Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Hello World.

Posted by loukiii on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I got my first banjo for Christmas when I was 10 years old. My mother's boyfriend bought it for me for a Christmas present. Of course I didn't get any lessons, or picks or anything like that. I do remember I got a book though. I messed around with it for a few days and broke a string I seem to recall and never played it because I couldn't figure it out. Then when they broke up, he took the banjo with him. Dirty rotten $&@^@$#%! 

Fast forward 34 years later. I decided it was high time I learned how to play a banjo. I had been wanting to for years but had no idea where to start. Where do I get a banjo? How much do they cost? What kind do I need etc. I knew I wanted a 5 string resonator but that was about it. I found this site. Looked at the reviews. I went to Sam Ash to see what they had in stock, then came back here and read the reviews on what they had. I decided on an Epiphone MB200. I got that and a Mel Bay banjo method book with a dvd. 

First thing I learned that actually sounded like a banjo sound was an alternating thumb roll. I rolled and rolled for hours until my family wanted to kill me, and rolled some more. I kept at it on my own for about 3 months. I learned G C and D chords, pull offs, hammer on, slide etc. Tom Dooley, Good Night Ladies and that was about it.

I decided I needed a teacher. It was next to impossible to find a banjo teacher in Tampa Florida. I went to every music store I could find. Nobody knew of any banjo teachers. Guitar teachers are a dime a dozen. But nobody even knew of a banjo teacher. I called and emailed a place that supposedly was a bluegrass place, but they were out of business. Again I looked on here. I emailed a banjo teacher on here but nothing. Finally about 3 weeks later I got an email from the teacher I found on here. She was on vacation and just got back. She arranged for me to meet for a lesson. 

At my first lesson she wanted to see what I knew. I told her I could spell banjo and knew which end was up but that was about it. She showed me stuff that I had already learned and I explained that I had a book and I knew a few things but start at the beginning. By the end of the first lesson I knew I had made a very wise decision to get a teacher and was very fortunate to get such a good one.

Now a year later, I can play about 20 songs. I can do some basic improvisation, and I go to jams every chance (weekly)  I get and I'm still soaking up knowledge like a dry sponge. Seems like just when I start to get bored and start to lose interest, I'll figure out something new, or my teacher will challenge me with a more difficult lick or whatever and It gets interesting and fun again.

Nice to meet you. 

5 comments on “Hello World.”

kevinwholmes Says:
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 @4:27:46 AM

Nice going! I started playing in my mid-50's and wish I hadn't waited so long, but it took moving from CT to NC to be exposed to banjos first-hand and learn that there are a number of different styles, including 2-finger, which I now play, which apparently is mostly concentrated around central NC and parts of VA.

Karen Kruske Says:
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 @5:42:27 AM

Howdy Louis, guess you confirm the idea that teachers are a good thing. Glad you are enjoying the music you are making and being challenged to move ahead. Have fun and keep pickin'. -Karen

erikforgod Says:
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 @5:45:06 AM

You said:

"It was next to impossible to find a banjo teacher in Tampa Florida."

I am surprised! I lived in the Orlando area for almost 30 years...there are several really good banjo pickers kinda sorta in your direction...(Polk Co and Lake Co areas ) how long ago was this?
This was a great read...enjoyed it!

loukiii Says:
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 @6:45:29 AM

July of 2010 I started looking for a place to take lessons. I had my first lesson in August 11th, 2010 (Wow, not even a year yet). Now that I am kind of involved in the local scene, I see that there are a lot of banjo pickers. Still if your an outsider, they are kind of hard to find. Once you get involved though, you cant swing a cat by the tail without hitting another banjo picker. Still I only know of 2 teachers in my area and I am very pleased with the one I have.

RatLer Says:
Thursday, August 4, 2011 @3:56:46 PM

I've had alot of things swung at me, but never a cat...LOL Welcome to the Hangout!!

You must sign into your myHangout account before you can post comments.

More posts from loukiii

Newest Posts

Click for Details 'I Cried Again' 10 hrs

More >  

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories