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 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Complete beginner needs help!


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/372485

abivia - Posted - 02/06/2021:  13:05:38


Hi, I am a complete beginner with the banjo and I have never even picked up a string instrument before! I have a four string banjo tuned in cgda and I was wondering where to start: anyone good books/ YouTube channels would be ideal as I am lost!!

abivia - Posted - 02/06/2021:  13:06:21


It’s a 19 fret four string banjo! (Forgot to include that in my original post!!)

Ciao - Posted - 02/06/2021:  13:31:14


Do you have a preferred musical style you would like to learn?



PS You have 15 mins in which to edit a post (using the little pencil icon).

mike gregory - Posted - 02/06/2021:  13:57:36


If you can strum two chords, you can play thirty-seven songs.
Tom Dooley
Pistol Packing Mama
Jambalaya

If you can strum THREE chords, you can play ten thousand.
If you know FIVE chords, you're just showing off.

abivia - Posted - 02/06/2021:  14:28:21


quote:

Originally posted by Chris Meakin

Do you have a preferred musical style you would like to learn?



PS You have 15 mins in which to edit a post (using the little pencil icon).






Thank you!! And style-wise I don't have a strong preference, but I would like to be able to learn the basics and then build on it from there!

abivia - Posted - 02/06/2021:  14:29:00


quote:

Originally posted by mike gregory

If you can strum two chords, you can play thirty-seven songs.

Tom Dooley

Pistol Packing Mama

Jambalaya



If you can strum THREE chords, you can play ten thousand.

If you know FIVE chords, you're just showing off.






thank you so much!!!!

Texasbanjo - Posted - 02/06/2021:  15:00:34


See if someone has a chord chart that you can look at and figure out your chords. Then find some music with chords noted on the song/tune and strum along with it, keeping in time and in tempo. When you can do that and change chords without a lot of difficulty, then noodle around and see if you can figure out the melody to the songs you've been learning.

It's a place to start.

thisoldman - Posted - 02/06/2021:  15:14:27


What kind of music do you like to listen to? Favorite songs/bands/groups? If you sing, what songs do you like to sing?



Link to tenor banjo chords


Edited by - thisoldman on 02/06/2021 15:17:36

thisoldman - Posted - 02/06/2021:  15:18:38


And more than you want to know for now about chords.



This might be a good place to start


Edited by - thisoldman on 02/06/2021 15:31:43

hobogal - Posted - 02/06/2021:  15:37:34


Jack Ray has some beginner videos on his Jazz Banjo Academy channel:



youtube.com/watch?v=BGOt-l_b_As



You'll notice that cgda tenor banjo players play both chords and melody lines - often it is used for jazz/American song book music.  If you're on facebook check out Don Vappie - great player.



The other style of tenor banjo is Irish e.g Celtic fiddle tunes.  You'll find most of the teaching for this is in GDAE which requires heavier strings. youtube.com/watch?v=YMzELHrBwlM&t=106s



 



 


Edited by - hobogal on 02/06/2021 15:40:03

darwinyarwin - Posted - 02/06/2021:  15:54:47


You've stated off well by finding BHO and asking us advice. Keep asking!. IMHO, right at the beginning, there is no substitute for spending a couple of hours with a banjo teacher or a friend who plays banjo already. Most music stores will offer you a free lesson or two and will let you hang around to talk with banjo players. You will learn more this way than by trying to wade through a book or You-tube. Lessons will keep you from beginning with mistakes and wrong impressions. Well worth considering a small investment in this way.

Welcome to banjos! Good luck!

malarz - Posted - 02/06/2021:  16:01:56


Even though I don’t play much anymore when I was a beginner (4-5 years ago) I found this forum and was happy I did. I think most if not all of the “cranks” have left the group and those who still are here and post regularly will have good, solid advice and answers for your questions and guidance when you are confused.

Good luck on your journey and enjoy the tenor banjo ride!

Ken

Omeboy - Posted - 02/06/2021:  16:32:47


Beware of music store teachers.  Virtually all of them have no real experience with a tenor banjo.  They are primarily guitar teachers, but they will happily take your money while running you over the most rudimentary material.  I know this from experience.  I went thru at least four phonies before I finally found a guy who ACTUALLY played the tenor and that's when I finally started to really learn the instrument.  The Banjo Hangout has a page to help people find a teacher. In the left hand column on the left sidebar, you will see the word "LEARN." Put your cursor on it.  On the green screen, click on "Find A Teacher." Here's the link:




 


Under "Advance Search", you can check off tenor/plectrum and the state you live in to see if there is anyone near you.


Good luck.  A good teacher will guide you to the Charles McNeil System.  The McNeil System is the time honored, gold standard for solid learning.  It is also accessible as a FREE DOWNLOAD on the web from the University of Rochester. Pages 16 and 17 are what you need to see right away.  That's the "key" to the system. Here's the link: urresearch.rochester.edu/insti...nNumber=1


I hope you find a good tenor banjo teacher.  It might take a while to find one.

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 02/06/2021:  18:35:57


As Mike Gregory says, if you can strum three chords, you can play 10,000 songs.



However, playing just the chords will only get you half of each song because you don't get the melody. Even if you can sing the melody, your voice may not be in the proper range, so you'd need to learn three more chords that you can sing along with without straining your vocal chords.



But the real problem I can see is that you may learn those chords with poor finger and wrist positioning, which will limit your ability to improve your speed and your tone. It's frustrating in the extreme to be unable to reach a particular chord in time because your fingers keep hitting two strings instead of one due to a bad hand position.



That is why finding a real banjo teacher is important, and Omeboy's suggestions are right on the money.



Starting off on the right foot is important and will make your banjo journey, even if it's just a journey down to the end of the street, a much more enjoyable trip.

aintbrokejustbadlybent - Posted - 02/06/2021:  19:37:50


malarz
Ken, good to hear from you. Are you not playing much music in general or just the tenor banjo?

malarz - Posted - 02/07/2021:  02:43:28


Not much at all.

banjopaolo - Posted - 02/07/2021:  04:29:55


all I can say is to get fun with your banjo!

tenor is a very versatile instrument, you can strum some easy chords first and comp any song you like, then you can try to learn the melody, and after you can figure a way to play melody and comping at the same time, I guess you can find a lot of material here or in the net



there are some videos by deering banjo thast are very clear youtube.com/watch?v=Unx2Uat5qPA



if you need more help don't hesitate to ask



 



welcome on the banjo planet!

abivia - Posted - 02/07/2021:  04:40:11


quote:

Originally posted by Texasbanjo

See if someone has a chord chart that you can look at and figure out your chords. Then find some music with chords noted on the song/tune and strum along with it, keeping in time and in tempo. When you can do that and change chords without a lot of difficulty, then noodle around and see if you can figure out the melody to the songs you've been learning.



It's a place to start.






Thank you!! 

abivia - Posted - 02/07/2021:  04:40:38


quote:

Originally posted by thisoldman

And more than you want to know for now about chords.



This might be a good place to start






Thank you so much!! I'll definitely get started with this!

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