Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Adding Guitar Lessons to my Banjo Lessons?

About 2 months into banjo and I’m loving it, but I tend to be a little ADD, and am thinking of adding guitar as well. Another reason for me wanting to add guitar is my son is interested in guitar, but he’s not sold on the idea of learning it online, and is a little skittish about learning from a local teacher. I figure if I started learning guitar, we could do it together. Last is the versatility of the guitar. As much as I love banjo, I recognize there are certain musical genres it doesn’t work well with (gasp).

Would I be helping or harming my banjo learning?
By contrast, would it make it more or less difficult to learn guitar by adding it this early in my banjo playing?


I saw that one. The difference is he has 20 years on guitar. If I had even 2 years on banjo, I wouldn’t bother asking. I’d just add the guitar.

I have a whopping 2 months… not sure it’s the same comparison.

Thanks all the same, I appreciate the thought.


The difference in experience doesn’t preclude the answers.

Learn what you want to!
time spent on each instrument might be a bit less than if you played only one, but the act of approaching the same music from two different instrumental perspectives is in my opinion highly beneficial. (I play several at different levels of accomplishment)


Well that’s great to hear actually. My fear was : “No, stick with banjo for XX years first, before doing anything else”

Ordered a guitar from the general store. Looking forward to reporting on both instruments as time progresses.


YES it will help you, maybe not necessarily in your banjo solos, but definitely in your overall understanding of music theory and band dynamics. Every instrument has a different job in a bluegrass band, and you’ll learn how to better back up a guitarist while playing the banjo, recognize which chord the song is going to by watching the guitar player, etc. I would imagine most banjoists also play a bit of rhythm guitar, even if it’s not their main instrument.


Yes,This! ^

Well written post Michael.


Thank you! This is what I was hoping was the case. Something I’ve noticed lately is I want to understand the music itself. Notes, chords, etc. and this early in banjo I’ve really been struggling with that. I looked at the early guitar lessons and they’re heavy on chords. Which made me think it would be good to add the guitar.


I agree with @Michael_Mark!