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Beginner banjo player pushed to start improvising & practising on Thursday

Posted by Boadicea on Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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So yesterday my practising was mainly listening. I did some of my new roll. I noodled on Blackberry Blossom. I played around with my 12 chord progression. I did some chord changes with | G | Em | C | D7 | I did Goodnight Ladies. My unknown titled Parts A + B. I did some Strum practising. I did a little of my simple Cripple Creek Parts A+ B. But it is wasn't like how I usually practise. I wasn't so into it yesterday. I did notice I did quite a few mistakes yesterday. I was really tired. 

I had a great lesson on Tuesday. My Scruggs banjo teacher is totally awesome. I have been thinking about learning some Clawhammer, a bit. My teacher is pushing me to do improvisations, which is making me think about my playing in many different ways. I would have thought that someone like me would just be learning by rote, but no he is getting me to do so many creative things. Of course they are very simple as I am just a beginner banjo player. But it is stretching my banjo playing repertoire. Totally changing the way I think about making music and music in general. I don't think it would be possible to find a Clawhammer teacher this good.


7 comments on “Beginner banjo player pushed to start improvising & practising on Thursday”

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @11:04:00 AM

You are fortunate to have such a teacher. I would guess that improvisation will be easier the earlier you learn it.

Boadicea Says:
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @11:09:09 AM

Well it does feel a bit overwhelming at times WayneConrad. But it is exciting as well. He said to write my own chord songs and then work on them more. So I have been making up my own chord sequences.

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @11:20:14 AM

I think that's really exciting!

AndyW Says:
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @12:50:40 PM

Stick with the Scruggs Kate if you don't feel an (addition of) /(cha
nge to) clawhammer is valid.

In fact I've done a lot of you tube listening to the tune I am on at present. (Forked Deer.)

It is a pure Fiddle tune in that as solo it sounds much better on fiddle than banjo. Out of scruggs/clawhammer, scruggs seems to handle the tune better. I think maybe the extra fill notes of scruggs can better replace a long drawn single fiddle note which this tune has. (I imagine clawhammer is the better fiddle accompaniment though.)

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @2:08:12 PM

I agree with Andy that having a quality teacher is really important. So, all things being equal, you should stay with bluegrass (so long as you enjoy it). It would hurt your development as a player to have no teacher. Learning BG won't hurt you if you do take up clawhammer later. Most of what you're learning now--chords, fretting, timing, reading, listening, etc.--apply to both. There are players who can do both, even in the same tune. You could end up being one, who knows?

Boadicea Says:
Thursday, December 7, 2017 @4:57:50 PM

That would be totally awesome WayneConrad!

Boadicea Says:
Thursday, December 7, 2017 @4:59:15 PM

I am definitely going to stick with my teacher AndyW! Once I am reasonable, say an intermediate player of scrugs, then I can think about looking at Clawhammer!

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