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Jun 23, 2024 - 1:09:43 PM

Kellie

USA

229 posts since 1/19/2018

I have found exercises to develop finger independence and accuracy with the pinky on the banjo. It's a slow process building that skill though. However, I think I'm very tense when I play, and it's potentially slowing me down. I found ways to circumvent all of the pressure on one finger for tremolo, (Basically you pick up with the middle and down with the index in rapid succession. You can get this up to mind blowing speeds. Especially if you use four fingers. You could even add the thumb if you wanted.) but I think I'm moving too fast for my own good. I feel a little bit of pain when playing not in the elbow or the tendons but in the joints. I often find I just need to crack my knuckles or increase the blood flow by stretching to get rid of it. Another thing, steel strings and their tension could potentially rip off my nails if the tension is too high, and I'm moving too fast, tuning to the old A notation really relieves this. There's no need to worry about that when the strings aren't fully tense. Another reason I find A notation to be better suited for guitar style.

Anyway just thought I'd give you folks an update. Haven't really composed anything of note yet, so I don't have anything to play, but I am working on a sonata and have a few ideas for virtuosic variations on a theme by Farland. But I can't play them yet cuz they have yet to be written.

Jun 23, 2024 - 2:07:45 PM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

30321 posts since 8/3/2003

I don't know a whole lot about classical banjo, but I remember doing scales on the piano and the fingering was something that was completely foreign to me. Took me quite a while to get used to doing it correctly. One thing I did was slow, even notes over and over. I remember going to sleep thinking about the finger pattern and usually the next morning, it was easier. Don't know why.

Jun 23, 2024 - 4:02:24 PM

Kellie

USA

229 posts since 1/19/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I don't know a whole lot about classical banjo, but I remember doing scales on the piano and the fingering was something that was completely foreign to me. Took me quite a while to get used to doing it correctly. One thing I did was slow, even notes over and over. I remember going to sleep thinking about the finger pattern and usually the next morning, it was easier. Don't know why.


I believe I read somewhere that we process things in our sleep so they become easier overnight, not always noticeably easier, but easier.

Jun 23, 2024 - 10:14:16 PM

713 posts since 2/5/2014

The only classical pieces I play are out of a book called Bach for Banjo. It’s fun, and a break from the Celtic music I play with an old time fiddle group.

My suggestion to you is from my teacher. He had me play songs extremely slowly, rather than at full speed. It’s remarkably difficult, and I had to force myself to stick to the tick of my metronome. It’s bloody maddening, and I’ve learned a lot from it.

Good luck!

Jun 24, 2024 - 1:34:55 AM

banjopaolo

Italy

1925 posts since 11/6/2008

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...

Jun 24, 2024 - 4:46:37 AM

76 posts since 6/22/2016

quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


I'm very sorry to report that friend Rob MacKillop is very unwell and has spent the past several weeks in and out of hospital.  He's been diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis and is struggling with breathing and swallowing, but he says he can still play a bit.

Jun 24, 2024 - 6:46:34 AM

8359 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Eulalie
quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


I'm very sorry to report that friend Rob MacKillop is very unwell and has spent the past several weeks in and out of hospital.  He's been diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis and is struggling with breathing and swallowing, but he says he can still play a bit.


I am very sorry to hear this about Rob.  

Jun 24, 2024 - 6:51:03 AM

8359 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


Rob dabbled in what we now call "classic banjo" (not "classical").  The OP has made it clear in their many previous posts that they are not interested in "classic banjo" but rather developing their own system from the ground up. 

If one is looking to the classic banjo repertoire for "classical music" they will be disappointed. 

Jun 24, 2024 - 7:59:33 AM

banjopaolo

Italy

1925 posts since 11/6/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Eulalie
quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


I'm very sorry to report that friend Rob MacKillop is very unwell and has spent the past several weeks in and out of hospital.  He's been diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis and is struggling with breathing and swallowing, but he says he can still play a bit.


I’m so sorry about Rob, of you are in touch with him or his family give them my heartfelt wishes... hope to hear his banjo ringing soon

Jun 24, 2024 - 9:37 AM
likes this

76 posts since 6/22/2016

Thanks to those who have expressed concern about Rob MacKillop's condition. I encourage you to write to him directly through this forum or whatever address you may have for him. He will appreciate hearing well-wishes from you.

Jun 24, 2024 - 11:30:52 AM

Kellie

USA

229 posts since 1/19/2018

quote:
Originally posted by talljoey

The only classical pieces I play are out of a book called Bach for Banjo. It’s fun, and a break from the Celtic music I play with an old time fiddle group.

My suggestion to you is from my teacher. He had me play songs extremely slowly, rather than at full speed. It’s remarkably difficult, and I had to force myself to stick to the tick of my metronome. It’s bloody maddening, and I’ve learned a lot from it.

Good luck!


I practice technique to a metronome, but actual music I Iet speak for itself in terms of pacing. However I do practice bits slowly about 60 times each. It's a good thing for any musician to build an internal metronome.

Jun 24, 2024 - 11:33:34 AM

Kellie

USA

229 posts since 1/19/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks
quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


Rob dabbled in what we now call "classic banjo" (not "classical").  The OP has made it clear in their many previous posts that they are not interested in "classic banjo" but rather developing their own system from the ground up. 

If one is looking to the classic banjo repertoire for "classical music" they will be disappointed. 

 

 

 


It's not that I'm not interested in classic banjo. (It's the basis for my technique after all) I just think the music is very much a product of its time and could be seen as dated. Not that the music isn't good, just not timeless. I know I may have said things like I'm not interested in classic banjo, but now that's just not true.

Jun 24, 2024 - 11:34:26 AM

Kellie

USA

229 posts since 1/19/2018

quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo
quote:
Originally posted by Eulalie
quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


I'm very sorry to report that friend Rob MacKillop is very unwell and has spent the past several weeks in and out of hospital.  He's been diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis and is struggling with breathing and swallowing, but he says he can still play a bit.


I’m so sorry about Rob, of you are in touch with him or his family give them my heartfelt wishes... hope to hear his banjo ringing soon


Damn, I feel like we could be good friends if he was feeling well. He could probably teach me a lot about classic technique that you can't get from the tutors.

Edited by - Kellie on 06/24/2024 11:34:56

Jun 24, 2024 - 12:53:50 PM

450 posts since 6/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Eulalie
quote:
Originally posted by banjopaolo

Kellie try to get in touch with Rob MacKillop , he’s A great classical banjo expert here on the hangout...


I'm very sorry to report that friend Rob MacKillop is very unwell and has spent the past several weeks in and out of hospital.  He's been diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis and is struggling with breathing and swallowing, but he says he can still play a bit.


I was wondering why I hadn't heard from Rob for a while. So sorry to hear that he's having problems with his health. Hopefully the prognosis will be good with diagnosis and treatment. 

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