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Jul 8, 2020 - 7:24:20 PM
6 posts since 10/11/2019

hey all new to the banjo. hoping someone could help me out with some goals and point me in the right direction. Hoping to make a friendship around the banjo and pipe.

New to music, hoping for some guidance and some banjo friends.
Thanks
Banjobilly

Jul 8, 2020 - 8:36:19 PM

2188 posts since 5/2/2012

Welcome to the Hangout. New to music? Does that mean you have never played an instrument before? How do the pipes fit in?

Some basic questions. What kind of music do you like to listen to? What kind of music would you like to learn to play? Since your are in the BG forum, can we assume learning Scruggs style picking and perhaps learning some of the bluegrass standards are part of the plan? If so, what are your favorite BG tunes and BG pickers? Are you planning on just playing for your own enjoyment, or do you see playing with others in your future? A general short-term goal? Maybe to memorize and play a tune/melody that others would recognize in a month or so?

Edited by - thisoldman on 07/08/2020 20:37:30

Jul 8, 2020 - 8:55:17 PM

chuckv97

Canada

50963 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

Howdy !

Jul 8, 2020 - 9:55:37 PM
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101 posts since 3/10/2020

Learn your fretboard as soon as you can. It helps wonderfully. Also, it's better to play slowly when learning a song. It sounds obvious but alot of new players have an urge to rush themselves and not thoroughly finding out what works for them. Finger placement, pauses, chord changes and so on. Dont give up and have fun!

Jul 9, 2020 - 4:44:56 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24653 posts since 8/3/2003

Suggestions:

1. Find a good live teacher and take lessons.
2. Take it slow and easy, listen to your teacher, don't try to gain speed while a beginner.
3. Practice, practice, practice.

If you can't find/afford a good teacher, try online Skype lessons.

If you can't afford Skype lessons, get a good beginner instruction book with CD/DVD and take it slowly from page 1. Don't skip around. Learn each technique before moving on to the next one.

Whatever you do, take it slow, know it's going to be confusing and frustrating at first until you get used to wearing picks, fretting, picking, reading tab (if that's the way you decide to go), learning timing, tone and techniques.

Lastly: enjoy the ride, it's fun.

Jul 9, 2020 - 5:43:29 PM

6 posts since 10/11/2019

Hello all,
back at it. thanks for the responses. I am interested in learning scruggs and finger picking and melody and clawhammer. All that comes in time. Ultimately I wish to learn how to play the banjo for my own enjoyment and my family. We recently had out first son and I would love to be able to play things for/with him as time goes on. I would also greatly enjoy becoming proficient enough to play around a camp fire with friends.

As far as the pipe, I mentioned. I greatly enjoy smoking tobacco in a pipe, which I think another past time that transcends time and further adds to the enjoyment of being around a campfire with family and friends.

Great advice. I am new to playing instruments as well as music. I think myself more of a literal thinker so understanding the tool before me should help me learn how to play it as that seems to work in other facets of my life.
Being new, I dont even know what a realistic goal is for myself to. scales, learning the notes on the fretboard, simple open G songs. what else do yall recommend

Jul 10, 2020 - 4:44:39 AM
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187 posts since 6/25/2016

You'll eventually discover the way that YOU learn best. So try a bit of everything. Jim Pankey Beginner lessons on youtube are a great start. Great lessons with TAB available. Don't get discouraged or overwhelmed. Listen to a lot of banjo music. A LOT of banjo music. Practice and have fun. Good luck!

Jul 10, 2020 - 6:34:17 AM
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1964 posts since 2/10/2013

If you are just starting out, and have no musical experience you might try Geoff Hohwald's book/CD "Banjo Primer" and learn basic banjo playing techniques. This is not something you accomplish in a week or two so be patient. Get a music software app that allow you to change tempo of recordings, change key, loop all or parts of tunes and more. The app I use is "The Amazing Slow Downer". There are others.

Go to a local library and get an introductory book on basic music theory. Learn the chromatic scale, major and minor diatonic scales, and basic chord theory. You don't have to learn to read music, but having this knowledge will enable a person to better understand what they are doing. Take your time and don't leave a subject until you really understand what you have read. Learning the chromatic scale is a good place to start. You need to know this before learning other things. Instead of watching TV, spend a little time now and then learning this information.
With this knowledge, you will be able to do more than memorize finger movement/location. You will be able to understand what are doing.

