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Aug 10, 2021 - 1:07:18 PM
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193 posts since 5/21/2020

When are you guy's ever going to learn. Don't feed the trolls they just come back for more. Mods take note of their IP Addresses. Lock their accounts and hide their messages. Rather than having all this discord.

Aug 10, 2021 - 2:24:24 PM
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15330 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Jack Baker

As I said, trolls never ever stop and so on and on you will go. I am finished with this....


So, apparently, is "Stan Laurel." His account has been locked.

Aug 10, 2021 - 2:36:01 PM
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193 posts since 5/21/2020

Amen!

Aug 10, 2021 - 3:51:14 PM
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2639 posts since 4/5/2006

Overhere said, bluegrass is not something you play off the top of your head. It is something you have deep inside your body and soul.......and if you can't reach in and find it.....you ain't play'n bluegrass banjo.....IMHO

As a big city kid, I looked down on "hill-billy" music & would have nothing to do with it. Decades later, pop music had gone done the tubes. But when the wind was right, I began to hear this music come sifting through the air waves. I didn't know what it was called, but it seemed to be calling out to me.

Learning to play banjo, I discovered there was more to Bluegrass than notes & words. Much more! It took a lot of digging to discover what it was, about this music, that was calling out to me. Is, whatever it is, the magic key to playing Bluegrass? All I can say is what worked, to what degree important only to me. 

 

 

Aug 10, 2021 - 5:03:20 PM
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15330 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by monstertone

Overhere said, bluegrass is not something you play off the top of your head. It is something you have deep inside your body and soul.......and if you can't reach in and find it.....you ain't play'n bluegrass banjo.....IMHO

As a big city kid, I looked down on "hill-billy" music & would have nothing to do with it. Decades later, pop music had gone done the tubes. But when the wind was right, I began to hear this music come sifting through the air waves. I didn't know what it was called, but it seemed to be calling out to me.

Learning to play banjo, I discovered there was more to Bluegrass than notes & words. Much more! It took a lot of digging to discover what it was, about this music, that was calling out to me. Is, whatever it is, the magic key to playing Bluegrass? All I can say is what worked, to what degree important only to me. 

 

 


Yes, this.

I well recall my second teacher - a really good player, and a fine teacher who brought me to the point where I could stand on my own - trying to explain it to me. He could not. As a teacher myself, now, *I* cannot. I can help students understand the rudiments of playing - right and left hands - and I can help guide them to a basic understanding of music theory. Fortunately, basic understanding is all the music theory most bluegrass players need.

I can help them understand the need to make certain notes a little louder, and certain notes a little less loud, and how that creates emphasis. I can help them understand swing, which is so important in understanding why bluegrass can make people want to dance. Verbally, I can point out how the banjo playing ever so slightly off-beat - especially advancing on the one, and how both of the latter help inform drive.

But give them the feel? No, I can't do that. I don't think any teacher can - at least, not one who's honest. For that, they've got to listen a ton and, as we say here in Massachusetts, see "light dawn over Marblehead."

Edited by - eagleisland on 08/10/2021 17:15:57

Aug 10, 2021 - 5:42:32 PM

250 posts since 7/29/2011

I found this thread to be helpful and am grateful for everyone's input.
I've been wondering when I should start with in-person lessons.
I have been using YouTube videos to learn the very basics.
On the advice of people here I bought a Deering Goodtime.
At 51 it took me many hours of practice just to be able to do an alternating finger roll, and many more hours of practice just to learn a slide and hammeron.   I'm aware I'm still terrible at doing any of those.
I figure as long as I keep practicing something every day, no matter how basic, it will help.
I realize this is going to be a LONG road with as much practice I can do.
My plan was to keep practicing basic things from YouTube until I reach the point where I should get some in-person help.   I'm still not sure when that should be.

Aug 10, 2021 - 5:49:53 PM
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banjoy

USA

9849 posts since 7/1/2006

Trapper Rich

A good teacher can help channel the determination you have into a more narrow and focused path -- it need not be a long and winding road. You may surprise yourself, what you have in yourself to find. A good teacher can help out, but it sounds to me like you'll get there one way or another.

