Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

483
Banjo Lovers Online


Feb 28, 2021 - 2:01:51 PM
like this

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

I'm a little less than a month in. Been using a variety of the rich, easily found resources on the internet.

Been putting in at least 6 hours a day. I like to do practice excercises at 50 BPM because I'm afraid if i go too fast I'm gonna lose the ergonomics and develop bad habits.

For fun, i just about mastered the GOOD OL MOUNTAIN DEW level 1 tab that can be found on ezfolk.com. Pretty good resources. I admit, i havent explored the banjo hangout too much. That will come with time.

So far, I've gotten bum ditty and am doing some drop thumb excercises at 50 BPM. Heck, I'm still doing bum ditty at 50 BPM. Slides and other slurred notes, haven't really gotten into yet, but gonna stick to the same formula of going senior slow when i get to those drills. No need to rush, and i doubt I'm gonna be playing any Bach anytime soon.

I really like the visual mechanical metronome on youtube from a page called drumset fundamentals. Gives me a visual indicator of if my 8th notes are on time.

Even at this ridiculous 50 BPM pace, I've made really good progress. My thought is, speed will come (i hope!). Its not like i can't do the drills faster, i can but i don't wanna lose control of my hands and start losing the feel. IDK who would think an all brush version of good ol mountain sounds good.

If anyone has any feedback, please share your own experiences of being a beginner and what it was like.

Edited by - PHIL- on 02/28/2021 14:03:01

Feb 28, 2021 - 2:05:44 PM

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

Footnote.

My left shoulder doesn't hurt anymore and my finger tips are like stone. I actually didn't realize at first that the pain went away. Cool!

Feb 28, 2021 - 2:55:58 PM

1679 posts since 7/4/2009

A month isn’t a long time at all and if you’re playing anything that sounds remotely like music at this point you’re doing pretty well.

I have no advice over what speed to practice at in terms of BPM, but I think it’s always a good idea to start slow and then build up the speed. The galloping rhythm of the basic stroke can create a temptation to play as fast as possible, which is what I did when I was first learning to play the banjo.

My main hurdles to get over at first was to play a clawhammer rhythm (bum ditty) instead of waltz time (OOM pah pah) and to play by moving my forearm instead of flicking my fingers out. 
 

I've noticed your profile pic is Granda Jones. Do you intend to sing with the banjo or are you using it primarily to play tunes?

Edited by - UncleClawhammer on 02/28/2021 15:03:26

Feb 28, 2021 - 3:08:53 PM

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

quote:
Originally posted by UncleClawhammer

A month isn’t a long time at all and if you’re playing anything that sounds remotely like music at this point you’re doing pretty well.

I have no advice over what speed to practice at in terms of BPM, but I think it’s always a good idea to start slow and then build up the speed. The galloping rhythm of the basic stroke can create a temptation to play as fast as possible, which is what I did when I was first learning to play the banjo.


Yes that temptation is very strong. Im in open G, if you alternate the 3rd string and 4th string on the melody notes while doing the basic strum it sounds cool. Kind of just for show, like if im showing a fellow musician how this how works in context at a faster speed.

Im trying to stay away from stuff like that for now, although i am attemping to build some speed on this good ol mountain dew tab while still having melody notes that dont sound like total crap. That part of what im doing is just between the drills for fun. Also learning how to follow that tab was an incredible challenge, afterwards when i got it, i texted my brother DJ saying "YO ADRAIN, WE DID IT" (PHILLY REFERENCE)

This thing can make you feel like your on top of the world and its very exciting.

Feb 28, 2021 - 3:14:24 PM

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

I honestly would love to sing and play. But, I'm not gonna get ahead of myself. I have practiced reading out loud while playing the basic stroke. For now its all about everything feeling right while playing.

