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Beginner Banjo players and jamming.

Posted by Genraltweet on Monday, May 9, 2011

As a beginner banjo player, I only know so many songs. I took lessons personally from Murphy Henry and only learned a few songs and then quit due to personal issues. I hadn't played banjo for 2 years until just last month when I started up again. I had forgotten everything so it's just like starting all over again. And then I sat down for a few hours and tried my best to remember what I had forgotten over the years. So I learned the songs all by memory and only fully know 3 or four songs.


But getting to the point; As a beginner banjo player, I find it incredibly embarrassing to jam with people who have been playing for years and are incredibly good. So I just sit out of the jams and watch. Its not very fun at all and as a perfectionist, I feel as if I should be just as good as them right now.. But I'm not, and it will take time and patience to get to an advanced level.


I feel that many new musicians feel the same way and do not enter contests or Jam because they are embarrassed to go against or play with very good musicians. But let me remind you, those musicians were once just the same experience level as you and probably felt the same way for a while so you should never feel bad about entering contests or jamming with people. Thats how you learn and I just decided to suck it up. Go ahead and Jam with who ever you feel like jamming with. They won't look down on you, they will probably be glad to see you are willing to learn and they will help you best they can.


So don't feel embarrassed, just get out there and PLAY! Thats what you're learning for, right? to be a better musician and to have fun?


Anyways, those were just my thoughts that I felt like expressing.


Thanks for reading!


6 comments on “Beginner Banjo players and jamming.”

jchipps_1 Says:
Monday, May 9, 2011 @7:39:36 PM

Sounds like excellent advice.

Not only are you a good banjo player, but you are also very well spoken.

That positive attitude will take you far :)

"Happy Pickin"

Oalbrets Says:
Monday, May 9, 2011 @8:19:26 PM

Great advise Teresa, I met you in the chatroom today and was wondering where you went. I am also learning from Murphy Henery and I swear by her method. If you need any videos let me know and I have a couple I could send you, Remember you are still young and thats a good time to start pickin. Come back in the cahtroom and visit. We are one big happy family with pros and beginners that are always there to help. I would not be pickin banjo today if it wasen't for the people in the chatroom. I am also very shy to play in front of people but playing with the cam has helped me a lot. The main thing is to just have fun. Hope to see you back in the chatroom.

garman Says:
Monday, May 9, 2011 @8:37:17 PM

Great advise Teresa, are you sure your only 16?.............hehehe good luck with your musical journey.

Yellowhouseroad Says:
Monday, May 9, 2011 @9:21:51 PM

Right on! I haven't taken 1 on 1 lessons from anybody, I learned mainly from instructional videos, and (as you pointed out) from jamming and getting tips from other musicians. Another great way to learn is to just listen to recordings and pay close attention to what you hear. And ask yourself, how are they doing that? Then just pick up that banjo banjo and try it out! Banjo Hangout has also been a great place to learn and get feedback. For someone who hasn't played for 2 years, you're sounding great! Keep it up, and don't stop!

Pablo9364 Says:
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 @1:30:00 AM

Good advice your right in all you say

Dan Sparkman Says:
Sunday, August 7, 2011 @2:28:11 AM

You never get better by staying out of a jam. Hearing great jammers only makes me want to become better and practice more. Jamming is a personal thing: when you jam, it's what you add of your own invention (within the rules of good musicianship) that makes great jammers great. I listen a lot, and to lots of folks within all kinds of genres, eras, and instruments, to find ideas to throw into the stewpot. When I am up on stage jamming, I just play, and let the ideas flow without trying to consciously plan anything. If you keep time and reasonably stay within the parameters of harmony and the song you are jamming, you can make some really great jams without too much difficulty. What really matters is practicing a lot and knowing music fundamentals.

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