Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Beginning Lessons To Focus On

Hi! New banjo player here. I’ve been playing guitar for a long time and recently decided to pick up banjo. When I look at the beginning lesson track, I’m not sure if that is in a chronological order or not. Should I just go from top to bottom and do each lesson as they are listed or should I focus on doing each course (and sub-lessons) first, then pick my way through the individual lessons like G Lick, Ben’s Breakdown, etc. Thanks!

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Hi Mark, @BanjoBen has worked long and hard to put together the beginners learning track and I as you work through this material you will find each lesson prepares you for the next. Most of the content in the beginner section I studied years ago with other teachers but I learned a lot more by revisiting these lessons. If you know this stuff then I guess there’s no harm missing some lessons. It’s really down to you whether you want to make the most of Ben’s teachings and your Gold Pick membership.

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The beginner banjo learning track is mean to be done in order. When you finish it, you will be prepared to tackle anything on the intermediate track, which is not in a strict order.

Thanks, guys! I’ll work through the beginner’s section sequentially.

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You have the answers to the questions you posed… the lessons track is one of the significant enhancements @BanjoBen built into the new website. The “path” is laid out for all of us to follow.

I would like to add… what I find enlightening is that - while doing the lessons, I like to look for the reasons why each lesson is placed in its’ positional order relative to all the other lessons. I ask myself, “Sure, this next lesson is harder - but why is it harder? What purpose is intended to have this lesson from the last? I look for the skill or technique that @BanjoBen intended to be mastered when presented with new material.

Sometimes, @BanjoBen takes the mystery away by clearly stating the objectives in the lesson itself… saying to work on pulloffs, or melodic playing style, or hammer-ons, etc…but that is in the lesson itself.

But seeking an understanding of the lesson order brings a whole different element to learning - at least for me.

As a side note, having that “A-ha” moment is as interesting as it is beneficial because then you can focus on that aspect to build on your skills. You might commonly find this by a particular passage or roll that makes you really struggle initially when trying new material.

Finally, I think doing this brings a newfound perspective to the ways that lessons build upon each other. It keeps the learning fresh and new… and that is something I thank @BanjoBen for… his thoughtful ways of presenting his art of teaching for us - his loyal students.