Irish Tenor Banjo

Playing, Listening to, and Tweaking the Irish Tenor Banjo 

Session at Plymouth, WI


Banjo Lesson June 2012

Banjo Lesson May 2012

Enda Scahill's new banjo tutor volume 2

Finding the Perfect Bridge 

That Darn Triplet

Banjo Setup

Previously Featured Tunes

Banjo Mute

Check out  

 Youtube videos

Mel Bay Articles

Starting in April of 2005 I began writing a bi-monthly series ofarticles on learning to play the Irish tenor banjo.  I write these columns based on my experiences as a student and I had just had a workshop with Gerry O'Connor

April 2005  Starting the Irish Tenor Banjo 

June 2005 The Left Hand

 August 2005 The Right Hand

 October 2005 An Interview with Mick Moloney

December 2005 Triplets

 February 2006 Sessions

 April 2006 Reels

June 2006  Jigs 

August 2006  Hitting the High B Note

 October 2006 The McTwist

 December 2006 Playing in a Band

February 2007 More on the Left Hand 

February 2007 Roger Landes - Portrait of a Teacher 

April 2007 (Even) More on the Left Hand

 April 2007 Andy Statman

June 2007 Learning to Play an Irish Tune  

August 2007 More Right Hand  

October 2007 Angelina Carberry 

October 2007 Three Generations of Mandolin Players 

December 2007 Playing Jigs 

February 2008 A lesson with Ken Fleming  

April  2008 A lesson with Peter Ostroushko

April 2008 Thad Dam Triplet  

June 2008 Dig a Hole

August 2008 Power Banjo 

October 2008 Exercise in C 

December 2008  Learning Tunes

February 2009 Slowhand Irish Banjo 

April 2009  Even More Triplets

 June 2009  Polka on a banjo 

August 2009  Deep Practice  

October 2009 DUD(e) Where's My Jig? 

December 2009 Playing in Standard Tuning

February 2010 Playing with a relaxed hand: Enda Scahill

March 2010 The Stuttered Triplet

May 2010 The McKenna Grip

Darren Maloney, Mr. Efficiency

October 2010 More About Triplets

December 2010 Banjo and Bodhran

February 2011 Making a Tun Your Own

April 2011 Playing Lightly

July 2011 Brian McGrath

October 2011 A Lesson With Randy Gosa

December 2011 More Triplet Stuff


The Irish Tenor Banjo Site


John Carty

Gerry O'Connor

Mick Moloney

Chris Smith

John Walsh 

Angelina Carberry 

Enda Scahill 

Darren Maloney

Drowsy Maggies 

O'Flaherty Irish Retreat

Where to get a Banjo

Vin Mondello


Elderly Instruments

Tom Cussen (Clareen Banjos) 






New additions April 2012:

I am finally back after a two year hiatus on this site (believe it or not, I lost the password) and I will be writing new articles every month. Keep tuned!

*Trip To Ireland 2007*

The Trip To Ireland is over and a good time was had by all.

As time goes on, I will be adding more articles on the Irish tenor banjo. Look for reviews of records, new types of bridges, and how I am learning to play the Irish tenor banjo.

Featured Tunes

It appears that I am addicted to hornpipes, here is a lovely one written by Phil Cunningham called the Hut on Staffin Island.

Click on for a full sized image. I will have a video of Jeff Calhoun playing it and an mp3 later on.

Here are two oldy but goody hornpipes, Kitty's Wedding and the Galway Hornpipe.


Paddy Ryan's Dream is a tune I learned from John Carty at a workshop in St. Louis.


Here is The Cup of Tea, a session favorite. This is a great tune to learn and play.


This is Jenny Picking Cockles which can be played slowly or fast. John Carty taught us this one, too.


Here are some favorite players of mine, Gerry O'Connor, Tim O'Brien and Arty McGlynn. The tunes are "Fresh Snow" and "Greenfields of America."

Mike Keyes