Theater-16, Inc.

Live Entertainment With A Difference

Captain Billy's School of 5-String Banjo

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This is a 5-string banjo, America's most orginal musical invention. It continues to increase in popularity despite what I do to it!
Captain Billy Banjo
Click on an image to enlarge.
  • Ernie Guderjahn, a.k.a. Captain Billy Banjo
  • The 5 string banjo is an original American invention… what's that tell you about the country!
  • … it came into the souther united states along with the slave trade.
  • Joel Walker Sweeney is credited with introducing the 5-string banjo to the public.
  • Presenting my "School of 5 String Banjo" in a corn maze… amazing!
  • I always draw a really big crowd….see!
  • Doing an imitation of Joel Walker Sweeney.
Captain Billy Banjo (aka Ernie Guderjahn) has performed, taught and studied the 5-string banjo since 1967. Featured on the cover of the July, 1991, Banjo Newsletter with his "School of 5-String Banjo Show", he has brought the production to fairs, festivals and schools across the United States and Canada. Whether performing on stage or strolling the grounds, he gets your toes tapping.
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In his self contained show, Captain Billy presents a thumbnail sketch of the history of the 5-string banjo, and a musical comparison of 2 Finger Picking - 3 Finger Picking - Frailing & Drop Thumb Styles. Captain Billy is an award winning banjo player, a banjo teacher and a student of the banjo. His audience walks away with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of song.


Educational: Historical information about the 5-string banjo.
Informative: Trains the audience to "hear" different styles.
Entertaining: Uses music, comedy and audience participation.
Instructive: Learn to play the Bag!
Attractive: Western style backdrop and decor.
Self Contained sound and wagon stage available.
Strolling, stage or both!
Take a look at the pictures above, listen to some of his music, download further information by using the button, or watch the classic video below. If you would like to listen to Captain Billy playing his banjo - CLICK HERE
If you would like some printed information, download this PDF file. FREE TODAY ONLY!
This video is being hosted on YouTube and was edited from various sources from the last century (when he still had a full head of hair), it will give you a good idea of what's going on… and Captain Billy has only gotten better!
Click on the play button below to view the video which runs less than 3 minutes. (Time well spent!)