Bluegrass Banjo Sheldon Friesen

Banjo lessons, teacher, performer – Vancouver / Surrey, BC


If you are interested in live online video lessons, send me a message and we can set up a schedule.

Who’s That Banjo Pickin’ Guy?

I’ve had this banjo obsession since I was young boy. When I was fourteen years old, I was able to pool all my life’s savings from part time jobs and purchase the banjo you see me playing in the picture. At sixteen years old I began teaching banjo at a local music store in the small southern Manitoba town were I was living at that time. I’m not a teenager anymore, I’m not too good looking, but not so bad as to spoil the music, and I still pick and teach.

I moved to the picturesque Cowichan Valley which runs through central Vancouver Island in the winter of 1999 with my wife and two boys. Leaving the sub-zero temperatures of Manitoba for the moderate Pacific Coast climate was a real treat and we’ve never looked back.

My wife and I owned and operated a small restaurant called ‘Heather’s Tea Room’ located in historic downtown Duncan, BC. We closed at 3:00pm when the restaurant transformed into my music studio where I taught bluegrass banjo to aspiring players who are filling the valley with those high lonesome sounds.

In the summer of 2007 my wife and I packed up once again and made the move to Surrey, BC were we are actively involved in campus life with the students of Pacific Life Bible College. On top of the great things happening on campus, I am also teaching and pickin’ banjo!

Life is good! The venue is perfect, and it is a joy to help promote bluegrass in the lower mainland. Hope you can come on down sometime and jam a little!

I’ll be waitin’ fur ya!

39 thoughts on “Home

  1. oilpaintingreproductionsarts on said:

    Thanks for knowledge sharing

    Marcus White Lisdoonvarna

  2. paul mailhot on said:

    Hi Sheldon, picker from Bowser, BC on the island just browsing your site , what’s the banjo your playing an Ibanez Artist?
    just curious

  3. Hi,

    I wanted to stay in touch with you. My name is Jenny and I have a green ukulele. I know the violin and keyboards, but the ukulele is a bit different. I live in the Surrey/Newton area. Just a few lessons to get me started may be nice.

  4. Teresa Sawatsky on said:

    My son is 13, and can’t wait to learn to play the banjo! He has been asking for a few years now, so we finally rented one, but are having a really hard time to find anyone who teaches. There are a few guitar teacher who are willing to teach some basics, but it would be nice to find someone with a banjo passion. We are in Chilliwack. Any help would be so much appreciated.
    Thanks so much,

  5. Hi Teresa, I’ve responded to your comment by personal email. Cheers!

  6. Hi Sheldon! I am looking for a banjo player for a marketing event.Contact me if you are interested.Thanks.

  7. Ange O. on said:

    Hi Sheldon! I’m wondering if you have any lessons available for extreme novices? I have never played a musical instrument in my life nor understand how to read music. I love the banjo & finally bought one in May. I know there are tonnes of books and instructional videos and I am willing to do the work, but I really need someone to point me in the right direction from ground zero. I tried tuning it for the first time tonight and broke 2 strings… I am thinking the lessons one would provide children is where I need to begin. I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you.

  8. scurrie on said:

    Hey Sheldon! Could you please send me some information on Banjo Lessons? I have over the past few months sparked an interest in learning. I am better at going to lessons then self teaching. I do not have any string instrument experience so any help would be great! I live in East Van and would be happy to commute if I need to, perhaps starting in the fall..? Thanks!

  9. Bonnita on said:

    Hi Sheldon, I too would like info on lessons. I am very beginner but am motivated as my family performs bluegrass at festivals and would eventually like to be part of it. Thanks

  10. Shah on said:

    Hello Sheldon,
    I am interested in learning how to play Ukulele. I have managed to memorize a few chords, that’s about it. How much do you charge per half house lessons? And what part of Surrey are you located?

  11. Bill C on said:

    Hi Sheldon I’m looking for banjo lessons I’m an older guy who is tired of the piano and looking for a change. I have bought a 5 string Ibanez and am at the point that I need help. Thanks for your time.
    Regards Bill C

  12. Looking for a banjo teacher

  13. John Wahl on said:

    I am trying to learn how to play a Dobro . Can you help me?

  14. Hi there, I was wanting discuss taking some banjo lessons from you if your still instructing. I really appreciate hearing back.

  15. Hi I’ve sent a few msg’s but haven’t heard back. I’m interested in bluegrass banjo lesson and would like to talk to you about this. If you could get back to me that would be great. Thanks

  16. Sorry, I just double checked and noticed that I put in an incorrect email. A bit embarrassing lol look forward to hearing from you
    Thanks again

  17. Lucy Shorey on said:

    Hi Sheldon. Looking for a ukulele teacher. Are you still offering lessons and are you available? I am new to playing this (or any instrument)

  18. James Hoglund on said:

    Hi Sheldon, it seems you are the only person in the lower mainland that teaches banjo lol. Well I have always been interested in learning and I think it’s about time, I was wondering what your rates are for lessons and what you would recommend as a good entry level banjo that won’t break the bank?

  19. Tony Fenton on said:

    Hi, I am wondering if I could get some banjo instruction. I played about 30 years ago and am now trying to get back into it.

  20. Tony Fenton on said:

    Hi, I am wondering if I could get some banjo instruction. I played about 30 years ago and am now trying to get back into it.

  21. Jeff Brule on said:

    Looking to set my fiance up with some banjo lessons.

  22. Renee Stroud on said:

    Dear Mr. Friesen,
    We’ve inherited a banjo! I am trying to determine it’s value and after viewing a lot of images online, I came across your picture. The banjo you are holding looks very similar. I was wondering g if you’d mind looking at pictures and seeing if you have any thoughts to it’s authenticity and age. We estimate it to be at least 40 years old. Please feel free to email me.

  23. Hi Sheldon , I’ve had a banjo for about a year now and I like to pick and play but I have no direction on how to practice to make things move forward .
    I’m located in the Chilliwack river valley and was curious about your online learning .
    Maybe to set up a schedule of lessons

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