When is time to seek a teacher? It seems to me you have your answer but if you're asking for an opinion, now is good. It's in your plan anyway, just reshuffle your plan a little.

For some reason, your post reminded me of a Dear Abby advice column I read many decades ago and it has stuck with me. Someone wrote to her stating he wanted to learn guitar but it would take 10 years at least to learn it and he'd be 60 years old by then! Abby's response was, "How old will you be in 10 years if you don't learn to play guitar?"

Edited by - banjoy on 08/10/2021 17:51:03

Aug 11, 2021 - 4:51:12 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26391 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Trapper Rich

I found this thread to be helpful and am grateful for everyone's input.
I've been wondering when I should start with in-person lessons.
I have been using YouTube videos to learn the very basics.
On the advice of people here I bought a Deering Goodtime.
At 51 it took me many hours of practice just to be able to do an alternating finger roll, and many more hours of practice just to learn a slide and hammeron.   I'm aware I'm still terrible at doing any of those.
I figure as long as I keep practicing something every day, no matter how basic, it will help.
I realize this is going to be a LONG road with as much practice I can do.
My plan was to keep practicing basic things from YouTube until I reach the point where I should get some in-person help.   I'm still not sure when that should be.


You should start in person lessons now!!  Why?  You may be forming bad habits that will have to be changed as you progress in your experience on the banjo.  A teacher can show/tell you what (if anything) you are doing wrong or praise you for what you do right.  A teacher can explain various techniques and watch and correct any problems that you have.  You can watch/listen as the teacher picks and shows you what you need to learn.  You can tell a teacher to slow down (which you can't do on a U-tube video).  You can ask a teacher for help with any problems you have. 

Well, you get the idea.  In person lessons with a good teacher will get you more proficient on the instrument with less bad habits than just watching videos.

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 08/11/2021 06:46:07

Aug 11, 2021 - 5:44:58 AM
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71 posts since 12/12/2019

If you have the opportunity for in person lessons Trapper Rich get going. Time passes by quickly, after six months or a year you will be well ahead of trying to navigate learning to play banjo on your own. Bi-weekly lessons work best for me. But that is just a personal preference and what my teacher wanted to do.

Aug 11, 2021 - 6:09:19 AM

250 posts since 7/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
quote:
Originally posted by Trapper Rich

I found this thread to be helpful and am grateful for everyone's input.
I've been wondering when I should start with in-person lessons.
I have been using YouTube videos to learn the very basics.
On the advice of people here I bought a Deering Goodtime.
At 51 it took me many hours of practice just to be able to do an alternating finger roll, and many more hours of practice just to learn a slide and hammeron.   I'm aware I'm still terrible at doing any of those.
I figure as long as I keep practicing something every day, no matter how basic, it will help.
I realize this is going to be a LONG road with as much practice I can do.
My plan was to keep practicing basic things from YouTube until I reach the point where I should get some in-person help.   I'm still not sure when that should be.


You should start in person lessons now!!  Why?  You may be forming bad habits that will have to be changed as you progress in your experience on the banjo.  A teacher can show/tell you what (if anything) you are doing wrong or praise you for what you do right.  A teacher can explain various techniques and watch and correct any problems that you have.  You can watch/listen as the teacher picks and shows you what you need to learn.  You can tell a teacher to slow down (which you can't do on a U-tube video).  You can ask a teacher for help with any problems you have. 

Well, you ge the idea.  In person lessons with a good teacher will get you more proficient on the instrument with less bad habits than just watching videos.


I see the point in avoiding bad habits early on.

Thank you for the advice.

I've  been looking online for local banjo teachers and so far haven't found any within 40 minutes of me, which is surprising considering I live in a densely populated area (near Detroit.)  I'll drive it if I have to.

Aug 11, 2021 - 6:48:51 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26391 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:   (Snip)

You should start in person lessons now!!  Why?  You may be forming bad habits that will have to be changed as you progress in your experience on the banjo.  A teacher can show/tell you what (if anything) you are doing wrong or praise you for what you do right.  A teacher can explain various techniques and watch and correct any problems that you have.  You can watch/listen as the teacher picks and shows you what you need to learn.  You can tell a teacher to slow down (which you can't do on a U-tube video).  You can ask a teacher for help with any problems you have. 

Well, you ge the idea.  In person lessons with a good teacher will get you more proficient on the instrument with less bad habits than just watching videos.


I see the point in avoiding bad habits early on.

Thank you for the advice.

I've  been looking online for local banjo teachers and so far haven't found any within 40 minutes of me, which is surprising considering I live in a densely populated area (near Detroit.)  I'll drive it if I have to.


Have you checked our teacher's list?  If not, there might be someone in your area.  Teacher's list is located on the left hand side of the page.  Under Learn, click on Teacher's list.  You can use the advanced search to narrow it down to what genre you want.

Aug 11, 2021 - 6:59:07 AM

250 posts since 7/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
quote:   (Snip)

You should start in person lessons now!!  Why?  You may be forming bad habits that will have to be changed as you progress in your experience on the banjo.  A teacher can show/tell you what (if anything) you are doing wrong or praise you for what you do right.  A teacher can explain various techniques and watch and correct any problems that you have.  You can watch/listen as the teacher picks and shows you what you need to learn.  You can tell a teacher to slow down (which you can't do on a U-tube video).  You can ask a teacher for help with any problems you have. 

Well, you ge the idea.  In person lessons with a good teacher will get you more proficient on the instrument with less bad habits than just watching videos.


I see the point in avoiding bad habits early on.

Thank you for the advice.

I've  been looking online for local banjo teachers and so far haven't found any within 40 minutes of me, which is surprising considering I live in a densely populated area (near Detroit.)  I'll drive it if I have to.


Have you checked our teacher's list?  If not, there might be someone in your area.  Teacher's list is located on the left hand side of the page.  Under Learn, click on Teacher's list.  You can use the advanced search to narrow it down to what genre you want.


I did check that list yesterday. 

Of the 3 listings nearest to me,  one is deceased,  one listing is 5 years old and the teacher appears to be no longer active, and one is active and 40 minutes away.

I used Google also and didn't come up with anything else.

Aug 11, 2021 - 8:00 AM

banjoy

USA

9849 posts since 7/1/2006

Trapper Rich

I'm probably not the best person to suggest this (because I can't / don't want to do what I'm about to suggest) but there are plenty of great teachers who teach via Zoom or Skype, maybe an idea to consider until you can find someone in person in your area...

I'm sure many others here can fill in more detail about their experiences, that hasn't already been provided in this thread.

You're determined, that's seems clear to me. Where there is a will, there is a way...

Aug 11, 2021 - 8:00:08 AM

Owen

Canada

9545 posts since 6/5/2011

Forty minutes, Rich?   That's just like next door.  Around here, we measure it in hours [one-way], not minutes.   A few years ago I convinced a guy in Regina [3 hours] to teach me ..... but that fell by the wayside due to a medical problem [not his].   Otherwise it's  Winnipeg or Saskatoon [4.5 hours, give-or-take].

Having said that, it's been my experience so far that everything else is a d-i-s-t-a-n-t also-ran to in-person.... although, on Fred's advice,  I am now giving BanjoBen's "Silver Pick Trial:  a trial.  [I haven't tried Skype.... I've been told that internet service here is insufficient.... and a few "visits" with family bears that out.]

Aug 11, 2021 - 8:08:20 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26391 posts since 8/3/2003

Trapper Rich

Are there any active bluegrass jams or festivals in your area? If so, maybe there's someone there that might know of teachers in your area that you could contact.

Any music stores close? Sometimes they have a list of teachers for various instruments.

Is there a bluegrass club/association/organization near you? If so, maybe they could help you find a teacher.

Other than that, you could post a thread asking for a teacher in your area. Maybe someone here on the Hangout might know of someone near you.

You've probably already thought of all the above, but if not, one of my suggestions might yield fruit.

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 08/11/2021 08:08:37

Aug 11, 2021 - 9:08:37 AM
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RB3

USA

1095 posts since 4/12/2004

For Trapper Rich, I would suggest that you try a little networking. Search for local bands in your area that perform the music that interests you. Then, go to their performances, make the acquaintance of the banjo players in the bands, and inquire about lessons. If they don't offer lessons, it's likely that they can refer you to someone who does.

