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Advice on singing and playing

Posted by joshjones on Thursday, January 20, 2011

 I got my Banjo in June and have been playing every available minute (except now) and am doing quite well i think. I'm finding it difficult to sing and play at the same time though. Right now I'm working on walking boss by Clarence Ashley and way down that old plank road by Dave Macon. Also I'm wondering about my Banjo and if I should upgrade some day soon. I have a Gold Tone BG250. I think it sounds good but I'm not sure I could get a better sound with an up grade, not to familiar with models etc. Thanks! Josh Jones

4 comments on “Advice on singing and playing”

Banjov1 Says:
Thursday, January 20, 2011 @8:34:43 PM

Hey Josh, it may be difficult right now, but I definitely encourage you to keep practicing singing and playing. It really comes in handy to be able to do both simultaneously and you can get comfortable doing it. Just need to practice practice practice.

As far as an upgrade goes. I'd stick with what you have until you hear or see something you like much better. Don't force yourself into an upgrade

joshjones Says:
Thursday, January 20, 2011 @9:03:23 PM

Thanks! I know it'll come to me and actualy I managed to get through them both today somewhat flawlessly but rather slow. I also wonder if its taking me longer than normal to learn a song to the point where I don't need to look at the tabs. It seems like forever before Its all in my head. Will they stick better once I get better? I certainly have he practice part down, I play every spare minute I have to the point where my girlfriend has declared herself a banjo widow!
Thanks for the advice.

Banjov1 Says:
Friday, January 21, 2011 @9:00:21 PM

It gets easier and easier to pick up songs. For me, I used to get a little overwhelmed thinking about learning/memorizing all the tabbed versions of standard bg tunes I heard at jams around town. But as I started to really learn the tunes, a number of standard rolls got more and more comfortable for me, until I was eventually just playing the various roll patterns over the chords that I'd recognize the guitar players playing.

These days if I really want to learn a Scruggs tune note for note or something tabbed out, it still takes me a bit of time to work through it and get comfortable. But if I just want to play along with a tune I've never heard, I can do it with a number of roll patterns I know, throw in a couple licks and it sounds pretty good.


joshjones Says:
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @11:32:36 AM

Thanks for boost of confidence! I'm noticing that each song is getting easier to play without looking at the tab, I'm starting to see certain trends and patterns in chord progressions that are familiar so they seem to stick faster.

Singing while playing just seems to get easier as I know the song better. I actually find it helps when learning a song to sing it even in my head, it helps to remember whats coming up next.
I absolutely love playing old Clarence Ashley and Dave Macon tunes.
I don't know what I'd do if I hadn't picked up the Banjo!
Thanks again

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