Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

2 months - no video

I’ve been trying to get a video made for the past hour. I’m about to throw my phone and / or banjo across the room. (not really, just a LOT frustrated)

I’ve learned so much in two months, and I just wanted to put it on video as a reference for future me. However, every dang time I turn on the camera, I forget how to play. No kidding. I can play the basic slide version of Cripple Creek through smoothly 90% of the time when I’m just practicing. Turn on a camera, and that drops to 0.001% of the time. It’s truly astounding how bad I get when a camera is on. Or even a digital recorder for just audio.

Anywho… enough complaining…

It’s been exactly 2 months since my banjo arrived and I started practicing. I’m truly floored at how much I’ve learned in such a short period of time. Can I play fast? Not yet. Do I care about speed anymore? Not really. It’ll come eventually.

I can play some of the songs pretty okay most of the time. Others, I’m getting better. Regardless, I’m having an absolute blast. I practice everyday, and I look forward to it. It’s some of the most relaxing time of day for me. Some days even more so that making photos. THAT is saying something.

Also, just got my new guitar (Eastman E8D from the General Store), and had a chance to practice some of the chords. Wow. That’s a great way to stretch out before playing banjo! Even in my clumsy mitts, that guitar sounds incredible. I’m looking forward to the day I can do it justice.

So, that’s my 2 month update. Wish I could have gotten a representative video… oh well. Such is life sometimes. :slight_smile:

Hope your days are going well!


good_post Been there. Have faith it will come


sorry to read of your frustrations, but to be honest the only way to get over that is to just do it.

I’d suggest limiting yourself to a small number of times through a piece, and posting whatever you can save that you thought was best. don’t worry about getting through without mistakes…don’t even worry about getting through it all…just do it and get that first time out of the way.

No one here is looking to criticize…we are all in this together. We cheer each other on as part of our camaraderie. No one here has posted a perfect video.

We all go through the same thing, so you’re not alone. I’ve performed in public for over 40 years and will make mistakes I never would otherwise when attempting to record something.

Hang in there…


Thats great advice @Fiddle_wood


Post it man! I have had the same issue with videos (especially if it’s a contest entry) and at jams. I can play a tune really well over and over at home but then flub it badly in a jam! But I just get back up on that horse.

My jam buddies and the community here are very supportive. Post your video. Then post the next one. And the next. Nothing to lose, everything to gain!



The video thing drives me crazy. I’m waiting for my grandkids to get a little older so they can figure it out and help me.


I’m a semi-professional photographer and video drives me nuts. LOL. I’m always behind the camera. Being in front is really weird.

For these videos, I’m just using my Droid. It’s easier than breaking out lights, cameras, cables, etc.


I know the feeling man. I want to share a couple of videos that I believe will encourage you on your jorney

:face_with_hand_over_mouth:** Here is my take at around 2 months practice:** :roll_eyes:

:cowboy_hat_face::banjo:Here is a recent one, 14 months in still insisting lol: :cowboy_hat_face::banjo:

Don’t give up! Consistent practice, patience and most importantly have fun througout the jorney. The road never ends.

It is a good to record yourself often, you will be able to check what needs improvement (posture, tone, timing) and you will notice your progress when comparing yourself to old videos.


Thanks Frank! I’ll post a video after work today. Mistakes and all. :slight_smile:


It’s slow at work… got my homework done already. LOL


Way to go Mike, you did it :+1:t2::smiley:!! Great job! As others have said, recording your playing will get easier the more you do it. When you look back at this later on and compare it to subsequent recordings, you’ll see the progress made on both your playing and on your playing in front of a camera. From the recording, you can see stuff you didn’t even realize you were doing while you were picking - both for the good and the “ut oh, I need to fix this” standpoint. I dont play banjo so cant offer any banjo specific tips, but happy to see the videos you posted!


@mike_thomson, congrats on getting a couple of videos made! You have gotten some great advice and encouragement above. Actually, you are doing great for only two months in…much better than I was at that time in my banjo adventures. :grimacing:

As far as the recording jitters go, I have the exact same problem! I can’t say I’ve got it licked at all, but it’s getting a little better (after 2 years). One strategy I’ve used is to make videos telling myself these will never be shared, but it’s only so I can see what I’m doing and sounding like…and every once in a while I get lucky. Another thing I’ve done is make smaller (shorter) recordings so they come in baby steps; maybe only a phrase or two or a line or two and these give me a sense of completion or success along the way.

You might want to reposition the camera so that both hands are in the shot to help yourself (and potentially others to offer better advice) in working on making improvements along the way. Nice job!


Just keep going at it!! Everything you dream of will come if you persevere. The more you play for the camera, the more you get used to it and the less nerve racking it gets. Besides, nobody here started playing and was a pro the instant they started. :wink: All you’ll get here is encouragements.


That is it!!! Not bad :+1::+1::+1::+1::+1::+1:


Hi Mike you are doing really well for just two months in. I would encourage you to practice your roll patterns daily, in particular the Forward Roll, The Forward/Reverse Roll, The Alternating Thumb Roll and the Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll. This will help you greatly when you come to work on learning licks.


You are gonna be JUST fine!! You’ve got the genes, now it’s just time to develop the gift!


Great job. You just punched fear and doubt right in the face . Today’s a good day.


That sounds familiar. Keep working on it but you could ask someone to silently video (without your knowledge) when you ARE hitting all the notes.