< Back to Home
Practice makes perfect.
From klbeasley1435 on 3/8/2012 8:05:18 AM
Hey everyone. Just have a question for you all. I am a little more than 3 weeks into learning and absolutely loving every minute of it. My question is. Should I stop where I am in my "banjo for dummies" book, which is about halfway, and work on perfecting what I have learned so far? What do you all think. I feel I've learned a tremendous amount in such a short time but am really wanting a more or should I say "near perfect" sound.
3/8/2012 11:38:22 AM
I'm using "The Banjo Method" by Hal Leonard & wondering the same thing. I've decided to review each practice session and pending how it feels, move on a little. As long as my accuracy & technique are clean, I figure speed will come with time. Also, when I get to a song I like I will spend more time on it trying to get the right sound. "Skip to my Lou" isn't one of them! Maybe post a recording of yourself playing & get some feedback from the veteran pickers would be beneficial for you in deciding whether to advance. I'm not quite there yet myself!
3/8/2012 12:44:53 PM
I'm 7 months in. Some people say you should not try to learn new techniques or even songs until you've perfected each previous step. I think that's silly, especially if agonizing over the same thing reduces your enjoyment.
My philosophy has been to ways work on new things, but always keep practicing the stuff you've ready learned. When your arm a new technique go back and figure out how to apply it to songs you already learned. If you find that you're having problems with one particular thing, practice the crud out of it but don't get hung up on it forever.
3/8/2012 2:07:58 PM
I'm about 3 mos. into the banjo, and seem to get frustrated and/or excited about it every few days in a lot of different ways. I went to our "regular" weekly fiddle jam last night and played chords as I can't keep up to speed in most tunes I've figured out like "Cripple Creek." But I practiced at home this week with the Dan Levenson "Old-Time Festival Tunes." It's a lot of melody, but clawhammer, so pretty detailed and, for me, not fast to get into your head/fingers. But his book (and CD's) have helped me almost figure out simpler tunes like "West Fork Girls" (partly playing the melody, and then just the chords---while I learn to pick up on the strumming and timing). It seems that there is a large amount of information re books, CD's, DVD's and YouTube, not to mention friends, but it's still a matter of how you teach yourself and how you, yourself, can best figure it out. It's just going to take some time, and like learning anything, it requires baby steps and plateaus along the way.
3/8/2012 5:57:32 PM
I'm also using the Hal Leonard book, and whilst I find it helpful as a guide, I'm also looking for banjo tabs for songs I really want to learn. This helps, because I really want to practice, so I can play songs I enjoy. Whilst this probably isn't the best method, building up from the basics first would be ideal, this has definitely helped me continue playing the banjo, and practice becomes enjoyable, as opposed to a chore.
That being said, perfecting what you know so far is probably a good way to go, as good foundations can only help you become better :)
3/8/2012 6:07:04 PM
I keep finding myself watching you tube videos too. I've also printed some songs off that one day I want to learn but I can tell at this point all I've been able to do is print them out. But one of these days we will. Maybe by the time I retire but we will learn.
3/9/2012 5:46:25 AM
3/9/2012 7:11:16 AM
Note to self: proofread iPhone's autocorrections before posting.
3/9/2012 9:11:35 AM
Dont make a chore or job out of it, its music, its for your enjoyment...my father-in-law is helping me thats his #1 rule, he has been playing music since he was 7 he is 80 now and has played in churches, with the Army marching band but never technically professional, I saw him one day sitting on the porch with his guitar just playin away, i ask him what song that was, he said i'm not playing any song i'm just messin around, it's amazing to watch him play that way cause it looks like he is just flopping his hands around on the fretboard and the strings with the right, I need to get a video.
Jonny R says:
3/10/2012 5:28:10 AM
I'm six months in. I started with Banjo for Dummies and got half way thru before I started looking around at other sources. I am learnin Scruggs style. I kind of got bored with just the Dummies book, I started copying tabs for tunes I like and watching Bourassa's Youtube videos which I think are very helpful and this keeps me interested. Where I live there aren't many jam sessions going on and I haven't checked into a getting a teacher yet. People do say that playing with others really helps most. I think what is important is to do things that will keep you interested in learning, never mind being perfect at this point.
3/17/2012 12:03:19 PM
I am two and a half months in, nine lessons, as I started with a teacher. I highly recommend a teacher. I have thus far learned Banjo In The Hollow, Cripple Creek, and Cumberland Gap. I can play the first two from memory and at the correct tempo. Cumberland Gap is still a little on the slow side but getting better and finally I'll Fly Away is my latest one and I just started it. Each of these songs has a different roll pattern in it and they incorporate slides hammer ons and pull offs. All are essential in learning almost any song. That is why a teacher is a must, in my opinion, they take you through all the rolls and other movements you will need to learn any song. As for getting everything perfected, my teacher says practice everything and perfection will come and speed will come in time, just keep advancing and keep learning new things as that helps out all of the old things you have learned so far.
3/17/2012 12:11:40 PM
Thanks. Unfortunatley the financial aspect of a teacher is my main hardship. Miaybe for holidays or birthdays and christmas that will be my new request from family. That would be great. If you
3/17/2012 12:15:11 PM
Larry, in 2 months??? Seriously??? That's amazing!!!
3/19/2012 6:57:34 PM
I'm only two and a half weeks into this. I've had one session with my banjo teacher. So far, I'm just into rolls and chords. I'll start working on "Cripple Creek" at my next session. I do get bored with the rolls and chords, but the thing is - I don't have them down yet. I feel compelled to continue to practice these and get the fundamentals down, then I can move on to other things.
