Banjo Workshop — Bluegrass and Beyond

  • July 10, 2019
  • By Admin: sfbluegrass
  • Comment: 0

Ever want to play rock, blues, or jazz on the banjo? This hour and a half workshop will look at some important fundamentals for playing 3-finger banjo in a variety of genres. We’ll start with a bluegrass approach to banjo and discuss applying basic skills to other kinds of music. Right-hand rolls, technique, chords, scales, and extended harmony will all be covered. All levels welcome, but best if participants are comfortable with basic rolls and a few bluegrass songs or tunes. Must bring your own banjo. Fingerpicks encouraged but not required.

Originally from upstate New York, “Jim Chayka is the best banjo player you never heard of – but that’s starting to change.” (California Bluegrass Assoc. Newsletter, Jan 2009). Jim is regarded as a driving, creative, and versatile player firmly rooted in the tradition of Earl Scruggs and JD Crowe, but also well-versed in the fingerboard explorations of contemporary banjo. Although Jim’s playing has a distinctly bluegrass voice, his banjo style reveals a deep appreciation and ardent study of rock, jazz, and blues. Jim’s additional skills as a songwriter, composer, and performer helped 49 Special win the prestigious 2009 RockyGrass Band Competition, which featured two of his original songs. In 2010 he worked as Musical Director and banjoist with Michelle Shocked, performing throughout the US and Europe on her 2010 Roadworks Tour- commemorating the 20th anniversary of her seminal Americana album “Arkansas Traveller”. Jim’s current music project SUPERMULE plays at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Thursday 2/16/12 as part of the 2012 San Francisco Bluegrass and Old Time Festival. More information about all of Jim’s musical pursuits can be found at