Feb 28, 2021 - 4:25:42 PM
likes this

262 posts since 10/16/2011

On my clawhammer banjo adventure i had to keep every thing very simple . I started out with short chords which is basically two finger chords and chorded songs . Then my first books to learn melody playing notes were some of Wayne Erbsens books, Clawhammer banjo for the complete ignoramous and then his tunes tips and jamming book . These were easier for me to start out because of large well spaced out simplified tabulature and has the words to sing the song (in your head ) to start then sing to under the tab lines .They come with Cd's also These books were priceless to me . Then i moved on to Dan Levison book Clawhammer from scratch and love his book also . It's D tuning when you get to that part of learning and has a slow and faster speed on his Cd's for all the songs which are popular jam songs .I found his double thumbing version the best for me to get a song down . I'm a fiddler also now days and love playing my fiddle to all the above listed cd's for a banjo accompany . Keep playing and you will keep growing your music playing more then you may imagine . Have fun on every day of your music adventure .

Feb 28, 2021 - 4:54:36 PM

28 posts since 7/18/2020

@PHIL- I, too, am fairly new to clawhammer banjo.

Having played clawhammer uke for years, the bum ditty strike was second nature to me so I just laid into tunes I could find on the Internet when I got my banjo. I quickly found out the banjo repatoire was way more rich in various ways than I had imagined.

After some digging, I found Ken Perlman's Clawhammer Style Banjo. It answered my immediate questions on the tunes I was learning and then some. (I skipped ahead!) The book is nice in that it introduces increasingly difficult techniques and
fleshes each technique in a tune.

Drop thumbing comes a little later in the book due to the way that it's organized. But I think that's fine. I already know how to drop thumb, and there's a-plenty to work on in between. I'm having fun, and that's the point.

Feb 28, 2021 - 4:56:23 PM
likes this

28 posts since 7/18/2020

@Scott Barnbilly56 Any recommendations for fiddle books?

Feb 28, 2021 - 6:11:04 PM
likes this

262 posts since 10/16/2011

Yes i don't read notes but read tablature so i got Wayne Erbsen Old time fiddle for the complete ignoramus and he has both notes and tab on same line along with sing along words which i do sometimes . I also use my wife mandolin tab books and re do the tab from mandolin 2-4-5 feted position to a fiddle 1-2-3 position to learn basic melody's . Learning to play by notes is better but wasn't working for me to try to translate and play .


Mar 1, 2021 - 12:37:27 AM
like this

AndyW

UK

742 posts since 7/4/2017

Paul, if I were you I would get Dan Levenson's 'Clawhammer from Scratch ' book, it's a full method for the basics where you learn double thumbing and drop thumb early. Don't worry by the end you would be able to bum-ditty if you wished amongst loads of other stuff.

It will particularly suit someone like yourself who is willing to use a metronome and put in long practice hours.

Here's some Dan L material, and Tony Spadero's similar but not as methodical 'Rocketsciencebanjo' free pdf for you to have a look at.

Dan Levenson 1
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=235
Dan Levenson 2
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=247
Dan Levenson 3
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=260
RSB Videos
rsb.pricklypearmusic.net/rsbvideos.html
RSB PDF
rsb.pricklypearmusic.net/

Mar 1, 2021 - 4:48:35 AM

carlb

USA

2233 posts since 12/16/2007

Try to pick out any tune that's already in your head. Playing by ear is a great skill to develop.

Mar 1, 2021 - 8:31:16 AM

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

quote:
Originally posted by AndyW

Paul, if I were you I would get Dan Levenson's 'Clawhammer from Scratch ' book, it's a full method for the basics where you learn double thumbing and drop thumb early. Don't worry by the end you would be able to bum-ditty if you wished amongst loads of other stuff.

It will particularly suit someone like yourself who is willing to use a metronome and put in long practice hours.

Here's some Dan L material, and Tony Spadero's similar but not as methodical 'Rocketsciencebanjo' free pdf for you to have a look at.