Jul 10, 2020 - 8:28:38 AM

10958 posts since 6/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by banjobilly51

I am interested in learning scruggs and finger picking and melody and clawhammer. All that comes in time. Ultimately I wish to learn how to play the banjo for my own enjoyment and my family. 


It would not surprise me if fewer than half of all 5-string banjo players play both Scruggs style and clawhammer. Not sure what you mean by "melody." If it's chord melody, that's more a 4-string technique, though it can certainly be done on 5-string, where it's an advanced technique.

I think you should spend some time listening to banjo music and sampling banjo lessons on YouTube to see what type of playing appeals to you most. Listen for what sounds like the type of playing you can envision playing for your own enjoyment and your family.

It might well be that what you want to do is play in a way to accompany singing -- just playing chords in simple patterns. Or maybe you want to play simple tunes. If that's the case you might want to start with clawhammer or even the Pete Seeger "bum-ditty" style. Pete Seeger's book is still available. 

Learning music with banjo as the first instrument is a challenge. Not saying it can't be done.

Good luck and have fun.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 07/10/2020 08:28:58

Jul 10, 2020 - 9:05:25 AM

17 posts since 12/12/2019

Have a look at "Jim Pankey's Beginner Banjo" Lessons on Youtube. He will teach you the basics, some rolls and a first song or two. During this time you can also look for an in person teacher and take that route as well. Good Luck and stick with it. It's a journey that never ends. Don't expect too much to fast and try to practice an hour a day.

Jul 15, 2020 - 6:21:32 PM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

12726 posts since 8/30/2006

Start with up picking: 1,rest, 3, 4
Then down picking: 1,rest, 3, 4.
Same 4 beats. Boom rest did he

Then IMTMTIMT 21215215 is foggy mtn roll That’ll get you playing

Jul 15, 2020 - 6:47:27 PM
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56 posts since 9/23/2019

quote:
Originally posted by banjobilly51

Hello all,
back at it. thanks for the responses. I am interested in learning scruggs and finger picking and melody and clawhammer. All that comes in time. Ultimately I wish to learn how to play the banjo for my own enjoyment and my family. We recently had out first son and I would love to be able to play things for/with him as time goes on. I would also greatly enjoy becoming proficient enough to play around a camp fire with friends.

As far as the pipe, I mentioned. I greatly enjoy smoking tobacco in a pipe, which I think another past time that transcends time and further adds to the enjoyment of being around a campfire with family and friends.

Great advice. I am new to playing instruments as well as music. I think myself more of a literal thinker so understanding the tool before me should help me learn how to play it as that seems to work in other facets of my life.
Being new, I dont even know what a realistic goal is for myself to. scales, learning the notes on the fretboard, simple open G songs. what else do yall recommend


I was a cigar smoker until I switched to a pipe a number of years ago. It can't be beat.

Jul 15, 2020 - 10:27:15 PM
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56 posts since 12/5/2015

I will presume you meant melodic instead of melody....I started with clawhammer learned by ear for 3 years. Then three finger styles. That was 23 years ago.

Learn from others: Ive had 4 teachers. 3 good and 1 less than good.....my less than good teacher taught me how to teach myself. It was a good thing?

Direction: Know the songs you want to play. If you cant whistle/hum it, do you know it?

Build Connections in your brain: Learn from multiple sources.

Stop Guessing: Learn theory. I took and tutored a music theory (real basic, Music 104) in college. It answered so many questions and took the guess work out of the music and made things more intentional.

Repetition: Practice a lot, and with purpose! I practiced for 6-10 hours the first 3 years of banjo learning. I wish I had the time today.

Pick with others: pick at festivals, picks near you (jam sessions), play at home with CDs/ipod (yeah Im old) and don't slow them down.

Make lots of mistakes and learn from every one of them!

Don't get overwhelmed, it takes 'x' amount of time to learn certain things.

I have a lot of material. Please let me know if I can support you in any way.

Jul 16, 2020 - 2:42:22 PM
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18 posts since 5/2/2019

Curious as to what drew you to banjo, especially in light of your expressed goal to learn all the styles.

