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My Greatest Banjo Lesson...Play Every Day!

Posted by myork1 on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Since I first strapped on a 5 string in 1976 just hoping one day I could actually make music with a banjo, I've had what must be dozens and dozens of "lessons." Some of those were with actual teachers, some with other pickers, some were just practice sessions watching, listening, tabbing, BHO, etc. But the best lesson I ever got was just a few years ago when I finally bought into "play a little every day."

I remember thinking HOW IN THE WORLD COULD ANYONE DO THAT? I work a crazy schedule, travel, family, etc.

The answer was easy enough...

1. Keep a banjo/banjos OUT of the case and on a stand. When you walk by, pick it up and play, even if only for a few minutes.

2. Set a GOAL: Play every day.

Now I'll be the first to admit, I haven't played EVERY DAY since I set a banjo out and wrote that goal down. But I have played LOTS of days. And lots of days in a row. Over and over and over. I've easily played more banjo in the past 4 or 5 years since I made that discovery than I had in the past 25 years combined. And what a difference it has made in my playing... and my enjoyment from playing, and learning, to play better. More licks, more songs, more confidence and more skill. When I'm on the road and don't have a banjo handy I try and stop by a music store and at least play one off the wall for a few minutes when I can. Just last week, I had a guitar picker who played professionally (you know, for money...) ask me "who do you play with?" HUH? ME?

Wanna' become a PLAYER who gets more fun outta' your banjo?

Set a goal: PLAY EVERY DAY. Sure has made a world of difference for me.


4 comments on “My Greatest Banjo Lesson...Play Every Day!”

tgaryc Says:
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 @2:47:10 PM

thats what I do, I play so much that I will sometimes take a day off and it really seems fun, I'm retired and have lots of free time and get bored easy so I play the banjo when I'm bored, sometime 2 or 3 times a day. I try to have a real practice at least once a day, (work on rolls and new songs and timing) and then just have fun. It just never ends. My wife is a saint. Gary C

banjotef Says:
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 @6:22:04 PM

SO TRUE!! Many have cautioned against leaving a banjo on a stand, but I have done that for eight years, and have never knocked one over. You really do play more if it's right there, ready to pick up when the mood strikes, or you can just start picking, and the mood will come.

sjm78560 Says:
Monday, November 21, 2011 @9:24:31 PM

Thanks for posting this! I have a feeling this advise will stick with me for awhile

rferg Says:
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @9:47:45 AM

I was a runner in college. I always said the hardest part about getting a morning workout in was lacing up the shoes and taking the first step out the door - then you were committed. Practicing the banjo is kinda the same - picking it up and putting on your picks is all it takes to get a practice session started.

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