Instruction Reviews

Instruction Reviews

Reviews of Ross Nickerson Banjo 
Books CDs and DVDs

....I want Ross to know that I've been trying to learn the banjo, off and on, for 20 years. Since receiving the Beginning Banjo in the past month, I have progressed farther than in the previous 20 years combined. I am so surprised at what I can still learn, even at 52, and the joy it has brought into my life, particularly at this time of the year

......I just received your "Beginning the 5-String Banjo." so before getting starting with the banjo, I sat down and read the entire book from cover to cover and listened to the DVD. It is the clearest, most direct and helpful book imaginable. It answered all my questions, gave me some really useful tips and information and has a crisp, clear starting point and path. The book and the DVD are also so encouraging and the progression so positive it really does give the reader comfort and a sense of having a gifted teacher right in the room. I can't imagine not buying all your other books.

Ross,
.....Just wanted you to know that I've learned more from reading only 13 pages of your Learning The Five String Banjo book than I have in two lessons from my (former) instructor. I am a special ed teacher myself so I know the difference between knowing a lot of material and teaching it to someone. By the way if you ever decide to get back to this area, save me a slot on your schedule as a life-time student!!! Thanks again. steve...

...Ross, Thank you, thank you, thank you. I learned more from your book and tapes in an hour, than in nine months with other sources. I am 64 and was beginning to doubt that I could ever learn to play the banjo. Now I believe I can do this! You are my new banjo hero, next to Kermit of course! Thanks again. Mallorie

.....I have been to other online instructional sites and various clinics and I am 100% convinced that your site and your personal instruction are the best out there.  I would most strongly encourage anyone interested in playing (or in advancing their skill on) the banjo to take advantage of the multiple tools available through your web site and/or to attend one of your clinics.  Nothing comes close to the “return on the dollar” they will get from your teaching methods.  Bob C 


.....Just want to take a minute to say thank you to Ross and the Beginning the 5 String Banjo book, cd and dvd! I have wanted to learn banjo for 30 years, have owned one for 2 years and am finally now - thanks to Ross - learning to play! This is so cool~God bless you

Ross, Just wanted to say thank you soooo much for putting out incredible material.  My mother is the retired music teacher that you have talked to lately, we both have just picked up the banjo.  I have been playing trombone for about 27 years now, am 6 hours away from my masters in performance.  Let me just say that your material is OUTSTANDING!  It truly does feel like you are there with us to guide us along.  This has been so much fun to learn and I would really like to thank you for such wonderful material and for your great talent on this instrument.  Thanks again and have a GREAT day! Mike Montgomery O=='={::}
 



........The Banjo Encyclopedia is more than I dreamed it would be. I could have aved myself a lot of money if I had started with this one book rather than buying 4 or 5 others to figure out which I liked best. Ross is so professional and so in tune with beginner and intermediate weaknesses. What a great teacher. I'll be looking for any workshops in 2005 that are within reasonable traveling distance. I'm still having a hard time with the vamping but hope to master it in 2005 Banjo E Reviews 


.......Thank you, Your DVD on the Fundamentals of Banjo is fantastic. No one should be without this item. It has helped me tremendously. Because of you and your support and web site. I am learning how to play this beautiful instrument that I love so much. Thank you for your web site and for being there to help. I am recommending this site to my friends. Once again, thank you.  Sincerely,  Autumn Rose LeFay

.......Ross, First, let me tell you how much I love your products. I have just about worn the covers off the Banjo Encyclopedia. I have purchased your Banjo Songbookand Scruggs Style books. I have listened to and watched every on line lesson you have and read all the tips on your site. I have only had my banjo about three months. I am 45 years old and decided to finally pursue the one instrument I love above all others. Thank you for providing such wonderful material. I look forward to the day I can play a song like El Cumbanchero, which has become one of my favorites. I like the album version, but the studio version of just the banjo is truly awesome. 

...........Thanks again for all the great material!


As a lifelong lover of the Banjo and live music,  I would like to say a really BIG thank you for your superb easy to follow web site and contents.    I have taken  up the Banjo at   sixty three  years old and  love it……..  (only one regret … I didn’t do it sooner) Thanks again….Len Pearce.     Plymouth .  England.   

I am at present using the Fundamentals of Five String Banjo and The Banjo Songbook and my essential piece of weaponry is "THE BANJO ENCYCLOPEDIA" I am constantly reading this publication because it is good to refresh your memory of what you have learnt and forgotten!.What I like about Ross' material is, it shows you exactly what you need to know and do and the demonstration dvds take you through slow, medium and fast playing which helps a great deal. Having Ross' material is like having him sitting alongside you while you learn, I guess the next best thing is actually having him sit alongside!! Regards Eugen

Your web site has proven to be invaluable to me, and Ross's instructional material is the best I've seen.  Between these two, things, I'm starting to finally move forward. 
I only wish I could have had these 2 things 30 years ago -- can't get that time back.  I'm looking forward to the order below as it should help me finally get to where I want to be.
 It really is the one-stop location for everything Banjo and is a phenomenal site. Thanks Kathy! Dan


Banjo Encyclopedia Reviews 

Reviews for DVD Banjo Lessons

.....I got the 2 new DVD's today and I'm blown away! As far as I know, there isn't any other instruction material on the market that compares. The "Playing Banjo by Ear" lessons are a tool kit for understanding how playing the banjo really works. It's like that old saying about teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him a fish. I spent the evening playing through both of them. You are right................they have cleared up the questions I was asking. I also spent the weekend going back over the Banjo Encyclopedia again with a better understanding this time since my playing has improved a lot since I first read it early this year.

