Five D minor Banjo licks

Banjo Licks for a D minor Chord

D minor is one of the most common keys and chords in music.  Whether it be bluegrass, jazz or classical, you will encounter it bunches.  You want to have so much material for D minor chords that you are NEVER at a loss for something to say and play.

In the video below, I cover FIVE Melodic style D minor licks.  These are licks I use in my playing a good bit.  Some came from ideas I took from others and some I made up myself. 

The idea here is to not only learn the licks but learn the shapes where you can improvise and make up your own licks out of. 

Each of these licks can, of course, be used in the key of D minor.  However, they can also be used in the key of C, over the ii minor chord. 

What is Melodic Style Banjo?

Melodic style banjo is known for its unique use of open strings mixed in with fretted notes.  A style made popular by Bill Keith and others.  Today it’s used by famous players Bela Fleck and Noam Pikelny.  I HIGHLY recommend this book below if you wish to understand Melodic Style banjo more:


banjo book entitled Melodic Banjo by Tony Trischka

Now, onto the FREE D Minor Melodic Lick Video.

Click Image to play banjo video in lightbox

guy playing banjo with the words Melodic Banjo 5 cool D minor licks

You’ll use your standard D minor chord at the 7th position, but slightly modified, using your pinky on the 9th fret of the 3rd string.  I demonstrate how to use the first lick in the standard Shady Grove.

My advice is learning your basic D minor banjo scale using melodic style.  With that, you can further expand on these banjo patterns.

D E F G A Bb C

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Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've played Banjo and Acoustic Guitar on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in six different countries.


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