While many banjo enthusiasts admire fast banjo playing, it isn’t always clear how to train to play fast, effortlessly and with precision. Banjo speed and dexterity will be loosely described here as a kind of familiarity. Familiarity is usually “created” when we repeat something, comfortably, slowly and regularly.
Do you know what the easiest, simplest concept is in speed training?
Here is a simple exercise that, when practiced slowly and comfortably, has been used by virtually every champion banjoist and guitarist that I know. Please note, this is not music, but speed and dexterity training, designed to enable the student to move both right and left hand with greater ease and accuracy.
Fine Points to Remember:
To illustrate this, think of this exercise like this:
Pluck, space, pluck, space, pluck, space, pluck, space.
Don’t do this:
Pluck, spaaaaaccccee, plk, spc, pluucckk, spaaccce, pluuucckkkkkkk, spce.
Where to Go From Here:
When you have practiced this little exercise for 30 minutes a day, for five weeks, get a copy of Mel Bay’s Banjo Scales Chart and hang it in front of you on the wall. When you are finished with your daily practice of the above exercise, you can start applying the same “even space between the notes, slowly” approach to learning the scales. The chart is only $4.95, but you will be ready for it after only five weeks of 30 minutes a day with this wonderful little exercise.
What to Expect:
If you make this exercise part of you daily routine with your banjo indefinitely, your skill, speed and dexterity will continue to grow, develop and improve. Sound too good to be true? Try it…. And like virtually all champions and professionals, you’ll roll through “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” or “Blackberry Blossom” with the smooth, effortless speed, we all dream about.
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