Frailing is a down-picking approach to making music with the five-string banjo.
Frailing is a simple approach to making music. You can learn the techniques in an afternoon.
In a nutshell, frailing banjo is striking down on one or more strings with your fingernail. We create single notes and chord bushes with this downward motion. We also pluck strings with our thumb. Frailing requires no picking hand dexterity. It is an excellent technique for kids 8 to 80.
On this website you will find instructional material to help you learn the art of frailing banjo. Books, DVD workshops and fun programs like The Daily Frail.
For beginners we recommend Patrick Costello’s The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo. The book is available in several formats on the web. Sales of digital and print copies help us continue to offer free resources around the world.
Frailing banjo is a powerful approach to making music. In spite of – no, because of – its simplicity, frailing can adapts to any musical setting. From folk songs to fiddle tunes. Country blues to rock and roll. Frailing can do it all. It just takes practice.