Beginner fret problems


#1

Hi, I was wondering if any fellow banjo players had problems like I do with my left hand on the fret chords? I feel as though the picking part is easier with the right hand for me. My problem is mostly with holding down more than one string which then makes the sound dull. I also have a problem with using both hands at the same time. Are you supposed to hold down all the fret chords at the same time when they are popping up one after another? Or should you push them down one at a time? Does anybody have any information or videos that would help with using the fret chords? Thanks so much!


#2

I would venture to say that all beginners struggle with this. Think of it like a little kid learning to walk: they look awkward, it’s clumsy, and they have no idea what to do with those feet for a little while.

You’re teaching your hands to do something they’ve never done before, so be patient with yourself. I remember being so frustrated when I first started because I could not fret an F-chord without my ring finger laying across 2 strings. Now, it’s not even an issue. Practice using the tip of your fingers, and not the pad. This might hurt a little while until you get some calluses built up, but you’ll get there.

A lot of my learning to fret chords came from watching a ukulele video. I’ll have to see if I can find it. In principle, he taught his students to move one finger at a time when learning new chord transitions, and then speed it up each time you do it until your fingers learn where to go. Once they get that down, they’ll go their naturally all at the same time.

I hope that’s your question, if not just let me know and I won’t charge you for the advice :wink:


#3

beardedbanjo pretty much says it all. You are not alone.

As you grow callouses on your fingertips, it will get easier. Your fingertips won’t be so flabby and it will be easier to fret single notes without touching the other strings. This will just take practice and time.

Play Ben’s beginner songs. He has you playing a lot of partial chords in these songs, getting your hands used to making chord shapes.


#4

— Begin quote from “bluenote23”

…Play Ben’s beginner songs. He has you playing a lot of partial chords in these songs, getting your hands used to making chord shapes.

— End quote

That’s a good point. I forgot that he did that and how helpful it was for learning chord transitions.


#5

Awesome advice! Thanks! I will just be patient as I feel I am already getting a little better at it. Thanks again! Let me know how much you are going to charge me :wink: