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Practising & Noodling on Tuesday

Posted by Boadicea on Sunday, December 3, 2017

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My practising has been a bit lacklustre these last few days. I am still jamming away, noodling, and going through my pieces, but I have been disconnected from my banjo a bit.

Except the other day we went out to a cafe and I started playing a little bit, and this guy was looking at me so I looked up to say 'Hey if you don't want to hear it I can stop,' and he was so into it, we had a chat, he so wants to play the banjo. I gave him my banjo to hold on to and strum. I told him about the BanjoHangout and wrote down the url for him. He insisted I play some stuff for him, and hey I am a beginner but I can share with enthusiasm, and he said I had made his day. He asked me how much my banjo cost, and I told him $412 and he said now that I am retired I could learn to play banjo, so I gave him a card of my banjo teacher, and he said to me he could never do rolls, and I said I thought the same in the beginning. I said my banjo teacher was really cool, and I am now doing things I never thought that I could do. So that was nice. 

There was a folk jam on Saturday night, but it was at a member's house, and I don't know the people yet, so I will go to another one. I will get there, it will just take time to build up confidence.

So this morning I started out playing around with Blackberry Blossom. I can do both parts without tab now. Part A I know better and I am more confident with. Part B I am still "remembering".

I did five minutes on my rolls. I have another roll. My banjo teacher is keen for me to practise my rolls each day, so I really know them, so they really go into my muscle memory, so when I improvise I really know how to use half of one roll with one half of another roll. So I did that.

I have been listening to a lot of music, and thinking a bit about things. I went out to the veranda to jam with my Open G, Em, C, and D7, so that was good. I am just marginally improving with my chord changes, and it sounds so good. I love that combination of chords. 

I haven't got a lot of practising in, but I am kind of holding my banjo, lugging it about with me, because you never know when you could get in 5 minutes of practising in. And I do get to do a few minutes extra here and there, and I enjoy that. 


3 comments on “Practising & Noodling on Tuesday”

WayneConrad Says:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 @9:54:47 PM

For lugging about, it's hard to beat this:

I've got two of its short-scale relatives ( and play them all the time, enough that they're getting visible fret wear.

They're very inexpensive as banjos go, and so light and tough that it's hard to hurt them. I just throw one in the back seat of the car, or in the trunk (boot?), and nothing bad ever happens to them. And if they get a scuff or something, well, they're inexpensive practice instruments so it's no big deal.

You wouldn't want to perform seriously with these (although I have). They're too quiet for a large audience, or to play with other instruments, but that is their strength as a practice banjo. Especially with a mute clamped to the bridge, they're very, very quiet, so you can take them anywhere and practice at any time.

I don't know what shipping to AU would be, but these things are just a few pounds so that would have to help.

It being open back and having a plonkier sound than a typical resonator banjo, it could be something for you to try out clawhammer on, too. I know you've got clawhammer on your mind. But you can practice BG on them just as well.

Just an idea.


I admire your openness and unafraidedness when practicing in public.

Great job on knowing Blackberry Blossom without tab. That's a huge step!

WayneConrad Says:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 @9:56:36 PM

PS: If you get one, get the armrest kit at the same time. They'll put it on at the factory for no charge.

Boadicea Says:
Monday, December 4, 2017 @1:49:01 PM

Thank you so much WayneConrad I looked at those and they are interesting! A reasonably cheap way for me to give Clawhammer a serious go, though I do know that you can play it on my Epiphone!

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