Single string playing on the 5 string banjo is a style that was originally popularized by players such as Don Reno and Eddie Adcock. This style of banjo playing, while still utilizing 3 fingers (thumb and 2 fingers) with fingerpicks on them emulates what you play when playing guitar with a flatpick. Players such as Bela Fleck, Noam Pikelny, and Ryan Cavanaugh have taken the single string technique to new levels.
Most guitar players look at the 5 string banjo as a completely new instrument. Something that you would need to learn a completely new tuning and approach to playing. This is incorrect. Actually the guitar and the 5 string banjo are tuned very similarly, and you can easily bring many of your guitar licks directly over to the 5 string banjo.
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.
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!
One of the best ways to dramatically improve your banjo playing is to attend a banjo camp or workshop. At these events you'll have one on one action with some of the best banjo players in the world. They will be happy to help you no matter what skill level you are at. There are also jams that take place late into the night and concerts. You'll be sure to come home inspired.
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.
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?”
These days we all have limited time to do the things we like. We always have to make the most out of our time. If you are reading this, one of the things you like to do is to play the banjo, with one of your goals to always be a better player.
What stops someone from playing banjo? Is it the belief that banjo “is too hard” to play? Is it because “I can’t find a teacher”? Is it because “they don’t like the sound of banjo music”? Let’s take a good look at the non-player and see what it might take to inspire them to begin to play the banjo.