Banjo lessons Melbourne – School of Banjo

Posts Tagged ‘banjo tabs’


Welcome to Melbourne’s School of Banjo website. Gus Macmillan is decicated to teaching 5-string banjo one-on-one to students of any playing ability, in any style, any standard. He has banjos available to buy or rent, and Skype Lessons are also available for those outside the Melbourne area.

Gus has 20 years of experiences playing banjo professionally, including 18 years of touring Australia and 11 years touring America, Europe, and Asia with his band Blue Grassy Knoll. In 2003 he was fortunate to have banjo tuition with several great banjo teachers in the USA , and has been teaching banjo ever since. He was the 2005 Guildford Banjo Jambouree two tune pick off champion!

Gus loves teaching banjo and has upward of 30 banjo students at the moment, they range in age from 11 to 73, men and women, talented and triers. He understands that people learn banjo at their own pace – some come weekly, others fortnightly, some come in fits and starts…  each according to their requirements. Gus works out the needs of each banjo student and tailors their banjo lesson syllabus accordingly.

“Gus is a superb banjo teacher. He is inspirational and lessons with him are a delight. Thoroughly recommended!” – Rhonda Stewart, former student (via Linked In)

He’s used to teaching banjo to players of all standards – he can start people from scratch, getting their picking fixed up right from the beginnning, and give them things that they can play without too much hassle, so that it’s not all hard work and no reward. Books and the internet are a great resource for learning banjo but to learn properly you need to get feedback as you go, and there’s nothing that beats having someone show you how to do it.

Gus is also able to help more experienced banjo players that might be stuck in a rut with their banjo practice… or just need some inspiration to pick it up again, through:

  • Developing new rolls – take the rolls you know and turn them on their head. Play familiar songs in an unfamiliar way.
  • Technique – get feedback on hand positioning, making your playing more efficient and effective
  • Explore Up The Neck – work out why those high tab frets go where they do.
  • Scales and Improvisation – learn about scales, blue notes and simple riffs to keep things interesting.
  • Basic music theory. Look at the big picture of how music fits together. Harmony, melody and rhythm.
  • Working out songs – if you’ve got a song that you’ve always wanted to play Gus can write it out and teach it to you.
  • Developing picking speed – start to sound like those speed demons on the web.
  • Learn a variety ‘hotlicks’ to spice up your playing.

He has a large selection of music that he gives to banjo students as they progress, writing out his own tunes and exercises as well as from all different sources -  he tends to pick his favourite banjo tunes, and also give students a CD of the things they’ll be playing in their banjo lesson, but nice and slow, so they can hear what’s what. He’ll also give you a compilation CD of some of his favourite banjo tunes. He also has a large lending library of bluegrass CDs and DVDs available for banjo students to borrow, and believes in utilising resources such as You Tube and Spotify to expand a student’s knowledge.

“Gus’s banjo lessons are fun, rewarding and client-oriented” - Dr Bill Williams Former student (via Linked In)

Gus is always happy to teach more banjo students, if you’re willing to give it a try. He charges $60 an hour, and he teaches from a dedicated banjo teaching space at his home in Brunswick. Half hour lessons are available for kids, at $35.

He also has gift vouchers if you are looking for a present for a friend or loved-one who would like banjo lessons.

You can contact him on gus@gusmacmillan.com or 0412 964435 to have a chat and make a banjo lesson time.

For those looking for an entry level banjo, Gus has banjos for hire and is also able to supply you with a brand new Deering banjo at a discounted rate. For those looking for something a bit more advanced, Gus plays and recommends Nechville Banjos for which he  is Australian Distributor of these beautiful instruments and would be happy to help you purchase one at a discount price.


“I got so much out of our banjo lessons… it has totally changed how I am playing, I can feel the strings now and the sound is so different.”  – Adrian Norman, 11/2/2014

“Thank you so much for all your help so far, It has made my playing a trillion times better and actually fun to practice now.” - Nathan Henderson 10/10/2013