Aug 11, 2021 - 9:23:37 AM

193 posts since 5/21/2020

Trapper Rich

Go check out https://banjobenclark.com

Aug 11, 2021 - 9:33:45 AM

9 posts since 11/18/2018

I have been taking lessons and playing banjo almost three years since I moved to Nashville and have been lucky to have two wonderful teachers. After being self taught on guitar for a long time, and then going to music school for guitar I definitely have seen the rewards that a good teacher can have on your playing. I do think that it is important to find a teacher that fits with your personality and goals. Having a teacher does not preclude me from learning on my own and watching online videos, but I felt having every option I can to make me a better player will make me a better player. There is something about sitting with someone that can crush out some banjo in person, the entire vibe is different.

As far as trolls go... I used to follow the The Gear Page guitar forum. I learned a valuable lesson when one of the members was arguing with a very talented professional on a subject. I happened to look that member up and found a video of their playing and needless to say it was awful to the point that I wouldn't even call it playing. From there on out, unless someone had had a video, audio, or was a known player, I took everything people said with a grain of salt. Trolls don't bother me and everyone has their opinion, I trust my banjo instructors opinions because I know what they can produce musically. I would be willing to bet if the Banjo Hangout took a stance that if you want to give advice or opinions on a certain topic that you need to show that you are competent within that topic, then you would get less advise rather than more proof. That being said this has been an entertaining :).

Aug 11, 2021 - 9:42:52 AM
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banjoy

USA

9849 posts since 7/1/2006

Ethel The Cat

You make an excellent point above which I'm unsure has been made in this thread yet ... so I wanted to amplify your point that it's NOT an either / or choice. You can take personal lessons AND continue to absorb what you can from YouTube, online, listening to records, whatever. Taking lessons doesn't shut down other avenues of learning ... it enhances them ...

Edited by - banjoy on 08/11/2021 09:44:22

Aug 11, 2021 - 10:15:04 AM
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5638 posts since 3/6/2006

Okay so the OP is deliberately stirring the pot...
It's still a good discussion (and I haven't read all 8 pages). Some random thoughts:
I had to learn the hard way, if there were teachers around when I was learning I would have taken lessons. So some people can learn without a teacher, but it's much harder and most will just give up. Practicing rolls found on youtube will not make you a banjo player. Make sure it is a good teacher, someone who is a fit with your learning style (I was a lousy teacher, I owe all my students their money back). I did okay because I have a good ear. If you can go back to the first banjo player that inspired you and demonstrate that you can HEAR the tone, the phrasing, the timing, articulation, note choices etc. then you have a good chance. Because if you can't hear it, you can't play it. And a good teacher can unpack all that for you. Just my opinion. And I do have videos.

Aug 11, 2021 - 10:38 AM
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71 posts since 12/12/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
quote:   (Snip)

You should start in person lessons now!!  Why?  You may be forming bad habits that will have to be changed as you progress in your experience on the banjo.  A teacher can show/tell you what (if anything) you are doing wrong or praise you for what you do right.  A teacher can explain various techniques and watch and correct any problems that you have.  You can watch/listen as the teacher picks and shows you what you need to learn.  You can tell a teacher to slow down (which you can't do on a U-tube video).  You can ask a teacher for help with any problems you have. 

Well, you ge the idea.  In person lessons with a good teacher will get you more proficient on the instrument with less bad habits than just watching videos.


I see the point in avoiding bad habits early on.

Thank you for the advice.

I've  been looking online for local banjo teachers and so far haven't found any within 40 minutes of me, which is surprising considering I live in a densely populated area (near Detroit.)  I'll drive it if I have to.


Have you checked our teacher's list?  If not, there might be someone in your area.  Teacher's list is located on the left hand side of the page.  Under Learn, click on Teacher's list.  You can use the advanced search to narrow it down to what genre you want.


 

 

I'm not sure if you have seen this teacher list from The Deering Website, but this is how I found my banjo teacher.

Looks like there are a few banjo teachers around Detroit.

