I found this interesting article in my bedtime reading. (1961 BMG magazines, of course)

I have not seen a list of tutor books compiled before. It goes up to 1957, but I am sure that is enough to keep us going!

I have attached a PDF file as that is easier to read or you can click on the pages above to makebiggerify them.


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Hi Ian,

This is a cool list!  Did you want to add more of these to this site?  I would think it cool but most are in A notation and some are stroke style books.

Of course all of the music can be played fingerstyle, but many stroke style pieces lose their magic when played with fingers and not a thimble.

I think we can fill in much of this list with digital collections.  I have many of these in PDF that I have gathered over the years.  Some were hosted on websites that are no longer in service and I have not gotten around to uploading them to the internet archive.

Let me know and I will start sending stuff your way or posting links to this discussion.  And we can always pick apart each book for fun (well, fun for me).

I think this list was reprinted in the ABF Journal. At least, I've seen it before. I remember laughing at the 1855 listing for a Minstrel Banjo Tutor by Stewart (who was born that year). Evidently a true child prodigy!

I'm amazed at how many of these we actually have available. I agree with Joel, we should to have copies of each and every one of the 5-string versions here onsite.

Thanks for sharing this list! There are a few listings for plectrum banjo, which I have started playing. It goes so well with the 5 string classic style; same tuning. I’m always looking to add to my ‘plectrum’ collection of tutors. 

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