18 Slow Songs for the Banjo

So you play the banjo but aren’t drawn to the really fast bluegrass songs?  

I’ve had many people come in to my banjo studio and say that same thing.  The incredible speed that a lot of bluegrass music is played at is intimidating for someone completely new to music, especially those that have never played an instrument before.

Hopefully this list helps those out wanting to play a slower repertoire.  Let us choose some slow beautiful melodies today, these songs won’t have your right hand playing “catch-up.”

Here is a list of slow songs I’ve heard played on the 5-string banjo through the years; in my opinion, they all work really great on the instrument.  In some cases, I provide links to banjo versions of these songs.  The list includes hymns, Christmas songs, Beatles, Old Classic Country and Great American Songbook Classics.  It has something for everyone-peruse the list and pick out at least two of your favorites to work towards learning:

Please keep in mind that just because these songs are slower doesn’t mean they are easier in every way.  Many times the challenge with slow tunes is keeping them interesting and staying in time; they often require more chord shapes with your left-hand.

Unfortunately, not enough banjo players take the time to learn some waltzes, ballads and a few basic melodies in a more chordal style.  Being able to play in a variety of tempos is part of being a well-rounded musician.

If you discovered something on this list today you had never heard of, I’d love to hear from you in the comments, what are your favorites?  Many of the songs on the list, I have TABS for on my site, so be sure to look around under my PRODUCTS page:

Banjo Tabs & Books


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