Oldtime 5-String Banjo

“Thanks for the awesome lessons. You’re an amazing teacher!” –ML, Oakland, CA

“Wow! Old Time Gold. Heath Curdts is a fantastic teacher. It was only when I revisited America this year on an Old Time odyssey that I realised just how good a start he gave me.” –SR, Ireland

“Thank you for the encouragement. You've learned over the years how to really teach people to do this thing. You're an incredible teacher!” –GD, Oakland, CA

I got started playing the 5-string banjo as a teenager in Virginia and was fortunate to learn much of my music directly from older traditional players, most especially Tommy Jarrell from the Round Peak area of North Carolina. I also learned from Dix Freeman (NC), Luther Davis (VA), Clyde Davenport (KY), and others. Over the years I’ve performed with many stellar musicians, including Tommy Jarrell, Benton Flippen, Mike Seeger, Jody Stecher, Paul Brown, and Dan Gellert.

I’m a patient and supportive teacher who loves sharing what I know. Over the past 40 years I’ve taught banjo to countless players in private lessons, in workshops, and at festivals and camps nationwide (including more than 25 Lark in the Morning camps). I've been giving online lessons since 2012, and among my students are pre-teens, retirees, total beginners, and advanced players with decades of experience.

I like bluegrass banjo, but I don’t teach it. I teach clawhammer (frailing, downpicking, etc.) at all levels, and old-time fingerpicking to beginners and intermediate level players. References on request.


Willing to Teach for Trade (Skill-Sharing)?: No: Not teaching in exchange for lessons
Instrument(s) Taught: 5-string banjo, fretted or fretless
Musical Genre(s): Traditional American
Level(s) Taught:
Ages Taught:
Youth (under 18)
Adults (18 and older)
Scheduling/Availability: Day and evening slots available. Please contact me for details.
Online Lessons Available?: Flexible: can teach online and in-person