How to Play ‘Old Man at the Mill’ on Banjo 

In this video from Jim Pankey, we show you how to play Old Man at the Mill on the Banjo.

“Old Man at the Mill” is a traditional American folk song that has been passed down through generations and has been performed by various artists over the years. The song typically tells the story of an old man working diligently at a mill, grinding grain and carrying out his daily tasks. The lyrics often depict the hard work and dedication of the miller as he goes about his laborious job. The song was most famously recorded by Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, The Stanley Brothers, The Dillards and many more.

How to Play ‘Old Man at the Mill’ on Banjo

Video Text:

[Music] thank you hey YouTube thank you here with a great old Dillard’s tin called old man at the Mill I get requests for this and for whatever reason I’m just neglected doing it and it’s not because I don’t like y’all it’s just I just hang that around to it yet so y’all will enjoy it it’s short and it’s got some cool licks that y’all should already know if you’ve been through any of my lessons so let’s just dive into this thing but first if you enjoy my content and if this is something that you like help that hit a like button and maybe leave a comment if you want to get over that streak of bad luck you’ve been having hit the Subscribe button and if you want to get notifications when I post new videos ring that Bell

All right let’s look at this to you it starts with just a simple walk up and the walk-up sounds like foreign one and three I use my fingers and then fourth string open fourth string at the third and fourth string at the fourth so it sounds like and now we do we do that potatoes thing did you watch that video see we’re building all right but but in case you didn’t what we’re going to do is it’s a forward roll with a slide on the fourth string from four to five so so four with a slide three one five and we’re going to keep our forward roll going so we’re gonna do three one so it sounds like and then we’re gonna do that again so from the lead in [Music] you got it all right now we’re gonna slide back to the third fret and we’re gonna do four three one three and then we’re going to do our slide with a forward roll but this time we can start on the third string since we’re already there no reason to move we’re just slide four three one five three one so up to that point [Music] and then another forward roll but this time it’s five two one five five and then we’re gonna get the second string at the first fret and just pick that note and now we’re going to pinch one and two with our fingers and then a slide so that sounds like

[Music] do our best to channel some Ralph Stanley we’re going to do a little Wick out of clinch Mountain back step it’s going to be familiar sounding I’ll leave that index finger down we’re going to put this finger at the fifth fret and it’s five two one five slide back and you can leave your index down if you want to we’re going to need it later so it’s a good idea to have it there hit your first string and the first string open [Music] and then you’re going to put your string back down and pinch so so that sounds [Music] move this over to here so from the first string to the third string and it’s a one two and then I do a pull off there and then I reach to the fourth string at the third fret so that whole little phrase [Music] and then a five one just to fill a hole and then we’re going to do our potatoes thing third string third fret second string first fret leave those there and we’re going to do one two three one but on the three we’re gonna bend it a little and just a little just just so it sounds kind of wonky a little bit out of 10. that’s what we’re shooting for and then you can pinch the first and third strings open so let me play through it really slowly for you

[Music] same old man working at the Mill and you can do it places that you can mess with it is is the lead in you don’t have to do you can do it from the two [Music] and you can change how those potatoes flow so you could go [Music] and see we’re actually playing a partial F there and so you can actually hold that F if you wanted to [Music] if you wanted to that’s totally up to you [Music] and you could do that slide instead of [Music] you could do the three two one five one and then the clinch Mountain part I would probably keep that but you you [Music] and then so there we did that but you could do five two one five there too [Music] so mess with it find different ways of doing it that suits you and fit your hand and create your own break to old man at the middle hey I enjoyed showing you all this one I hope it was something useful to you have a good time with it we’ll see you next time bye y’all

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