Dan Levenson 1
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=235
Dan Levenson 2
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=247
Dan Levenson 3
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=260
RSB Videos
rsb.pricklypearmusic.net/rsbvideos.html
RSB PDF
rsb.pricklypearmusic.net/


Hey Andy,

I just printed all 214 pages of rocket science banjo. Looks like im gonna be busy for a while (not too long). Video lessons are great, but i do better being able to read, re-read and read it again. Ive already had moments where i went back and watched videos i thought were great, realizing a 10 second segment had key information that i missed for whatever reason (maybe cherry fell off cigarette and burned my shirt, or my neighbor knocked on my door HEY COUNTRY BOY QUIT IT WITH THE LOUD STUFF)

Whats great about readable lessons, is that, the information is there. The key is getting it to absorb into my very thick skull, so reading has always been the best way for me to learn (re-reading things over and over) . Might sound dumb but it works for me.

I thank you for all the help you have offered me so far. The banjo community already seems like its a great place

Mar 1, 2021 - 8:48:27 AM

AndyW

UK

742 posts since 7/4/2017

quote:
Originally posted by PHIL-
quote:
Originally posted by AndyW

Paul, if I were you I would get Dan Levenson's 'Clawhammer from Scratch ' book, it's a full method for the basics where you learn double thumbing and drop thumb early. Don't worry by the end you would be able to bum-ditty if you wished amongst loads of other stuff.

It will particularly suit someone like yourself who is willing to use a metronome and put in long practice hours.

Here's some Dan L material, and Tony Spadero's similar but not as methodical 'Rocketsciencebanjo' free pdf for you to have a look at.

Dan Levenson 1
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=235
Dan Levenson 2
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=247
Dan Levenson 3
banjohangout.org/lessons/video...sp?id=260
RSB Videos
rsb.pricklypearmusic.net/rsbvideos.html
RSB PDF
rsb.pricklypearmusic.net/


Hey Andy,

I just printed all 214 pages of rocket science banjo. Looks like im gonna be busy for a while (not too long). Video lessons are great, but i do better being able to read, re-read and read it again. Ive already had moments where i went back and watched videos i thought were great, realizing a 10 second segment had key information that i missed for whatever reason (maybe cherry fell off cigarette and burned my shirt, or my neighbor knocked on my door HEY COUNTRY BOY QUIT IT WITH THE LOUD STUFF)

Whats great about readable lessons, is that, the information is there. The key is getting it to absorb into my very thick skull, so reading has always been the best way for me to learn (re-reading things over and over) . Might sound dumb but it works for me.

I thank you for all the help you have offered me so far. The banjo community already seems like its a great place


Fair enough if you don't like video stuff.  I would watch both the Tony Spadero 'basic clawhammer stroke' video, and the first bit of Dan's 1st video where he talks about holding the banjo and the basic stroke.

RSB is a great read in itself, if you like the way it teaches the basics I would consider buying Dan's book though as it's a bit more methodical. 

Mar 1, 2021 - 8:55:43 AM

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

I do already have the basic stroke down, i can play it fast or slow. Took me about 3 days to do it automatically, the only reason i still play it at 50 BPM, is to do things like talk out loud or call my mother just to say hi. Its more of a timing thing, and making it second nature. I took a similar approach learning to play drums all the way back in 2005, i did that 4-4 beat over and over and over and over until i was sick of it, and then i did it some more. Pretty soon i had a very strong foundation to build on.

Mar 2, 2021 - 8:55:52 PM

PHIL-

USA

49 posts since 2/26/2021

Ok, so speeding up a bit and watching very closely. I'm noticing some downward counter clockwise wrist twist to boink the thumb string.

This is bad, i think.

I wanna be relaxed, but not in a hippish kumbaya lava lamp kind of way. Firm with a little give (medium rare).

I'm not liking what i see when i try and play faster. Its fun and all, i like how chuggy it sounds, but I'm super afraid I'm gonna develop some stupid bad mechanic.

Ghbgddgyhkvcrdzgh. Its this chinese banjo!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1875