 

https://www.deeringbanjos.com/pages/banjo-teacher-locator

Aug 11, 2021 - 1:11:59 PM
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2639 posts since 4/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Trapper Rich
quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo
quote:   (Snip)

You should start in person lessons now!!  Why?  You may be forming bad habits that will have to be changed as you progress in your experience on the banjo.  A teacher can show/tell you what (if anything) you are doing wrong or praise you for what you do right.  A teacher can explain various techniques and watch and correct any problems that you have.  You can watch/listen as the teacher picks and shows you what you need to learn.  You can tell a teacher to slow down (which you can't do on a U-tube video).  You can ask a teacher for help with any problems you have. 

Well, you ge the idea.  In person lessons with a good teacher will get you more proficient on the instrument with less bad habits than just watching videos.


I see the point in avoiding bad habits early on.

Thank you for the advice.

I've  been looking online for local banjo teachers and so far haven't found any within 40 minutes of me, which is surprising considering I live in a densely populated area (near Detroit.)  I'll drive it if I have to.


Have you checked our teacher's list?  If not, there might be someone in your area.  Teacher's list is located on the left hand side of the page.  Under Learn, click on Teacher's list.  You can use the advanced search to narrow it down to what genre you want.


I did check that list yesterday. 

Of the 3 listings nearest to me,  one is deceased,  one listing is 5 years old and the teacher appears to be no longer active, and one is active and 40 minutes away.

I used Google also and didn't come up with anything else.


I first started down this road pre- internet, pre four level interstate highway system over greater Los Angeles. I considered myself lucky to find Walt. (re: previous posts) Walt was close, but at the time, my world did not extend very far into Los Angeles. That first BG festival, (re: previous posts) opened doors to a whole new world I never knew existed, & it was huge! A map of L.A. & surrounding area cannot adequately convey commute time/distance, from point A to point B. Angeleno's express it in hours & minutes, multiplied by time of day!

Eventually, I discovered multiple banjo teachers scattered all over the basin. Pat Cloud, John Hickman, Craig Smith, Bill Knopf, Ron LeGrand, & David Guptill were all teaching,,,,on the far corners of my small world. Hell, even Doug Dillard & Larry McNeely were there,,,,somewhere. By the time I found out who & where they were, I was able to figure out a lot of this stuff on my own.

Life is a compromise, everything comes at a price, one way or another. If I had it to do over, time & money be damned, I'd find a way, to study under each of those guys for at least a month, just to see what each had to offer.     

Edited by - monstertone on 08/11/2021 13:26:00

Aug 11, 2021 - 1:24:31 PM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5591 posts since 10/12/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Joeblo

I didn't see the derogatory posts.
There's no way I would support that. Well done mods


I'm the one who originally questioned why he got "locked out".

I, also, did not see his offensive posts, if he did get personal, nasty, "foul-mouthed", etc... then he got his just deserts.

Aug 11, 2021 - 1:58:28 PM
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11047 posts since 6/17/2003

One can get information from many sources, but you'll only be as good as the source if you're lucky. One can practice for hours on end, but practice doesn't make perfect contrary to popular belief.  Perfect practice makes perfect.  An instructor can help you identify and correct problems before you have to unlearn bad habits.  A video can't do that.  A qualified teacher can teach you in a way that you can grasp concepts.  Some people are audible learners, some are visual learners.  Some need coaxing or praise. Some just need to realize they can do it. Many sources tell you what to do, but not why.  I don't know any sources that teach the intricacies of playing with others.  Sometimes people, students and teachers, just don't know what they don't know.

I'm not big on taking lessons from any one person because different folks play differently and I'm not bashful about stealing ideas from just about anyone.  While lessons are not seen as needed by some, they are really beneficial to others.  There are many great players, but a great player does not necessarily make a great teacher. Teaching is a skill just like picking.

For someone who doesn't know the student to assume that they know what is best or needed by them is not in the student's best interest.

Aug 11, 2021 - 2:31:15 PM
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193 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by RioStat
quote:
Originally posted by Joeblo

I didn't see the derogatory posts.
There's no way I would support that. Well done mods


I'm the one who originally questioned why he got "locked out".

I, also, did not see his offensive posts, if he did get personal, nasty, "foul-mouthed", etc... then he got his just deserts.


Wasn't hard to recognize he was out to disrupt the forum right from the outset.  

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