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    Banjo Teacher Ross Nickerson of

    ross nickerson banjo newlsetter

    ross nickerson
    Hi, I'm Ross Nickerson the founder of Banjo
    I hope this website is now and as it grows a great banjo resource for you!
    Below is some bio and personal information about me if you would like to know
    more about my background.

    Ross Nickerson past tours have included the US, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Africa.

    Newest workshops with Ross Nickerson concerts and workshops

    ross nickerson
    Quite a few people have inquired about the equipment I use.
    Here is a list of things I use and recommend

    Check out the sound bytes page to hear some of what Ross sounds like.

    Ross Nickerson has recorded with some of the top names in Bluegrass music. He was recently released on a compilation CD called Ultimate Banjo that included banjo legends, Earl Scruggs and Sonny Osborne. Ross recently appeared on stage with The Riders in the Sky and The Oak Ridge Boys and has picked and appeared with many of the best banjo players in the world including Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck and Ralph Stanley. Ross’s CD Blazing the West has won many awards including being named by Country Music Television as one of the top ten CDs to pick up in 2003. Ross has just completed a new CD called Let's Kick It that features hard driving traditional Bluegrass Banjo with Ross’s own personal touch. Accompanying Ross on the CD are members of the world reknowned Bluegrass Band "Blue Highway"

    Throughout his career Ross Nickerson has always enjoyed sharing his knowledge and helping others to learn to play the banjo. His many years of experience teaching privately and traveling the world to hold group workshops has helped him gain many unique insights into the common obstacles facing banjo students today. He has listened to his students, seen the challenges they face, understands what students are craving for and always delivers his practical, focused instruction in a personable and easy to follow manner. Ross Nickerson is the author of the top selling banjo book, The Banjo Encyclopedia “Bluegrass Banjo from A to Z” He has also written and recorded many other books, CDs and DVDs designed to help banjo students save time and learn the fun of playing 5-string banjo easier. Ross is a full time musician and on the road ten to fifteen days a month performing concerts, teaching banjo workshops and reaching new audiences. He has been selected as a faculty member for many prestigious bluegrass and banjo camps and is the founder and coordinator of the Nova Scotia Banjo Camp and the annual Banjo Cruise. Find Ross at his website Ross Nickerson "Twenty Questions" Interview Bluegrass Seeds Magazine
    .....I was at the Midwest Banjo Camp - Lansing, MI, last June and watched you play banjo on Saturday evening.You play amazingly well. My daughter and I had never seen anyone play a banjo so cleanly and with such speed before. You are really a gifted artist. concert and workshop reviews

    ross nickerson
    Ross Nickerson featured in
    Banjo Newsletter April, 2012

    Ross Nickerson
    By Tom Adams

    Making a living with the banjo has always been a challenge, and the current economy certainly hasn’t made it any easier. But undeterred by the times and facing great odds, Ross Nickerson has succeeded at doing exactly that very thing.   continued
    banjo safari

    Ross Nickerson with new Band X-Train, Peter Mclaughlin, Guitar, Mark Miracle, Mandolin, Bob Dennoncourt, Bass Nickerson Schedule
    X Train
    Let's Kick Some Ass

    New Ross Nickerson CD
    Let's Kick It

    Straight ahead bluegrass banjo recorded with members of Blue Highway, Rob Ickes, Shawn Lane, Tim Stafford and Wayne Taylor. Just Released
    Hear a Sound Byte

    Sound bytes of all 14 songs here

    Let's Kick It

    bela and ross


    ross nickerson
    Pictures from Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival, Ireland
    Tony Trishka / Ross Nickerson
    Ross Nickerson, Tony Trishka at concert in Somerset, KY, 2008

    banjo cd

    New compilation CD featuring Ross Nickerson.

    Others featured on the CD are Earl Scruggs, Sonny Osborne, Eddie Adcock, Jim Mills, Greg Cahill, Pete Wernick, Scott Vestal and more. CDs

    Ross Nickerson Performance Videos
    There are 21 in the player, after you hit play,
    scroll on the bottom of the screen to choose which ones to watch

    banjo award
    True West Magazine named Blazing the West the top Bluegrass CD of 2003 in their annual Best of the West issue.

