Rich Stillman
3-finger banjo for bluegrass and other styles

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Banjo was not my first instrument, but after more than thirty years of playing it has become a passion and a profession. In addition to my experience with Scruggs-style bluegrass banjo playing, my background in classical piano and fingerstyle guitar contributes to my playing style, choice of material and approach to teaching the banjo. It has also brought me numerous contest wins: New Jersey bluegrass banjo champion in 1993, New England bluegrass banjo champion in 2002 and 2003, and six-time winner at the Lowell Fiddle and Banjo Contest through the 1990s.


I am a long-time teacher of three finger banjo at all levels. Thanks to teaching techniques I have developed over the past several years, I have a very high rate of success teaching beginners from eight to seventy, and I can also help more advanced players quickly improve their technique.

Over the coming months, I will be building a banjoteacher Web page with tips, advice and a teaching blog.


I am proud that Mel Bay has published my first banjo instruction book, Bluegrass Banjo from All Sides. The book was released in September 2012 and is available directly from Mel Bay, from, and from a number of fine brick-and-mortar and online music stores.

In connection with the book, I have started All Sides, a new Web page dedicated to the book and the ideas contained in it. The book is in its first printing, and there are a number of tablature errors that will be corrected in the next printing. A list of corrections is available on the All Sides web page. I am also going to publish additional lessons on the page, on a regular basis, using the ideas in the book as a starting point. So keep checking back to see what's new!


I joined my first bluegrass band in 1976. Since then I've formed, led or played in more bands I can count - currently Southern Rail and various groups with Joe Singleton. In addition to my work as a freelance studio musician, I've recorded with them and with three other regular performing bands: WayStation, Adam Dewey and Crazy Creek, The Jersey Travelers and The Bogus Family.

In addition to bluegrass I've performed in a number of other styles. You can watch my video of Aaron Copland's Hoedown, played with a local high school orchestra in May 2007.

Click here for my upcoming performance schedule.

Studio recording

In addition to my regular performing, I have recorded with New England artists in a number of different styles. I work hard with artists and their existing studio tracks to make sure the banjo fits the rhythm and style the artist intends.

Click here for a list of artists I've worked with.

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