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Sep 30, 2020 - 5:59:13 PM
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4 posts since 8/22/2020

Just saying hello. I bought Dan Levenson's Clawhammer book and took the plunge.

I bought a basically new Epiphone banjo a month ago and have been plugging my way through Dan's book. An old Vega Folk Ranger became available locally and I picked it up. The two aren't even comparable in quality. The Vega is built like a tank, and just feels better if you know what I mean.

So yeah, I've been looking through the posts and what not and it seems this is the place for everything banjo.

So that's it. Wish me luck.

Sep 30, 2020 - 6:13:47 PM
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510 posts since 6/2/2011

Welcome aboard for the ride and to the BHO!
Lots of info here, banjo, parts and accessories reviewed and offered for sale.
When you have question do a topic search and ask. It is my firm believe the on dumb question is the one in asked.

Sep 30, 2020 - 7:32:41 PM
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4676 posts since 5/9/2007

Welcome!

Enjoy

Sep 30, 2020 - 8:43:35 PM
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doryman

USA

861 posts since 11/26/2012

Well, you have just started and you're already on your second banjo. I would say that you have found your people.

Oct 1, 2020 - 7:10:54 AM
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Players Union Member

kwl

USA

558 posts since 3/5/2009

Welcome to BHO, Jim. If you ever need any help with your banjo journey, you've found the right place. Sounds like you are off to a good start. Enjoy.

Oct 1, 2020 - 8:34:58 AM
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518 posts since 2/6/2018

Welcome Jim! Take it slow....be patient with yourself....it's important to nail down that foundation before picking up speed. There's a lot of great resources and support here, so you're in a good community. Most of all, enjoy yourself and have fun.

Oct 1, 2020 - 9:05:13 AM
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AndyW

UK

589 posts since 7/4/2017

Good choice of book to learn from. It's what I went for after lot's of research. It will get your right hand going better than any other book. If you find once you get through the double thumb and drop thumb sections that the 3rd 'kitchen sink' section is too difficult, don't be frightened to look elsewhere for easier tunes, but definitely stick with Dan through the first 2 sections which will keep you going for quite a while.

Play only as fast as you can whilst keeping your playing clean. Perfect practice makes perfect permanent, poor practice makes poor permanent. It's much better to take your time and not build in bad habits. A metronome can help to temper the natural tendency to speed up too much.

Oct 1, 2020 - 4:32:17 PM

4 posts since 8/22/2020

Yeah I'm still plugging away on Example 17, Double Thumb Spotted Pony in D and practicing the chords and C scale without looking....lol

It's not easy for me, but I'm not giving up anytime soon.

I have a metronome app on the phone. I ought to use it.

I trimmed my index fingernail by accident out of habit as well yesterday. Everything is weird again.

Cheers,

Jim

Oct 1, 2020 - 4:55:38 PM

870 posts since 3/23/2006

Welcome! Every year (but not this year) my wife and I spend a week hiking trails from the Marin headlands up to Point Reyes. I travel with a banjo (in the car), so if things are calmer next year, maybe we can trade a tune or two in Point Reyes Station?

Oct 1, 2020 - 5:17:48 PM

4 posts since 8/22/2020

quote:
Originally posted by hweinberg

Welcome! Every year (but not this year) my wife and I spend a week hiking trails from the Marin headlands up to Point Reyes. I travel with a banjo (in the car), so if things are calmer next year, maybe we can trade a tune or two in Point Reyes Station?


That would be cool. Hopefully in a year I'll progress a bit. Aim for June. The Seashore probably won't be engulfed in flames. It is crazy right now. 

The smoke is miserable, and folks are losing everything, and quite a few have died. The situation in California is dire. 

That said, when not engulfed in flames, the Point Reyes National Seashore and California in general,  are amazing. 

Of course, I'm a third generation Bay Area "immigrant." I'm biased. 

Edited by - jimbaddabim on 10/01/2020 17:20:21

Oct 1, 2020 - 5:52:29 PM

870 posts since 3/23/2006

I'll send private message on BHO

Oct 1, 2020 - 11:22:56 PM

AndyW

UK

589 posts since 7/4/2017

quote:
Originally posted by jimbaddabim

Yeah I'm still plugging away on Example 17, Double Thumb Spotted Pony in D and practicing the chords and C scale without looking....lol

It's not easy for me, but I'm not giving up anytime soon.

I have a metronome app on the phone. I ought to use it.

I trimmed my index fingernail by accident out of habit as well yesterday. Everything is weird again.

Cheers,

Jim


As  you will already have found out, it is pretty slow going at first.  The more practice you get the quicker you go up the steep learning curve that is clawhammer banjo.  Keep your banjo out and easily at hand and you can 'snatch' 5/10 minutes of practice when otherwise you might not is a good tip. I think that metronome app should be fired up.  As well as slowing down your playing to a beneficial speed, the other thing a metronome is helpful for is finding 'difficult phrases' which you can then loop practice to bring up to the level of the bits you are finding easier.

Just as an aside in case you come from another instrument.  I came from guitar and had a decent knowledge of chords etc (although not the DD banjo tuning fingerings).  What I found was that skimming the chord sections in Dan's book didn't really affect my future playing as it is very rare to play a full chord in clawhammer. This skimming got me into the 'meat' of the book earlier than had I not done it.  If you are new to music in general though it will be of benefit to you to learn how chords 'work'.

Oct 2, 2020 - 2:19:03 AM

21 posts since 11/8/2017

I loved to welcome you in the group buddy!~

Oct 2, 2020 - 7:02:53 AM
Players Union Member

jduke

USA

1089 posts since 1/15/2009

Jim, welcome to the BHO and your banjo journey. You've joined a great website full of truly knowledgeable, helpful people.

I play clawhammer on vintage Vegas and last year found at a flea market a Vega Ranger (Folk Ranger w/ resonator). I was surprised just how sweet and nice the sound was. I like it a lot and play it quite often.

Dan Levenson's materials are a good choice to start.

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