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Posted by pcfive on Friday, January 7, 2011

 I had some time off last month so I did some extra practicing. Well, I normally practice 2 hours even on work days, but a lot more on vacations. I felt that it made a difference. I definitely feel much more confident, and my right hand is definitely stronger and more coordinated. Sometimes picking feels effortless. I am still not good at improvising and I still can't always find all the notes high up on the neck. But the most basic skill of picking is now pretty good, if I dare to say so myself.

So, there is a lot I am still missing, but I think I now have learned what might be the hardest things to learn -- getting the picks to hit the strings precisely and getting the timing even, and being able to play fast. 

For the past two years I focused intently on right hand technique, and as a result I did improve a lot. It still needs to get better, of course, but I feel that now I can branch out a little more to other things, such as learning to improvise. 

We all learn at our own rate. I probably learn slower than some and faster than others. But it doesn't matter. When I notice I am comparing myself to others, I tell myself to forget it. It doesn't matter, as long as I am doing ok and having a great time in the process.

The progress is real, not an illusion. People have noticed I am getting better. I have played one instrument or another all my life, but the banjo is the first one I worked this hard on. And I only really worked hard for the past 2 years. So I can only imagine how much better I will be in another 2 years. 

Practicing every day and jamming as much as possible is the best way to make progress at bluegrass banjo, I feel. I have not taken any lessons yet, but I might some day. I don't know how important lessons are, but I know you can teach yourself a lot.

I got to where I wanted to be two years ago. Wow, I actually got something I wanted! 











1 comment on “Progress”

Karen Kruske Says:
Saturday, January 8, 2011 @5:13:49 AM

It's hard to believe that doing something that is so enjoyable just makes one a better and better player. Progress is such a rush!

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