The web offers many different options for learning how to play the banjo; on BradleyLaird.com, you can scroll through an index of lessons and follow the instructions given. Youtube.com also offers a plethora of lessons for users to watch and play along with.
Free banjo lessons may be difficult to come by if you are looking to receive in-person instruction; in-person lessons are generally the best way to learn an instrument, as they ensure you are given proper feedback regarding the subtleties of the art, including picking and strumming techniques, fret fingering and keeping good rhythm. Should you seek personal instruction you can check Craiglist.org. There you can narrow your search to the proper state and county. Under the "Community" tab, select "Musicians" and scroll down to view the various listings. While many teachers seek payment, you may be able to find free or low-cost instruction here.
The banjo is a popular staple in American folk, country and bluegrass music. The instrument originated in Africa as a hollowed gourd attached to a piece of wood with three or four strings stretched across. When African slaves were brought to The Colonies, they brought the idea with them. The banjo became very popular in the early 1800's.