5 practice tips to help you actually use and benefit from ear training when you’re just starting out.
When you’re first starting out on the banjo it doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to learn and it can be extremely frustrating without the right guidance, so many players avoid it, until they realize…”wait...this is how I’m actually going to get good.”
The good news is you can start training your ear skills from the moment you decide you want to learn an instrument and it can be more fun and easier than you think. Many of these tips can even be done without your banjo and by adding them into your daily routine you’ll be paving the way for a more enjoyable and well-rounded banjo journey.
Quick Guide to playing with the metronome:
You can also do this with roll patterns and songs! Have fun with it and don’t get discouraged if you can’t do it the first time. The point is you’re learning to sync up to a rhythm and this will take time.
4. Sing. Learning the lyrics to vocal tunes is the best way to start training your ears for applying those melodies to your instrument. Playing the chords and singing at the same time is even better! You’ll learn how to simultaneously play two things at once which will give you a better sense of time and form within a song plus you’ll be the cool singing banjo player at the jam (and called for more gigs because you can sing!).
5. Focus on making music, not perfection. It’s practice and it will be sticky and uncomfortable at times. That’s the way learning goes. Regardless, remember to enjoy the process. Give yourself variety, play along with your favorite records, and be okay with sounding rough. It will get better with practice and you’ll be so glad you just stuck with it! That’s really the only difference between a player who progresses and one who doesn’t. Discover your talent as you challenge yourself and find those break-through moments! There’s really nothing like it! Each little practice victory will keep you inspired during the process.
Try adding one or two of these tips to your daily routine and notice what starts to change. Are you more focused? Relaxing into the challenges? Starting to have more fun and make some progress?
Find a supportive and positive community of pickers sharing their progress to help you keep your practice fresh and fun and help you stay committed when it gets tricky.
If you like what you read here today and want to connect with other players making big progress come join me for more great tips and lessons at BanjobyEar.me!
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