.....I ordered Ross Nickerson Essential Banjo Licks and it is outstanding. I play and teach banjo guitar fiddle mandolin piano etc. at southern cross studios in south Texas. My students were catching up with me (: this is a great help. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Your DVD on the Fundamentals of Banjo is fantastic. No one should be without this item. It has helped me tremendously. Because of you and your support and web site. I am learning how to play this beautiful instrument that I love so much. Thank you for your web site and for being there to help. I am recommending this site to my friends. Once again, thank you. Sincerely, Autumn Rose LeFay

.......Thanks for the DVDs. Well, you have really done it now. These DVDs are what I have needed and been looking for nearly 20 years. My progress on the banjo is much faster now. .For many years, I have been wanting to learn how to keep a driving rhythm through a song. These DVDs explain and demonstrate exactly how to do that. Learning is much faster. Backup is easier and songs are easier to play by ear. Now I know what you meant when you used to say "I never play it the same way twice" and I was frustrated by that. How the hell can one learn something when the teacher never does it the same way twice? Now I know. I just wish I had learned these things at 30 or 40 rather than 70 (birthday 9/9/06).

Great job Ross!

.......Just to let you know I received my order of your two new DVD's and your book. Excellent! I can't stop practicing.
Also the Newletter is outstanding. Looking forward to the next one. Thanks!

.......Your instruction is concise and very helpful causing immediate progress with a little effort and practice. .... Keep it coming Ross, you have a student (customer) for as long as you continue to produce such excellent material.

......Although I have only had the DVD's a few days, I can't believe the progress I have made sticking with my same 1hour a day practice. I knew that your material would fit my learning style as soon as I saw and read some of it before I ordered. Although I had learned rolls from other book sources and videos before, your method took me where I needed to go to understand what I was playing and why. The best compliment I can pass on is from my wife - she said my timing is so much better and she likes to listen to what I am playing (she ran for the head phones before). I am sure you get tons of notes like this, but I just wanted you to know how pleased - and grateful - I am. Thank you! Gerry

.....Just a note to let you know that your new DVDs, Jamming and Playing By Ear are great. What a helpful learning aid, to be able play along with one of the best musicians and teachers anytime I want (need). Superb help and many valuable thoughts and tips...the bonus track on the "jamming" DVD is worth the entire cost, especially to someone like myself (and grand-daughter) who are just novice on the banjo.
Not that your other teaching DVDs are not valuable, because they too are a truly great value and have served me well, but this format is so different from the mass of lessons on the market, it definitely is a jewel that stands alone.
Thanks for sharing your talent with all of us.


......Ross, I'm having a great time with the new DVD's. Having the slow, medium and fast versions is extremely helpful. The slow helps in getting the rolls down correctly. Then moving on to the medium speed helps with getting the rhythm down, and it seems to me to be easier to distinguish between the eighth notes and quarter notes at this speed. I was up to the fast speed in no time, although I still need quite a bit of practice to make it clean. I'm learning a lot from these DVD's in a short amount of time, which is key for me because I don't have a lot of time to practice.

........ I really like the video. I've had the Earl Scruggs book since I was a teen and always got bogged down in the tab. Playing chord style is much simpler. Especially since I already know all the Scruggs style rolls. Honestly, I think more people would play the banjo if they started out on the chords instead of tabs. I learned to play the mandolin by playing chords first.

.......I've watched the first DVD and it has helped a lot. I wanted to learn to eventually jam with others and be able to blend in and improvise when needed. So your DVD has been just what I was looking for. It was highly recommended on the Banjo Hangout . org website. Your Banjo Encyclopedia has been a great source of information also.

.....I got the 2 new DVD's today and I'm blown away! As far as I know, there isn't any other instruction material on the market that compares. The "Playing Banjo by Ear" lessons are a tool kit for understanding how playing the banjo really works. It's like that old saying about teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him a fish. I spent the evening playing through both of them. You are right................they have cleared up the questions I was asking. I also spent the weekend going back over the Banjo Encyclopedia again with a better understanding this time since my playing has improved a lot since I first read it early this year.

I won't go over all of the important features of the lessons but they have broken me out of the structured "playing by rote" box I had gotten into. (Thanks, in part, to some of the other instruction material which is widely sold.) The two and three string chords are a revelation, I have encountered some of them before, but not the concept of using them as chord families with the varieties of rhythms.

I now realize my main immediate goal is to get a lot more proficient with my roll patterns in conjunction with my chord changing abilities. These two DVD's along with the Songbook lessons are exactly what I need at this point in my learning journey. I have gathered up all of my other instruction material and consigned it to a spot in the closet for now. What I've received from you in the last week is all I'll need for some time!

......Ross, I received the DVD's a few days ago and I feel compelled to let you know what I think of them. I own a good deal of training material from some of the best musicians (IMHO). You have hit a double homerun! The DVD's are excellent, whatever level you happen to be playing at. I was not aware of some timing issues until your play along DVD.

.........Ross, I want to take just a moment to say thanks. I recently received your DVD, Banjo Jamming and Play Along. I've been playing for a couple of years now and had not made any progress with the chords or jamming. Your special section regarding the chord positions has been very helpful. It was fun to learn how to make and locate the chords in ten minutes! I will refer to my copy of the Banjo Encyclopedia to further build on my chord progress. Thanks for your teaching! Darrick Salyers

......Ross, your jamming lessons are great! I really enjoy practicing. My memory isn't the best since I am 64 years old now, but I will keep studying!

.......Your instruction is concise and very helpful causing immediate progress with a little effort and practice. I havent seen materials this good since I had the pleasure of finding Harold Streeter and his stuff. Keep it coming Ross, you have a student (customer) for as long as you continue to produce such excellent material.

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