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‘Duelling banjos’ is the most well-known five-string banjo tune of all time.
Featured in the film ‘Deliverance’ ‘Duelling Banjos’ sounds fabulous with a banjo and guitar duo. Plus, you can play it with a whole band, if you want to.
You can make it sound good with one banjo. Of course, it’s more fun if you play with someone else. Because you can bounce the riffs back and forth, while you duel it out.
Left-Hand Fingering positions to make Duelling banjos easy…
This image is a diagram of the land-hand fingering positions. By using the same simple hand shapes you can start playing duelling banjos easily. I teach you these hand shapes all through the site.
Getting technical with Duelling Banjos
How is Duelling Banjos Arranged?
The arrangement is a little more complicated than Cripple Creek. In Duelling Banjos there are four short pieces of music. Each piece of music are played round slowly first, then at a fast pace, and finally, you have to play the four short pieces again fast.
You call the four short pieces:
- The G/C/G strum.
- The opening lick.
- The walk up and down.
- The Yankee Doodle lick.
You can learn to play these pieces in any order you like.
This free instruction video shows you how to play the walk up and down part, which is a good place to start. This piece needs to be played in three different ways, in G, in C, and in D. In this video we only look at playing it in G.
Want to practice Duelling Banjos?
5 Audio Practice Loops to help you play
Here are five different audio loops for you to practice with. The slowest is a molasses-like at 20bpm. The fastest is at 72bpm. 72bpm is the same speed as Cripple Creek. Learn to play Cripple Creek here. Find the speed which suits you best. Once you can play the walk up and down part comfortably, try increasing the speed.
Audio loop #1: Duelling Banjos Walk Up and Down 20bpm
Audio loop #2: Duelling Banjos Walk Up and Down 30bpm
Audio loop #3: Duelling Banjos Walk Up and Down 40bpm
Audio loop #4: Duelling Banjos Walk Up and Down 60bpm
Audio loop #5: Duelling Banjos Walk Up and Down 72bpm
Other cool facts and helpful blog posts about Duelling Banjos for you…
Below you’ll find some more interesting facts and ideas around this marvellous song. The below blog posts and pages will help you know more about the history and which instruments sound best together.
You’ll also discover why this song is perfect for beginners and learn some of the fingering and hand positions used.