Banjo lessons from a qualified teacher will accelerate your progress much faster than learning by purely trial and error. To make the most of your banjo lessons, there are several facets that if adhered to, will further accelerate your progress.
- Practice your lessons slow. When you practice slow, you learn fast. Practicing slow gives your body time to catch up with what is in your mind.
- Practice as regularly as you can but be gentle with yourself. Try to keep in mind, you are learning the banjo because it’s beautiful, fun and enriching. It is not a “task to get past.” Listen to every note you play and enjoy it and you will find in the long run your banjo lessons will continue to be something you look forward to doing.
- When learning from a video, it’s okay to watch the video all the way through at the beginning, but then, start at the beginning and watch a few seconds at a time and practice only what you see in a few seconds. Rewind constantly and revisit techniques on the video until you are truly comfortable with the understanding of how the technique works and that you are able to perform the techniques smoothly and comfortably.
- When learning from videos, remember that a one half hour video could be the equivalent of six months worth of banjo lessons with a teacher. That is why it is important to learn tiny bits at a time so you do not overwhelm yourself. (Which is really easy to do by the way)
- Be careful when getting advice from skilled players. Not all players can be teachers even if they are brilliant banjo players. It is common among players to “forget” some of the tiny steps involved with learning the very basics and this can create confusion for a beginner. I’ve known many young players who would ask a performer how a technique was accomplished, then the performer would execute the technique without any explanation, at relatively full speed, leaving the beginner inspired but often bewildered at what just happened.
Banjo lessons, for those who can find a good banjo teacher, are worth every penny of their cost. For those who cannot find a teacher, there are excellent instruction videos online that you can utilize.