Jul 21, 2020 - 1:47:37 PM
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3521 posts since 12/6/2009

learn and listen to the music that which you want to play. playing music on an instrument comes mainly from inside out. so that would be my advice.

Jul 21, 2020 - 2:20:31 PM
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m06

England

8980 posts since 10/5/2006

Banjo and pipe tobacco?

I wonder how many English folks here are instinctively creating their own similar punchline...and then biting their tongue.wink

BTW welcome to the Hangout.smiley

Edited by - m06 on 07/21/2020 14:23:44

Jul 22, 2020 - 5:37:50 AM
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5 posts since 6/22/2020

I know this was posted previously, but I also highly recommend the "Banjo Primer" book by Hohwald. It comes with video lessons and audio practice tracks at multiple speeds.

Jul 22, 2020 - 6:12:25 AM
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55110 posts since 12/14/2005

When you're sitting around the campfire with family and friends, they don't CARE if you can pick like Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, John Hartford.
What THEY care about is
Can you move from one of the four chords used in most popular songs, to the next chord in the sequence, without losing the rhythm?

If you can do THAT, all the rest is just flash for the tourists.

Welcome to the HangOut, and if you're ever going to be  near where Wisconsin's  Hwy 60 crosses Interstate 43, let me know.

Jul 23, 2020 - 3:13:07 PM

3521 posts since 12/6/2009

correction Mike......"one of the 3 chords".[in our music]....lol

Edited by - overhere on 07/23/2020 15:14:13

Jul 25, 2020 - 9:42:43 AM

2218 posts since 4/5/2006

Different strokes for different folks. All good, just some will work better for you, & you'll have to find that by trial & error. BG & OT banjo's are as different as the music itself and, the culture that embraces each. Don't invest too much money in a fancy banjo until you decide which style you wish to pursue.

Aug 2, 2020 - 4:53:54 PM

6 posts since 10/11/2019

thank you for all the input! i’ve been pretty busy with work and acclimating to having a 10week old at home.
i am probably overthinking learning banjo as well.
i am at the early point where i have never played an instrument and greatly want to share that with my son and grand kids as we all grow.
i’ve tried jim pankey in the past but i’ll try him again as i have a little more understanding now maybe i’ll appreciate it more and take more from it.
that’s cool someone is from Sun City Az! i’m from peoria! thank you for the tips. i think a reasonable goal for me now would be devoting at least 30-45 minutes a day to practicing something i already know or learning something new. i’m working on learning the 12 scales right now. have 5 down and continuing to learn them.

Aug 2, 2020 - 4:55:46 PM

6 posts since 10/11/2019

quote:
Originally posted by m06

Banjo and pipe tobacco?

I wonder how many English folks here are instinctively creating their own similar punchline...and then biting their tongue.wink

BTW welcome to the Hangout.smiley


someday i'd like to be able to smoke my pipe, and jam on the banjo with friends!  thanks for the welcome!!

Aug 2, 2020 - 4:56:16 PM

6 posts since 10/11/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Start with up picking: 1,rest, 3, 4
Then down picking: 1,rest, 3, 4.
Same 4 beats. Boom rest did he

Then IMTMTIMT 21215215 is foggy mtn roll That’ll get you playing


howdy from peoria!

Aug 3, 2020 - 3:26:08 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

12726 posts since 8/30/2006

Howdy too

Aug 4, 2020 - 7:18:16 AM
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1964 posts since 2/10/2013

I know others will disagree, but I think trying to learn "Scruggs" style AND Clawhammer banjo at the same time comes with a problem. "Scruggs" style uses for the most part, an immobile picking hand. Clawhammer uses lots of wrist/hand/finger movement. It is better to develop muscle memory and play one style until you can play "decently". Then, you could start working on the additional style.

Aug 7, 2020 - 8:47:38 PM

6 posts since 10/11/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Hauser

I know others will disagree, but I think trying to learn "Scruggs" style AND Clawhammer banjo at the same time comes with a problem. "Scruggs" style uses for the most part, an immobile picking hand. Clawhammer uses lots of wrist/hand/finger movement. It is better to develop muscle memory and play one style until you can play "decently". Then, you could start working on the additional style.


that's great advice! i'll definitely look more into what you mean and what i see myself learning 

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