    Country Music Television voted Blazing the West as one of the top ten albums of 2003

    The International Bluegrass Music Association named Blazing the West one of the top 15 instrumental CD’s of 2003.

    Tab for Blazing the West is available with the Blazing the West CD and Tablature book Click here for more info

    Nick Kick-Bones Ross Nickerson
    signature model banjos from Bell Bird Banjos. They're called Nick Kick. This model is called The "Cracka"
    Nick Kick Videos Available to the public by order.
    reso banjo

    The Resnick Ross Nickerson Signature Model Resonator Banjos at

    Check out the videos

    The Banjo Encyclopedia
    by Ross Nickerson

    from Mel Bay Publications

    It's 240 pages and a 99 track CD. There's a lot of value there.
    banjo encyclopedia

    banjo dvds
    Playing by Ear and Learning the Chords
    Banjo Jamming and Play Along DVD with Bonus Learning the Chord Forms Video
    Brand New DVDs by Ross Nickerson

    Picture of Ross and his two children, Theo and Jackson Nickerson
    Theo is an attorney for the US Dept Of Justice, Office of Immigration and Jackson is an Air traffic Controller in the US Air Force
    Theo Nickerson.Jacskon Nickerson.Dad

    Picking the Patriotic Medley at the Oak Ridge Boys concert.

    Ban-Joey (Joey Bonsall) dragged me up for a number. (twist my arm...) What a bundle of banjo energy Ban-Joey is!

    Video of Ross Nickerson sitting in with Del McCoury Band at Calgary Folk Festival click here
    Ross Nickerson

    Nova Scotia banjo camp
    Ross Nickerson with Bill Keith and Ian Perry at the Nova Scotia Banjo Camp -2006

    Riders in the Sky blazing
    Sitting in with Riders in the Sky-3-2003. What a great bunch of guys and they're the best at what they do. Cutting Blazing the West, the CD they played with me on was a treat. No one plays Texas style rhythm like Ranger Doug, Woody Paul is without a doubt the "King of the Cowboy Fiddlers", and Too Slim is a comic genius and a solid bass man to boot.

    ross ion Tucson
    Ross N in Tucson, AZ - 2005
    I performed at the Athy Bluegrass Festival 7-02 in Ireland. Clem O'Brien Guitar. (update, Clem just joined the band The Chieftans") Niall Toner Mandolin. Going to see those guys at the 3rd Annual Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Ireland. September 23rd-25th, they are on the bill too.

    ross kids
    These are my children.

    I got great kids! :) if I do say so myself.
    My daughter Theo has graduated Law School and is a trial attorney for the US Dept of Justice. My son Jackson finished as the top graduate in the Air Force Air Traffic Controllers School. His reward for being top grad was permission to pick the base he's stationed, Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. He is in Tokyo now and recently was the top grad in Airman's Leardership School. He recently married a wonderful woman from Tucson. I'm very proud of her too.

    son and car ross theo bones
    Jackson with his new car in Germany, he likes the autobahn...too much.
    My daughter Theo, Bones and me.

    bones my dog Come to a workshop and meet my dog "Bones"

    Bones is the greatest dog! Great traveling buddy! Smart little bugger he is! Very polite to the banjo students too.


    Playing rock was fun, Deering is quality!
    banjo cruise

    Banjo Cruise. It took some courage to get this event started but it was a success! It can only get better from here. Check out the Banjo Cruise and itinerary we have for this year.
    The Banjo School In Catonsville, MD is where I used to give private lessons. I've since moved to Florida and am traveling more holding workshops.
    Pinecastle Ross Nickerson signs with Pinecastle Records. 2002
    ross and PinecastleRoss Nickerson with Tom Riggs, President of Pinecastle Records. Tom Riggs received a lifetime achievement award from the International Bluegrass Association this year!


