Banjo, Bluegrass, Levels 2/3

Bill Evans

Take your playing to the next level! Designed for intermediate to advanced students with two or more years of playing experience, Bill will work with each student before camp to create a set of individual goals and objectives for the weekend. Class time will be divided between group instruction to address shared goals and individual instruction, in a master class format, to raise the level of each student’s playing on the spot, during the camp weekend! Some of the possible topics to be covered include playing in jam sessions and in bands, working up Scruggs-style solos, playing effective backup, expanding knowledge of theory and the banjo fingerboard, and exploring melodic and single-string styles. Tab examples will be provided for almost everything covered but it is not necessary to read tab well to be in class. 

Prerequisites: Students should have two or more years of playing experience, including some experience playing music with others in jam sessions or in informal bands. Participants should know the elements of Scruggs-style playing: roll patterns, left-hand techniques (slides, hammers, pulls) and some back-up and also be able to play a handful of songs or instrumentals in Scruggs style in medium to medium-fast tempos or more. Students should also have knowledge of the up-the-neck chord positions used in vamping-style backup and be able to accompany others on standard jam session favorites.

Audio and video recording is encouraged (smart phones are great for this purpose!). Students need to come to class with a banjo, picks, strap, capo and a fifth string capo (or spikes) installed on their instrument. Students should also consider bringing the following items with them: music stand, notebook, pencil, capo, metronome, extra picks and strings. Questions? Contact Bill Evans at

About Bill Evans

Bill Evans has taught thousands of people to play banjo and bluegrass music all over the world in a performing and teaching career that now stretches over four decades. He’s a camp veteran, having taught several times at Walker Creek, along with teaching at the Berklee College of Music (Boston), the Swannanoa Gathering (North Carolina), SoreFingers Bluegrass Week (UK), Camp Bluegrass (Texas), the Midwest Banjo Camp (Michigan), the Weiser Banjo Camp (Idaho) and his own New Mexico Banjo Camp, among many others.  From 2009 to 2019, Bill taught a highly popular series of jam/ensemble classes at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse that attracted hundreds of students on all instruments.

Bill has produced nine instructional DVDs for Homespun Tapes, AcuTab Publications and the Murphy Method and has beginning and bluegrass banjo lessons available online via Peghead Nation ( He is the author of Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies, Banjo For Dummies and Parking Lot Pickers Songbook: Banjo Edition, three of the most popular banjo instructional books in the world. In addition, he has taught in the Music Departments at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, the University of Virginia, Duke University and the California Jazz Conservatory.

Bill’s instruction is hands-on and practical – he wants you to get out there playing as soon as possible and have fun doing it! Bill has performed with many bluegrass greats, including David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, David Bromberg, Dan Crary and Dry Branch Fire Squad among many others. He has toured all over the world, appeared on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and even performed in a San Francisco Symphony concert and his CDs have topped international folk and bluegrass charts. Here in northern California, Bill hosts his annual California Banjo Extravaganza tour each fall along with monthly sessions with the California All-Star band Bangers and Grass at the Kensington Circus Pub.

Bill is one of the most in-demand banjo teachers anywhere, so we're very happy he'll be teaching banjo at Walker Creek this spring!