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Apr 18, 2019 - 6:24:24 AM

dirigible

Canada

4 posts since 3/8/2010

What do you practice when you don't have access to your banjo?

Apr 18, 2019 - 6:33:58 AM
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chuckv97

Canada

40104 posts since 10/5/2013

If you like tab, you can read through tabs and visualize your fingers playing it. On difficult passages, you can slow it down in your mind , visualizing the movement of both hands. Sonny Osborne thought about what he was going to play on certain songs while driving to the recording studio. One can also do right hand rolls on the knee when sitting.

Apr 18, 2019 - 7:04:14 AM
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2 posts since 1/29/2014

Hey dirigible, another option is the Hatfield practice board . I had this awhile back and would use it in my cubicle. I now work at home and just play my banjo during breaks, data processing, etc. so I didn't use this quite a lot. It definitely seemed to help. The only thing, which wasn't a big deal, was the strings had less bounce to them (obviously).

Apr 18, 2019 - 7:05:41 AM
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Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

4809 posts since 10/12/2009

Listening to and immersing myself into tunes I want to learn.

Apr 18, 2019 - 8:09:09 AM
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Players Union Member

jcintn

USA

34 posts since 8/8/2007

Listen listen listen if its not in your soul it cant get out listen to good players and eventually some of there skills will come out in your playing

Apr 18, 2019 - 8:57:06 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

22699 posts since 8/3/2003

I used to practice rolls at work using the desktop to work on my rolls; i.e., TIM TIM TI and so on. Of course, if someone showed up I'm sure they thought I was crazy, so I tried to be careful when I did it (G).

Apr 18, 2019 - 9:01:24 AM
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Mooooo

USA

6694 posts since 8/20/2016

The TV

Apr 18, 2019 - 10:02:59 AM

Bill H

USA

1211 posts since 11/7/2010

Listening and clapping or setting a metronome and clapping in time can be useful.

Apr 18, 2019 - 10:10:43 AM

Fathand

Canada

11254 posts since 2/7/2008

I have a baritone uke tuned DGBD. Easy to pack in the car, quieter, plays real music and it adds to my arsenal of instruments. I could always put a sponge under the strings if I wanted it dead quiet.

Apr 18, 2019 - 10:26:26 AM
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mbuk06

England

7446 posts since 10/5/2006

sleep.

Apr 18, 2019 - 11:11:20 AM

kjcole

USA

1147 posts since 4/21/2003

When I switched from resting one finger on the head to two, I practiced roll patterns while driving resting my hand on my knee. It did speed up the process.

Apr 18, 2019 - 12:34:10 PM
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1922 posts since 4/5/2006

I'm a firm believer in listening to this music. There is absolutely no way you can over do it. It gets to the point where some of these tunes, and the banjo breaks  become lodged in your head & you can't shut them off. That happened to me one day at work. The tune was Flop Eared Mule. I was just learning it & tha A part had a rest between the repeat where it starts over. I kept hearing it in my head with all the notes being the same tempo, flowing nicely back into the beginning, the way a fiddler would play it  But what were the missing notes, and where to get them? It was driving me nuts. It finally dawned on me that it was a scalar progression. I drew some lines & measures on a piece of paper & wrote out what I thought it was in tablature. Now I'm the the brightest bulb in the room when it comes to reading music but given enough time, I can transpose those tablature numbers into names of notes.

I couldn't wait to get my hands on a banjo. The first thing I did when I got home from work was play that line of Flop Eared Mule. Not only did it work pefectly, just as I had imagined it, it was easy to play.  

Edited by - monstertone on 04/18/2019 12:38:00

Apr 18, 2019 - 4:33:52 PM
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174 posts since 8/9/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Fathand

I have a baritone uke tuned DGBD. Easy to pack in the car, quieter, plays real music and it adds to my arsenal of instruments. I could always put a sponge under the strings if I wanted it dead quiet.


It took a long while before that light bulb went off in my head, but when it did I tuned my baritone uke to DGBD and now I can play all my banjo chords up and down the neck and pluck soft nylon strings and carry around something that weighs practically nothing. The strings are slightly farther apart than banjo strings. I actually don't play the uke that often, but like Fathand said, it's another instrument in the arsenal. And it works when you can't take the 'jo. 

Apr 18, 2019 - 4:48:02 PM
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Fathand

Canada

11254 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by 5Stringer
quote:
Originally posted by Fathand

I have a baritone uke tuned DGBD. Easy to pack in the car, quieter, plays real music and it adds to my arsenal of instruments. I could always put a sponge under the strings if I wanted it dead quiet.


It took a long while before that light bulb went off in my head, but when it did I tuned my baritone uke to DGBD and now I can play all my banjo chords up and down the neck and pluck soft nylon strings and carry around something that weighs practically nothing. The strings are slightly farther apart than banjo strings. I actually don't play the uke that often, but like Fathand said, it's another instrument in the arsenal. And it works when you can't take the 'jo. 


I also have a baritone banjo uke and have made a couple for others.  In Portugal and Brazil they have the Cavaquinho which is like a Soprano Uke with steel strings tuned DGBD. I picked one up in a store in Lisbon and started playing Foggy Mtn Breakdown and people started watching me. 

Apr 19, 2019 - 5:07:53 AM

146 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by kjcole

When I switched from resting one finger on the head to two, I practiced roll patterns while driving resting my hand on my knee. It did speed up the process.


Oddly, when I do that on my knee/leg, or on the center console while I drive, or a table or desk where it annoys those around me, a two finger plant feels very easy and natural. However, when I pick up my banjo I for the life of me CANNOT plant my middle finger. 

Apr 19, 2019 - 9:42:45 AM

5291 posts since 3/6/2006

I work on arrangements to tunes I am working on. I go over every phrase in my head. Last time I took a week long vacation I came back with a tune all ready to go!

Apr 19, 2019 - 9:44:30 AM
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Players Union Member

rvrose

USA

676 posts since 6/29/2007

A few years ago I was in a boring meeting at work. I was playing air-banjo below the table level, didn't think anyone knew until the guy next to me leaned over and whispered "are you playing your banjo?"...busted!

Rick

Apr 28, 2019 - 3:09:09 PM

307 posts since 10/2/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts
quote:
Originally posted by kjcole

When I switched from resting one finger on the head to two, I practiced roll patterns while driving resting my hand on my knee. It did speed up the process.


Oddly, when I do that on my knee/leg, or on the center console while I drive, or a table or desk where it annoys those around me, a two finger plant feels very easy and natural. However, when I pick up my banjo I for the life of me CANNOT plant my middle finger. 


I find exactly the same thing. I think its because when resting your hand on something flat and just rolling the fingers, your not actually picking any strings. 

Apr 28, 2019 - 3:22:12 PM

4943 posts since 10/13/2007

I am trying to learn more backup. So I take licks from instruction cds, and put them on a cd. often i slow them down a bit.  I take songs where I can hear the backup pretty good, put them on amazing slowdowner. Use the equalizer where I can hear it better and put that on the CD and put it at a speed that I can really absorb it.  So I get several licks and several songs of backup and when I drive the car I can hear it over and over. I figure,if i hear it enough, it will be a lot easier to play it and also to play it in combination with other stuff i hear. Makes car time productive and deters non banjo lovers from asking for rides.devil
ken

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