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Learning tenor banjo - goals!

Posted by hobogal on Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Okay, here are my 2018 goals.  There is something about declaring a goal in public that feels exposing but I am hoping this will help me to stick with it (otherwise I will go very quiet and slip away from public view):

1. To develop fluency in different keys: I am going to use the Paramount method book and Grimshaw book to play scales, chords and exercises (including arpeggios) and tunes in each key.  I need to become familiar with Bb, Ab, Eb, F and C in order to play jazz. 

This all sounds very serious but I think I will enjoy playing tunes - see Pops Coffee:

I am starting with C! The early tenor banjo methods have a similar repertoire to classic banjo with waltzes, marches, foxtrots and rags.  Hopefully this will prepare me for playing ragtime on the tenor. 

2. To learn how to play chord melody from a lead sheet: I am going to use the Melbay chord melody system book and again I am starting in C!

3. To learn some tunes from the trad jazz repertoire (so here is where I try and make my own arrangements from a lead sheet)

At this point, I think I will be well into 2019.  I think once I get going with building a repertoire, I will become familiar with common chord progressions for tunes.  Ultimately, I should be able to play with other musicians.  I think at some point, I will need to take skype lessons so I can learn more about different right hand techniques and also more advanced chords and what they call 'voicings and passing-tones'.  Blimey!    

p.s If you have any suggestions for learning goals please make a comment.  Thanks.



2 comments on “Learning tenor banjo - goals!”

Chilly65 Says:
Saturday, March 17, 2018 @2:47:58 AM

Hi I must compliment you on your research and detailed goals ,I wish I was half the student .I have looked at some of your aims and must say they have helped me to confirm what when and how to begin .I played a 5 string for quite a while and became very much a closet player that fell by the wayside .I am hoping to not do the same again,although was just this morning thinking of selling the instrument and giving up on it all. Thank you for all of your encouraging posts along with shared digital info .I'm not too good at digital and like my timing and every thing else am a little slow . please keep at it I find it most encouraging to finally be able to realize "its not just me!" I'm sure there is a song in there or at least a tune .

hobogal Says:
Sunday, March 18, 2018 @1:32:32 AM

Thanks Stuart - I really hope that your banjo playing does not 'fall by the wayside'. It's sometimes hard to keep going when you can't see progress being made. Keep at it!

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