After months of consideration, today I finally purchased my first banjo!
Eventually decided on the Recording King Dirty 30's Open Back.
I have musical background, playing trombone through my school years, but am excited to get back into learning an instrument after 10 years since putting the trombone away. Growing up in East Tennessee I was always very familiar with the sounds of the banjo, but not until recently have I really started to enjoy bluegrass, folk, and other styles of music that feature a lot of banjo. Can't wait to get to picking.
Any tips for a newcomer? My next step is to look into which books or online resources I am going to use to teach myself.
What style do you want to play? That is important for others to know so they can point you in the right direction.
Welcome to the Banjo Hangout.
Culloden beat me to it. Welcome to the hangout. What type of banjo music are you interested in pursuing?
Edited by - monstertone on 12/07/2023 14:08:20
First of all, welcome to the Hangout. We're mostly a friendly bunch and most of us are happy to help or give advice when asked.
You mentioned bluegrass, folk and "other styles". Have you decided on one genre to start learning or are you thinking about trying to learn more than one type of picking?
As Mark said above: knowing what style you've decided to learn would help us give you suggestions on instruction books, CDs, Videos, teachers, etc.
Youll find plenty of support here. The rest will be up to you. Go for it!
Welcome from another new to banjo and the BHO. Good luck on your journey and if you have a local instructor, I'd give that a try too. He/She will be able to ensure proper posture and hand technique for whatever style you settle on.
Edited by - BoneHeadBanjo on 12/07/2023 16:16:11
You will find that banjo playing makes you completely irresistible to the opposite sex, and to the same sex for those so inclined. Also the opportunities to make $$$$$, through gigging and other banjo related ventures, like selling home-made capos fashioned from old ball point pen caps, is virtually limitless. It's best to be prepared for these two side-benefits sooner than later.
Edited by - doryman on 12/07/2023 21:41:53
I also welcome yourself.
One may increase one's annual income by literally DOZENS of DOLLARS, by performing with the banjo.
But the MAIN thing is to have FUN.
John Hartford was one HLL of a banjo player, and he said this:
"My art consists of doing what I enjoy.
If others also enjoy it, well and good.
And if not, at least I haven't wasted my time."
If you want to pursue bluegrass, I recommend Murphy Henry's "Murphy Method" lessons which feature "by ear/eye" learning as opposed to sheet music or tablature. 30-40 years of success can't be far wrong!
Additionally, research Banjo Camps. I work with Banjo Camp North in Massachusetts, but there are banjo camps all around the country. I believe there's a Midwest Banjo Camp somewhere in your area. Or just come to Banjo Camp North -- we get people from all around the country, and Canada. Almost all of the camps have Novice/Beginner classes with specialized instructors who know how to get you started on your way. It will be the best weekend you've ever spent musically. Plus you'll meet lots of banjo nuts!
My personal advice is to listen to some bluegrass recordings and try to pick out one song you can hum, whistle, sing or whatever to help guide yourself along. The nearly universal "first tune" is Cripple Creek by Earl Scruggs.
Now get busy and have fun! Feel free to ask questions here on BHO.
Oh, the SECOND Rule, after enjoy yourself:
SHARE the JOY!!
The most famous Banjo Tudor is probably the guy from that song:
Ennery the Eighth, I am I am!
He might have been happier with eight BANJOS and ONE wife!
Welcome ! Have fun with your banjo.
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