 demonstrations of each tune recorded by the author to help you pick and pluck your way through every note. It’s simple to use, all you have to do is download each track to your computer and listen as you go through.


If you have always wanted to learn Irish Tenor Banjo but have never been able to find a comprehensive method, or you’ve just discovered its fantastically distinctive sound, this edition of the Absolute Beginners series is for you. With authoritative guidance and a convenient download card, this tuition book is perfect for any aspiring Tenor Banjo player.

Kris helped me out by backing the tunes for the download card (which we recorded on a day off in the middle of a UK tour) and I believe you can even play along to his backing without me present – a treat in itself!!


You can buy the book directly from me (and I get to make a few quid). I can sign it for you as well if you like!

Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo front cover

Some images from the book showing the front and the back cover and various sample pages including a tune

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Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo lb02
Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo lb01
Absolute Beginners Irish Tenor Banjo back cover