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oooh boy

Posted by bodhi47 on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

mah thumb hurts.

I think like all beginners I slow down when i come to the hard part. I am trying to play with a metronome so that that doesn't happen, but still. Trying to lay for that IV chord when it comes up and always hitting a "plonk"er is getting slightly frustrating. I have slowed everything down immensely and I have cut out a bunch of repititious I chords so that I can just practice the transition from the I to the IV and the I to the V7 chord and then throw in a few of the IV to the V7 just for fun. Two weeks of actually practicing with two weeks off in the middle for vacation. I am still pleased with the progress.

2 comments on “oooh boy”

David M Says:
Monday, September 12, 2011 @2:29:15 AM

Oh...they were the days Bodhi...endless hours of trying to break the pain barrier, infectious interest where it's hard to walk past the banjo and pick it up...I know it well, only I'm nearly 30 years down the line now and still just have to pick it up each day..!!

As the fingertips harden up, the pain subcides there but you play longer so you realise you're quite tense around the shoulders and your left hand ceases up for the first few minutes each morning..!! But don't let me put you off this wonderful outlet. You learn to sit comfortably over time and the tension disperses to being nonexistent...unless you play in front of anyone...

If chords are giving you gip, maybe have ago at singing/humming a simple tune you play and just strum the chords along to it for a while. The shapes will soon fall naturally over time. You mention in your most recent blog that you're having trouble holding the neck between thumb and index finger and curving your fingers round to the fretboard get the tips down accurately, holding the banjo in the 'V' of your hand is the easiest way of doing it. The fingertips should fall squarely down onto the neck giving least chance of buzzing that way, so it's worth persevering with, I push on the back of the neck with my thumb to make a clean 'A' bar chord though for better pressure when needed.

For accurate and fast (if needed) playing in the future, it's worth going steady and getting a good base set in the early days, good timing and feeling to slides/pulloffs etc. That will stay with you through the years, don't make the easy mistake of thinking that you need to play finger picked banjo fast to impress or get the licks out best, or it's easier to get the timing on...speed only hides bad timing a little. When it's's on and sounds superb.

Good luck with your practice and future picking Bodhi, make each session count and it'll all come together at a smooth rate.

Best wishes...David

bodhi47 Says:
Monday, September 12, 2011 @3:28:04 PM

thanks. I tried some more with the neck in the webbing part and could get it to lay ok. Like anything, just a matter of practice and patience. I am just massively impatient! Like an out of control child "I want it now!" (stamps foot). Makes it all the sweeter when you move forward that little bit.

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