Bach for the Tenor or Cello Banjo – New Book/CD

My arrangements for tenor banjo (or any 5ths-tuned instrument) of the first three cello suites by Bach, is now available from Mel Bay and other outlets.

The book has a CD recording of my performances of the suites on three different banjos.


Bach’s cello suites are among the most famous solo instrumental works of all time. The cello and the tenor banjo share the same tuning, and banjo players might be surprised at how well this great music fits on the fretboard.

Here is a chance for tenor banjo players to explore Bach on their instrument, which could be tuned to either regular, CGDA, or Irish tuning, GDAE.

Accompanying audio is included, using three different tenor banjos: a regular tenor (Deering Eagle II), a gourd tenor (Jaybird Banjos), and a cello banjo (Gold Tone) which has the same low pitch as the cello. A ‘suite’ is a collection of dances of varying speeds and time signatures, conceived to be performed as a whole, and preceded by a prelude. Bach’s Prelude to the 1st Suite is magnificent and justly famous. The Bourree from the 3rd Suite is also very popular.

Enjoy playing Bach on the Tenor Banjo!



New Photo Blog Post, plus other stuff

I have a photography blog – photography is my hobby. As I’ve just updated it with a new post, I thought I’d provide a link here.

This is the site: – and the latest blog post is at the top of the page: Meditations On Kolbenneblok.



What else is new? Well, I’ve added a new page to this site, devoted to my study of the plectrum banjo. LINK.

I will be performing a 30-minute plectrum-banjo recital at THIS EVENT is Huddersfield on the 26th October.


New Ukulele Book/CD

Twenty Popular Uke Tunes For Kids!

Fresh from Mel Bay Publications, my latest uke book, this one aimed at kids, but if my adult students are anything to go by, this one will be popular to all ages!

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and a video to promote it:

Available in most good stores, but also from the Mel Bay website, where it can also be downloaded as a pdf with mp3 soundfiles…

New Video: Cantio Sarmatoruthenica CXXIX

This is one of the very beautiful Ukrainian folk song arrangements by Jacobus Olevsiensis. Played on a lute by Bill Samson. I very much enjoy playing these arrangements discovered by Roman Turovsky, who also made the video…

Bach on the Cello Banjo

Something a bit unusual, perhaps… Here are two test recordings I’ve done of pieces of cello music by Bach, which I’ve arranged for the Gold Tone Cello Banjo (CEB-4). I think they work really well, and have confirmed my decision to arrange the first three cello suites of Bach for the Tenor and Cello Banjos. The publishing giant, Mel Bay, has agreed to publish the arrangements, and that book will have an accompanying CD.

Here are the two cello banjo performances:

I already recorded the full first cello suite, played on a magnificent Tenor Banjo by Deering, the Eagle II:

New Video – 19th-century Banjo Music by Frank Converse

Frank Converse wrote the most advanced music for the banjo in the 19th century. Here are two of his pieces from his Analytical Banjo Method of 1887, The Dell Schottische, and Boquet Mazurka.

The banjo is from circa 1900, by Parslow, with nylon strings.

Enjoy :-)

For The Greater Gourd

The young animator, Nik Ottinger, used my banjo playing to great effect in this moving short film. Enjoy: