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New banjo players Worldwide! Inspire, encourage and share tips, tricks & tunes while we're on the Road to Banjoville

17 Members, Created 10/6/2011 -

Administrators: Karrie Bluejay Wallace (owner)

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From Rattlesnake on 10/19/2011 3:55:19 AM

I'm a Kiwi living in Perth Australia and have done so for the last 20yrs, but on a recent trip back to NZ to visit my brother after he'd had an operation, while staying with him he introduced me to the Banjo, now I wasn't aware that he had a musical bone in his body, but after showing me for an hour or so that he could play the guitar, he picked up the Banjo and said that this is what he was trying to learn and I admit I was fascinated and hooked.
On return to Perth it was straight down to the music shop, problem was no one in the store had any real experience with Banjo's, so I went with the saying "the heavier, the better" I picked up a second hand Alverez Minstrel in mint condition and it was alot  heavier than anything else they had, didn't have a tinny sound so that was the one I left with, still cost more than the new ones they had in stock. Anyway I was now armed and ready to go.
Banjo's don't seem that popular in Perth, I could only find two instructors, so I now travel an hour and a half each way every Wednesday night for a half hour lesson and have been doing so now for three months and loving it.
Progress doesn't seem to be as fast as if I'd get lessons straight off the net, but as he says, I only work on what you're doing wrong.
Which brings me to why I'm here, I like to spend about two hours a day playing, this is broken up with 20mins here 30mins there, apart from some great inspiration, helps to get past that block, but also holds a lot of valuable information both from learners and the practiced,right now concentrating on the Scruggs style, and have a small playlist, some songs I haven't seen on the net or heard of before which in some cases makes it hard if you don't know the tune.
Anyway enough rambling.


Scott Barnbilly56 says:
10/22/2011 7:05:45 AM

One nice thing is banjo playing is a progressive thing and when you pick up the banjo you may be playing some new sounds and styles like what happened to me and just fell into alot of new things like playing to diffrent beats like some times i pick to a trotting rhythum and diffrent things like that . One good thing is i never heard of anyone playing worse then they played 4 month ago so that's a good thing . Some songs i never heard before i just sing in my head and look for a beat that works then just play that way . It might be a slow song but play fast and may sing slow but at fast pick'in style or slow string picking and almost at tabulature playing singing style and speed . Ya up here in the boonies of northern michigan in same boat on no banjo teachers and tons of guitars every where . I just grab on to banjo handouts where i can get em but have scruggs book as my main guide to learning when i have to get to learning the next step in going forward . Learning and also getting awnsers from this site just from reading dissusions so super great place to be . Take care & Gudd-a-dayyy .

Rattlesnake says:
10/22/2011 8:28:38 PM

Hey Scott, thanks for the comments and the insight.
What I've been doing of late, as Scruggs is my main style, is when I start to lose concentration and things start triping over themselves, I switch to practicing clawhammer for 10 mins, just the bum-tit-ty strum, but I can find the beat a lot easier or make up what I want, then go back to picking and I'm away again. So I guess I'm trying to learn both styles before I've learnt one.

Scott Barnbilly56 says:
10/23/2011 2:01:17 PM

Doing same thing but alot further ahead on pick'in style but get alot of smiles when i break off and do some clawhammer stuff which to me is fun and easier also .

Scott Barnbilly56 says:
12/29/2011 4:30:21 PM

I got alot of songs i perfer to do clawhammer style and they are mostly3/4 time songs . When ya get the bump dity stuff going good and becomes more natural then try going and hitting your 4th string instead of fifth with thumb and alternate back and fourth . Here's a good beginners site to learn from also and do regular then be sure to check out the drop thumb video by same guy . Just tru to do the string hitting part right and don't worry about the songs till ya get that right . When ya get that try to play to just melody tabulature which is single notes and or do chord changes ,this is alot easier then jumping right in the fire at first . Go to youtube and check this guy out David holt clawhammer banjo and it may say tom dooley style and be sure to check out drop thumb style because it's important in your over all playing .
Happy New Year of Pick'in & grin'in
Scott Barnbilly
Ps. Thats scott Barnbilly on facebook also and only one in the world so far and check out pictures of banjo mania in hill'billy form .

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