F.A.Q. ~ Music classes

Do I need to be able to read music before taking the classes?

No. You don’t even need to be able to read English. We will learn by using a simple method of writing down the music invented by the instructor, Wayne Erbsen. It’s way EASY.

Do I need to bring my own instrument to class?

Yes. You either need to purchase one or rent one. Wayne has a few instruments for rent. Contact him via phone or email, he can make suggestions as to your best bet for renting or purchasing an instrument.

I know nothing, and have never played a musical instrument before. Is the class for me?

Yes. Wayne specializes in teaching total and absolute beginners. No previous experience is required.

I used to play, but haven’t picked it up for years. Is this the class for me?

Maybe. In addition to the beginning groups, Wayne has one or two intermediate groups going all the time. Contact Wayne via email or phone and he will help you determine which groups will work best for you.

Are group classes the best way, or should I have a private instructor?

For the vast majority of people, group classes are the perfect setting to learn. Being with other beginners from all walks of life creates a great atmosphere for learning. People feel comfortable learning next to other people who are equally clueless.

What is the teaching space like?

The classes are held in a 1940 log cabin with a large yet cozy living room. In the winter a fire burns brightly in the rock fireplace. Vintage chairs are arranged in a semi-circle. The space creates an old-time feeling that perfectly fits the old-time music that you will learn.

How much will I learn in the six weeks?

A lot! Each week you will learn at least one new tune, and be able to play back-up and breaks to a variety of old-time and bluegrass songs. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn.

Has the instructor ever taught before?

Gosh yes! Wayne has been teaching since 1962, and has more experience than a dog has fleas.

21 thoughts on “F.A.Q. ~ Music classes

  1. Hello! Do you have a beginner banjo class earlier than September? Thanks!

    1. Howdy Chandra. Are you a 100% total beginner? If so, September is the next class. Get me your email, and I can add you to the list to contact for that. If you have tinkered with the banjo, I have a Tuesday night going on now that you can join this Tuesday. Let me know. Thanks. Wayne Erbsen.

  2. I will need to rent a banjo. I need information where I can find a good banjo for a beginner

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding. I can rent you a banjo if you are still looking for one. Send me an email, and I can get you set up with an instrument.

  3. Do you plan any of your classes in an “online” mode?

    1. We don’t have online classes at the moment, but it is on our ‘to-do’ list. In the meantime, check out our free instructional videos here: https://nativeground.com/free-stuff/video-lessons/

  4. i am just getting stated .i bought a 5 string banjo,i live in new york. i would like to attend some classes.are they just on thurs,,,if so, any in the end of oct,,, nov,,thanks,,,jim…total begannier,,

    1. Sorry for the delay in response. The ‘log cabin band’ class is only on Thursdays. Email me at banjo[at]nativeground.com and I can give you more information.

  5. I am also wondering about online lessons.

    1. We don’t have online classes at the moment, but it is on our ‘to-do’ list. In the meantime, check out our free instructional videos here: https://nativeground.com/free-stuff/video-lessons/

  6. I would LOVE to come to your classes at the log cabin. Unfortunately, I live near Atlanta, GA and your place in Ashville is too far to drive every Tuesday evening. I really like your materials and teaching style for ignoramouses like me. Do you know of any instructors like you in Georgia?

  7. Do you have any guitar groups/lessons for a someone who used to know some chords and tunes, but is VERY rusty? I know the fingerboard and can read music.

    I’ve enjoyed your books Rural Roots of Bluegrass and Rousing Songs of the Civil War. Love country and old-time music especially.

    Thanks, Dave

  8. Do you teach any classes online? I am 4 hours away from Ashville. I love your writing style! I feel like your talking right to Me!

    1. Can I learn to play banjo by tuning in on radio or roku on my TV cause I live in Apopka fl. Near orlando thanks for your answer

      1. Hi, Dale. We don’t currently have our classes streamed to radio or TV, but you can tune in to Wayne’s “Country Roots” radio show every Sunday evening from 7-9 pm. It is streamed at http://bpr.org/.

        To learn the banjo, you may want to purchase one of Wayne’s banjo instruction books. For beginners, I recommend “Bluegrass Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus”, “Clawhammer Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus”, or “Clawhammer Banjo-Tunes, Tips & Jamming”. You can order them on this website.

  9. Do you have any classes or workshops scheduled for 2018? I am brand new to the fiddle and was introduced to your website through your book old time fiddle for the complete ignoramus 🙂

    1. We are sending you an email now, stay tuned!

  10. I’m enjoying learning from your books. I’ve been playing for just a few weeks but can do most of the songs and warm licks in the ignoramus book. My question is about speed. I can’t seem to even move my fingers as fast as you and others play. Will this come with time and, if so, is it usually in months or years?

    1. Thanks for getting in touch. Various things affect speed. If you know a song really well, that should help. Try not to lift your fingers so high away from the strings. Simplify down the rolls you are using. These are some things you can try. When all is said and done, some people just don’t have the finger coordination to play really fast. Enjoy the slower songs. Thanks, Wayne

  11. Do you have an beginner banjo groups starting soon?

  12. March 13, 2024
    Hey there, I use to listen to Wayne on Sunday nights years ago when I lived inMacon County, NC. Certainly enjoyed his presentations and his inspiration for younger musicians. We were born in the same year 1945 and probably grew up with much of the same music. Please say hi , thanks.
    Elbridge Freeborn

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