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One year of banjo...

Sunday, February 19, 2012 @1:03:56 PM

As today marks my first anniversary of pickin' banjo.  I'd like to share what I've learned and say thanks to the Hangout, which is an amazing resource for beginners.  I know I've got it easier than a lot of you older guys that started pickin' pre-internet and were ruining countless vinyl records trying to nail a lick or phrase.  That reality isn't lost on me, I learned to play guitar similarly whien I was younger (11, I believe).  Anyways here's some things I've learned about playing banjo

- learn the language, learn the rolls, know the chords, know your fretboard

-'s better to be IN TIME with YOUR clock than to be OUT OF TIME with someone else's clock, even if that means slower

- play music, feel what your playing, like what your playing

- push the envelope, learn something new every week, learn new concepts, play it over and over and over and over

- experiment

- try not to drool on your banjo, don't forget to breath, don't take it too seriously, you'll have bad playing days, you'll have flawless playing days

- HAVE FUN!!!!


Thanks y'all


11 comments on “One year of banjo...”

VancePants Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @1:56:37 PM

Let's see Byron... you learnt gui-tar when you wuz' 11... and now yer what... 15 (LOL)? But seriously mate... that's some good ad-vice from a pup still wet bihind the ears... specially the no-droolin' on yer banjer part... tarnishes the metal... heh, heh.

I agree with most everything thing you opined... and i constantly struggle with the tempo i hear in my mind, versus a slower one for clarity. But i think in the "long run" my skills will improve regardless. I am always "working" on several tunes at any given time... but if i hear something that really catches my ear.. i drop everything untill i work out a decent arrangement of it.
Anyway... a few more (obvious) items: practice... practice... and practice some more; sure... play at a relaxed tempo, but force yerself occasionally to play tunes you're comfortable with at a faster pace... then when you play them again, it will be easier and even more relaxed; post vids... put yerself "out there" cuz' it gives a focus to your practice and you'll find that the tune you thought you learned, when in front of the vid-cam... might need some more... practice.

Well Byron, you have come a long way, and clearly have the tools to be a fine picker... just stay away from that crazy clawhammerin':-)
John Kuhn Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @2:03:51 PM

Great 20th century advice that I hope will be takin from new 21st century up and coming pickers. You are proof that the "language" can start developing very early on by implementing all the advice youve given which is right on target! (I did without a computer for 9 days...AMAZING what I got done during that time........)
MrHoney Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @2:09:54 PM

Haha, thanks Ken. Ya, I think we learn about the same way. I'm always playing slightly faster than I should be, and taking on several new ideas at once. I like to push myself. And I agree that watching yourself play and knowing others might be watching really keeps yourself in check and wanting to get better and keep it fresh.
MrHoney Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @2:15:26 PM

That's true John, computers are great for learning but being without one can get your butt in gear too!! I like the fact you do a lot of old school studio work. That must be fun! I've always had a huge interest in audio recording. One day I'll get my own home studio!! tons of gear and not knowing what day it is, haha!
alfiedog Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @3:42:40 PM

You are Learning Super Fast Byron ! Did you have any Musical background before the 5 ?
VancePants Says:
Sunday, February 19, 2012 @3:55:21 PM

Eddie... Byron wuz' playin' Mozart Sonatas at age 3... on a "baby grand"///LOL!
MrHoney Says:
Monday, February 20, 2012 @2:19:44 PM

Yes Eddie, I started play electric guitar at age 11. I have a brother ten years older than me and I wanted to play like him. He's an amazing electric blues guitarist and taught me all about feeling and internalizing music. He had no use for tab and insisted I should learn by ear, experimentation, and listening to TONS of music. Unfortunately, he didn't keep up playing all the time and probably isn't as good as he was 10+ years ago. There was a time you'd close your eyes and swear Stevie Ray Vaughn was in your house... anyways, my whole family are huge music fans, grandpa played fiddle, his grandma play piano.
drefoss Says:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @5:39:14 PM

I am ashamed to admit that after a year I still drool on my Banjo sometimes, LOL.
MrHoney Says:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @9:32:30 PM

copron Says:
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 @11:14:52 PM

You have come a long way in a short time and that new banjo seemed to kick start your playing.......and remember to always have fun with your playing. Your sounding great so stay with it.
MrHoney Says:
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 @5:54:30 AM

Thanks Ron!

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