    Matt Ginter after the game!I look a little faint to the right, don't I? Too much KY bourbon, compliments of Ginter the night before, Matt's from Winchester, KY


    I might get a hit if they let me use the banjo for a bat, you know I could bunt my way on, eh?

    niagara falls
    niagara river



    My Daughter Theo and I went to Niagara Falls. Bones too! niagara falls
    Ross Nickerson Performance Videos you can watch online

    On the Road Blog

    Adventures in Banjo Travel

    Videos from performances

    Audio Soundbytes

    2005 Smokey Mountain Banjo Camp photos
    Doug Dillard of Andy of Mayberry fame., What a great picker and a great guy too!
    Banjo wizard Bill Keith. I'm either really tired or really confused!


    Ross Nickerson with Nancy Nitche of Banjo Newsletter


    With banjo legend Butch Robbins of Bill Monroe fame.

    From Nova Scotia Banjo Camp 2006
    Ian Perry, Bill Keith, Ross Nickerson
    Picking with Danny Barnes at Calgary Folk Festival. July 2005. Danny Barnes kicks butt.

    Picking with Bill Keith, Butch Robbins, James McKinney, Larry McNeely, Doug Dillard and camp director Jack Hatfield.
    Interview with Ross Nickerson
    by Phil Morley

    As I was so impressed with Ross's CD I had to get an interview with him. So I wrote and sent him a copy of BG with his CD review in it. Ross kindly sent back this interview plus a tab for San Antonio Rose. This tune is one taken from Ross's CD and if you haven't gotten it yet. I suggest you do it's fantastic.

    BG. When did you start to get interested in the banjo?

    RN. My best friend in High School played the guitar and he encouraged me to buy a used one. I really got interested after I went to the Union Grove Fiddlers' Convention in North Carolina.

    BG. At what age did you start playing?

    RN. I was 16 or 17 when I began playing.

    BG. Who were your main influences?

    RN. I was influenced and inspired early on by the Will The Circle Be Unbroken album which included Earl Scruggs and John MCuen. I thank all the great players and publications that have made tab available to learn from.

    BG. What was your first banjo and what is now your current banjo?

    RN. The first banjo I had was a Kay. I've had a variety of other banjos including Mastertones, and a Stelling. I now play a Goldstar. I call it the Masterclone. I also have a Deering Crossfire that Derring made custom for me.

    BG. Did you play in bands as you were developing your style?

    RN. I was in a band after only playing the banjo for nine months. Playing with others helped me progress more than anything. Also I practiced a lot in the first year.

    BG. What style would you say mostly ( Scruggs, melodic, etc..?

    RN. I play a mixture of Scruggs, melodic, and single string. I use whatever technique best fits the material I'm playing.

    BG. What gauge strings do you use?

    RN. I use 11,12,13,20,11.

    BG. What height bridge do you use and type of action?

    RN. 11/16 or 3/4.

    BG. What gauge finger picks do you use?

    RN. I use shelor picks with the cobalt coating from Bob Perry and a variety of thumbpicks. I cut down the blade and cut the lip that wraps around the thumb back so it won't catch in the strings.

    BG. How many hours of practice do you do?

    RN. When I first started, I practiced about four hours a day. Now I practice on an as need basis. For instance, if I have an upcoming gig or recording session I practice specifically for that.

    BG. What advice would you give someone who is starting out?

    RN. Practice a lot. The banjo masters credited with developing a style named after them such as Keith, Crowe Adcock, Fleck etc. are all quoted as practicing 8 or more hours a day.

    BG. Do you listen to other forms of music other than bluegrass?

    RN. I grew up on a normal diet of Rock and Roll. I got drawn into a love of bluegrass through my interest in the banjo. I've been able to use the many influences I have in different band situations I've been in.

    BG. Do you play any other instruments?

    RN. I play electric guitar and some Dobro but banjo is my main instrument.

    BG. Do you read music notation or do you play from feel.

    RN. I started with a little tab, by tape and sharing licks. Then I learned a lot from tab. Now I play mostly by ear.You can also check out some instruction articles that he wrote for the Ibluegrass web magazine or check out the story on the adventure of picking with Earl Scruggs.

    Instruction Articles
    Ross Nickerson
    Pinecastle Recording Artist-Ross Nickerson
    Bullet Proof Productions
    Ross Nickersons Upcoming Schedule

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