Learning to play the banjo these days is easier than ever. With the popularity of the banjo and acoustic music growing at a record pace, there are more tools to learn with as well as other musicians to play with.
One of the most often asked banjo tips I get asked is “Do I have to rest fingers of my picking hand on the head of the banjo?”
You've practiced for a week, and now it's time to add your left hand!
Beginning musician’s struggle with this concept: play the music how you “feel” it. What does that mean? How can that be quantified?
The world is a busy place and there is no doubt that there is much on everyone’s plate. Because of this we often put off what might be one of the most fulfilling experiences of our lives such as learning to play a banjo. Today I would like to see if I can help you see ways to carve out some time to make this happen sooner than later!
We are asked regularly, is Bluegrass style finger picking more difficult than Clawhammer? Is Clawhammer more difficult than finger picking? Is plectrum/tenor style with a flat pick easier than Bluegrass style finger picking?
Have you ever noticed that the best hitters in baseball have an incredibly smooth swing? They don't "swing for the fences" - that's what hitters with a high strike out number have. They have a sweet, smooth swing, that connects the sweet spot of the bat to the incoming ball and the ball flies off the bat with incredible power and precise direction. Having a light touch when playing your banjo or any instrument is essential in sounding your best as well.
Ever notice how many “experts” there are on “learning to play banjo”, or anything, for that matter? While I urge all of us to explore their recommendations (and certainly I have shared some with all of you), it is the idea of “this is the best/only” way to learn that concerns me most. Since folks are like “snowflakes”…no one is alike (even twins; I know, I am the mother of identical twins), then how can there be only “one” best way to learn? Today, let’s explore the concept of “use what works for you.” It is this freedom of choice that makes learning banjo, or anything, a joy!
I recently wrote an article about strengthening your fretting hand’s pinky and ring finger. A common question that I have heard over the years is; “what good are exercises when I want to play songs?”