3/20/2012 11:04:59 AM
I look at it this way...The more fluent I am with chords, rolls, & technique I am, the easier & better sounding learning actuall tunes will be. At least that works as motivation for me!
3/29/2012 12:08:01 PM
I was told by my teacher that you get out what you put in. Meaning the more you practice the faster you learn and the better you will play. He said never go a day without at least picking the banjo up and doing something, anything. Well, I took him at his word and I practice every song ten times every day. I have now got the first song he gave me "Skip to my Lou" which I got real bored with real soon down to the point I can play it in less 30 seconds. When I started I made a promise to my self. At 64 I do not have years to learn in order to play in a bluegrass festival or a local jam so I have to put this thing on what I call the "Conrad sliding pennies course". I practice Banjo in the Hollow one time, then Banjo Rag one time, then Cripple Creek one time, then Cumberland Gap part one and two (two is played up the neck) one time and then I'll Fly Away one time. I then slide a penny across the table I have set up to my right and I repeat the process until all 10 pennies have been slid across to the other side of the table. Then, I practice Banjo in the Hollow at the speed that I have heard in videos and Cripple Creek is the same speed as Earl Scruggs in one of his early years, 10 times each. Then, I practice Cumberland Gap 10 more times and it is coming along nice as I have the first part completely memorized and the second part almost to memory and I find that the memorizing is the key, as it allows you to play faster. Now, to get Cumberland Gap to speed I may have to drink a few cups of coffee as that sucker is fast, fast. Tomorrow marks the end of three months and I can play Banjo in the Hollow and Cripple Creek as fast as the bluegrass jam guys want, and I seldom make a mistake. As for Chords I haven't really practiced them with the sliding pennies method. I do know the positions and I do know how to get my fingers there to play rhythm while some one is playing their break. So, klbeasley1435, yes I am serious. And, I love playing the banjo. I took this approach with money for lessons and money for a Professional Banjo. I told my wife and children, my brother and my sister that I do not want anything for my birthday or fathers day but cash. I have a Banjo box and I asked for donations I asked for their change I asked and surprisingly they gave generously. I have paid for every lesson so far with their donations and have managed to save 913 dollars so far for the Deering Serria Professional Banjo. (I am about third of the way there on what I need to save). It is amazing what my friends give when they come over to my house and see the box setting there with the big sign on it. I mean if a homeless person can stand on a corner and make 350 bucks a day out here in Los Angeles then I should be able to tap into my family and friends with a sign that says donations accepted and it is in my house and it is in the main entry way of my home, can't miss it.
4/11/2012 5:35:02 PM
I'm using Wayne Erbsen's "Bluegrass Banjo for the total Ignoramous" & been at it-around 3 weeks. Can play "Bile them cabbage down" "Down the road" and just memorizing the melody of "Groundhog". Can do 2 finger rolls,pinches,& drone nots on the 1st two songs. I'm learning the "peg leg sailor's roll" and "alternating thumb roll" Having a blast!
4/11/2012 5:36:58 PM
I'd continue with the Dummies book and review lessons at the same time. :-)
4/11/2012 5:52:19 PM
How funny...I just bought the ignoramous book too and like it very much. I've got those drone notes down pretty good on the first five songs.am on palms of victory now. Very cute little book I think. Love the books that have cd's in them. I even bought Earl Scruggs and the 5 string banjo but I better stick to the beginner books for now. Can't wait to build up to it tho. Lots and lots of songs in that one.
4/15/2012 3:34:39 PM
Larry, love your Penny idea! I started the Murphy Method a week ago after practicing come basic stuff for a month prior. I didn't like where I was going so ordered Murphy's Method. I've learned the first 2 songs Banjo in the Hollow and Cripple Creek so far. I can play slow to medium with some mistakes. I'm thrilled with her teaching and how things are going. By the way she also stresses speed will come with time. I love my basic banjo Gold Tone CC-50 open back, but do think I will upgrade when I get better,.....and save a few pennies..lol Happy picking!
4/16/2012 11:54:03 AM
Dave, I am so old that the pennies help me remember where I am in my practice time. Oh and my banjo box has been on display in my home, near the front door, and it has been seen by so many different people that it seems everyone is talking about it. I had a lady from Church this past Sunday hand me 20 dollars and say "this is for your Banjo Box, I hear everyone is donating so I wanted to be a part of this" I am now at $1,100.00 almost half way there. Deering Sierra is now a real possibility.
5/10/2012 4:54:45 PM
I am only one week in!! I am currently using the complete idiots guide. It seems to be simple and thorough enough. I will be ordering Backup Banjo with Janet Davis. I had a problem with the awkwardness of the fingerpicks and hand position but with each practice session, it all gets a bit easier. Each time I pick up my banjo and start practicing rolls and chord changes, I see that I am a bit better than the last practice session and that is very rewarding.
I am enjoying the banjo so much that I can't stand to put it down. So thankful to discover the joys of the banjo! :)
Deb D says:
5/13/2012 7:41:22 PM
KLB, I have the Banjo for Dummies book, but only for reference. I am working through the Janet Davis beginner book with the dvd, as well as the Hal Leonard beginning book. There's something I like about each of the methods (and some things I don't like) Dummies book would be hard to keep open on the music stand, and the tab's a bit small, but there's a wealth of other banjo info between those yellow covers. It's all so much fun!
Post a Comment
|You must be logged in and a member of this group to post a comment.||
1 2 3 4 Last