MAKE UP YOUR OWN BANJO SOLOS (2): WHAT TO PLAY WHEN IT’S YOUR TURN TO ‘TAKE IT!’ KEYS OF D, C, F, AND G (UP THE NECK)
TAUGHT BY PETE WERNICK
Homespun DVDWERS022.

One DVD, 1 hr 55 mins, $29.95. (Homespun Tapes, P.O. Box 340, Woodstock, NY 12498, www.homespuntapes.com.)

This second DVD in Pete Wernick’s Make Up Your Own Banjo Solos series on Homespun concentrates on playing in the keys of C, D, E, F, and G—the last primarily up the neck. Songs include “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms” (D), “As I Went Down To The Valley To Pray” (D), “Angeline The Baker” (D), “Colleen Malone” (D or E), “Country Blues” (D), “New River Train” (C), “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow” (C Tuning), “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down” (F), and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” (G, up the neck).

Pete is one of the most influential banjo players and teachers of the past twenty years. His teaching style is personable and accessible and this is essentially a twohour private lesson with Pete on playing in the C and D positions and up the neck in G. What I appreciate most about Pete’s teaching is that he starts with the basic chord structure and melody of a song and emphasizes singing along with the melody. He then teaches soloing out of C and D chord positions and how to reach notes in the melody at various points along the neck.

There is a tremendous amount of information here—enough licks to satisfy people looking for those, and, more importantly, great direction on soloing by finding the melody and placing notes around it in virtually any key. The DVD also contains two computer files: a .PDF tab book of all the solos on the DVD and a Word document written by Pete on using and making your own playalong practice recordings. Both of these items add tremendous value to the video.

The two volumes in this series are well worth having as part of your library of banjo instruction material and a great place for a beginner to start on his or her jamming journey. Highly recommended for beginning to intermediate banjo players. CVS