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Learning the Banjo

Posted by caricc on Monday, August 18, 2008

I am learning the banjo using the Murphy Method DVD series. I currently only have the first one, Beginner Banjo. But, I find that this is really a good method for me to get, what I feel, is a good start in playing the banjo. (I also have Pete Wernick’s Beginning Bluegrass Banjo DVD)
Currently, I have had this DVD for about 7 weeks. I am taking my time and am working through each song at my own pace. I am currently working on Cumberland Gap. I have not mastered Banjo in the Hollow or Cripple Creek. But this will come with time. I use these as part of my warm-ups along with practicing my rolls with chords.
This process is easiest for me since I have a large family, and my time is limited. I can start and stop the DVD at each section even as I go along to work on a particular part or section of any song. I know and have read that with this process of learning you don’t have an avenue to get your questions answered. Well you’re wrong in these cases. You don’t get an immediate answer but you can still get an answer.
Check out there website and they have a blog setup. So, yes you can email them a question and get an answer. I love working at my own pace. I usually learn a lot quicker this way. I also feel for me at this time that a one on one teacher is not for me. My expectations are more for me and not “What do you expect to get out of this class?” Well, my response is I wan tot learn How to Play the Banjo. Not how to play scales.
I have played rhythm guitar. I know chords and their progressions. So when I just recently picked up the Banjo my found that the chords though not the same were similar and easier to finger. Especially those chords which I found really, really difficult to finger much less remember. I can now do with ease on the Banjo.
All of this is just a small baby step for me to learn the Banjo. I see it as a challenge that I will always continue to improve. One step at a time. For we must learn to crawl before we walk, we must then learn to walk before we run.  Right now I am in the crawling phase of my Banjo experience. Loving it every shuffle of the way.

3 comments on “Learning the Banjo”

5strings3picks1banjo Says:
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 @6:12:53 AM

Happy to hear your lovin it as much as I am. Keep it up and you well only get better and enjoy it more.

cewehere Says:
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 @6:40:47 AM

Thanks for letting me know about Murphy's blog site.   I sure do love her teaching! 

zeeway Says:
Wednesday, August 20, 2008 @5:23:28 PM

Hey Carl,

I am also learning from Murphy's beginning banjo dvd's - I have a guitar background, and while the chords are different, at least the concept of fingering a string and strumming are similar.  I am almost done with Vol1 and I am slowly edging into Vol2.  I find I have to play a few strumming songs just to break the intense bluegrass stuff - I have found the old Kingston Trio version of John Henry (Getaway John) to be fun as well as East Bound and Down. Hang in there.


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