Steve in D & G

Steve writes:

Hi Patrick,

Diggin’ the new series of videos. Here’s my attempt at playin’ open-D:

And here’s one where I attempt to teach a buddy of mine who just got his first banjo some bad habits:

Thanks! Look forward to more from you.


Let Forever Be

Colin with a cover of The Chemical Brothers’, “Let Forever Be”.

Here’s my version of the Chemical Brothers “Let Forever Be”.
This is a really good exercise for me.
In this tune I’m using what I’ve learnt from the in the past month or so, things like learning a tune that isn’t traditionally played on a banjo, transposing to play in a different key, finding the melody within the chord progression and also the addition of hammer-ons pull-offs and slides, there was also a couple of parts where I was supposed to put in a full chord hammer-on but I forgot and the structure of the tune is a little bit messy. Gonna keep working on this one, might introduce the old bottle-neck slide, see where that takes me.

Down, Down, Down

Danno writes:

Hi Patrick.

Thanks for doing these Daily Frail videos. I enjoy watching and using them. I have a question. It looks like, when you are playing, that you are sometimes hitting a note when your strumming finger (the finger you’re not supposed to point with) is moving up instead of down. Am I mis-seeing this? Are you really only striking your notes on the down stroke or are you hitting some notes on the upstroke as well?

Thanks so much!

(I hope Dear Old Dad is doing well.)

I know it sounds like there is more going on, but everything you are hearing is either from a downward strike of my middle fingernail on the first four strings or my thumb plucking the fifth string.

I do a lot of alternate string effects so that can make it look like I am playing something in addition to down-strokes. To get an idea of how this works check out this tab example

banjo tab

I have done something a bit unconventional here and laid out the tab so that there are specific instructions for the fretting hand and the picking hand.

In the first measure we are playing the basic frailing strum on the third and fourth strings.

In the second measure we have replaces the quarter note strike with a rest. as your picking hand is playing that rest the fretting hand plays a phantom hammer-on/pull-off on the third and then the fourth string.

In order for this to work your hammer-on’s and pull-off’s need to be almost as loud as a struck note.

Once you get the feel of this you can gt some pretty wild rhythmic effects.

We will go through some exercises on this in next week’s Daily Fail exercises.

Daily Frail Frequently Asked Questions

The Daily Frail has been back in production with a new format for more than a month now. It has been a lot of fun getting back into the groove of creating a new video workshop five days a week.

We have been getting a lot of mail from folks with various questions about the new Daily Frail, so I thought I should take the time to address a few of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: Why are Daily Frail videos only available for just one day?

A: Keeping The Daily Frail to a truly daily format encourages people to pick up the banjo every day.

Q: Where can I buy one of those little banjos that Patrick has been playing?

A: You can order a Fireside banjo directly from us. Visit fireside.html and call Dear Old Dad at (410) 968-3873.

Q: When are the Daily Frail DVD’s going to be available?

A: The first Daily Frail DVD is almost ready. They will be taking orders very soon.

Q: How can I support The Daily Frail?

A: You can support The Daily Frail by ordering a book, video or instrument from Pik-Ware Publishing. Other than that, the best thing you can do to support The Daily Frail is to spread the word. Get out into your community and share the craft of frailing banjo.


Late last night a package showed up on the front porch. Much to our surprise it was a wooden banjo stand from David at

It’s an amazing instrument stand. I love it – and I so happy to have a stand to properly display the Katana!

Thanks, David!