Beginning/Intermediate Bluegrass Banjo with Max Heineman

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This Beginning/Intermediate Bluegrass Banjo workshop is geared towards those who have just started to those who have developed a few skills and have previously taken a beginner class. We will stress the fundamentals starting with the basics: adjusting your strap for proper playing height, tuning, where to place your right hand, how to do hammer ons, pull offs, pinches, chokes, slides, chord shapes, playing in different keys and of course rolling. The banjo is a rhythm instrument and in accordance we will spend a lot of time working on our right hand technique to achieve good timing. This is essential for playing with others and jamming, a key goal of this class. We will also be learning how to “lift” (to listen carefully and figure out what is being played) banjo parts off recordings, this is key in giving you the skills to get away from relying on tab. We will learn to play a number of standards including Earl Scuggs’ Cripple Creek and Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Bluegrass is an oral tradition and we will be developing our ability to learn by listening, however I will provide tablature and recording of the class is encouraged.

*Note from NimbleFingers - this class is geared for strong beginners and up. If you’re right out of the gate, All Instruments Sing and Strum with Jenny Lester is your best bet!*

The child of two musicians, Toronto based Max Heineman has been singing since he can remember, and started playing bass at age twelve. He played, sang and recorded with groups throughout his youth in and around the Toronto area.  He joined the Foggy Hogtown Boys in 2006 and in 2008, formed old time trio The Lonesome Ace Stringband with fellow FHB members John Showman and Chris Coole.   Max has toured in the U.K., Ireland, Israel, Australia, the U.S. and Canada with FHB, Lonesome Ace Stringband and with Canadian roots/oldtime band Annie Lou.  He has taught workshops at music camps throughout Canada since 2006 and has recorded vocals and bass on numerous Canadian recordings.  Max is highly respected as an intuitive and seasoned bass player; he also plays both Scruggs style and clawhammer banjo and rhythm guitar, which inform his overall understanding of the unique rhythms of Bluegrass, Old Time and Country music. 


Lonesome Ace Stringband
Foggy Hogtown Boys
Max Heineman