Ben Freed's List of 100 Songs to Learn

A while back (July, 2006 to be specific), Banjo Newsletter featured a list compiled by Ben Freed detailing his take on the 100 songs a banjo player should have in his/her repertoire. This article is actually a follow-up to another article Ben had in BNL in December, 2005 entitled ‘Transitioning to the Next Level’.

Of course, no two musicians would hardly ever come up with the exact same list, but this is a good basic set of songs to learn. I’ve set about to ‘fill in the gaps’ on the songs in Ben’s list that I don’t know yet.

Like a lot of banjoists, I’ve added some of my own to his basic list. My list has about 135 songs in it now.

You may notice that some of the songs are similar to others in their chord progressions, making things a little easier.

 You can find Ben’s list here and get started! (Actually, he has 99 listed now – close enough!)

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About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Systems Engineer and part-time banjo and mandolin instructor. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play Scruggs and melodic and am working on becoming more advanced with single string. I'm also working on 4-finger banjo, which is way off the beaten path. I would like to see more jazz techniques integrated into bluegrass situations; counterpoint, especially. So long-term, that's what I'm doing. I'm also very keen on astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, christian homeschooling, martial arts, organic gardening and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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