Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Can you transition from Guitar to Banjo, or is it plain wrong?

Hello

Jason here. I have played guitar for about 20 years. I currently play electric in church and acoustic for unplugged sessions on Wed nights lol. I am really interested in learning the banjo. I love the flat picking guitar lessons on this site and the banjo ones seem really fun. I know there new techniques to learn, but my main question is will starting to play banjo totally mess me up on guitar. I’m concerned I will pick up the guitar for church after playing banjo and be lost like I was in Algebra class. Should I just stick to the flat picking guitar lessons? I’m sure some of you have tried this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
God Bless- Jason

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By all means add banjo!! The more the merrier, and usually the new instrument will help you improve on guitar (except that you’ll be spending more time playing banjo very soon)

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No way, you’ll do great on banjo and it will actually HELP your guitar playing!

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If it’s wrong I don’t wanna be right. :wink:

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For what it’s worth, I must disagree with Ben and tell you flat out that learning the banjo will totally ruin your guitar playing. Oh sure,you might still be able to hit all those “geetar” chords and do the Lester Flatt G run, but you won’t want to since it doesn’t sound like a banjo!
Soon your guitar will be cruising Craig’s List or eBay looking for a new home while your fingers fly & your banjo rings loud & proud across the fruited plains!

As a Beginner, that is my expert advice.

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Thank you. I appreciate the feedback

Jason

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Jason, do yourself a huge favor and learn to play the banjo!!! I’ve been playing guitar for 12+ years and just picked up the banjo 3 months ago. Your brain will be able to switch back and forth. Learning a new instrument will seriously make you better at guitar, I promise. Plus, with the knowledge of music and stringed instruments you already have, you’ll have a head start on anything you want to pick up. DO IT!!!

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I am sure you can do it!

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Jason,

Really? That’s your concern?! Your worried about messing up your guitar playing?! Not that it could mess up your entire life, possibly never finding a girlfriend (or any friend except another banjo player). Maybe never getting accepted into a college or finding a job. Getting married, having a family and possibly even being shunned from your own family?!?! What will your Pastor think?!?! Your dog might even run off!!!

I’m just funnin with you Jason! If you’re interested, you should give it a try! Stevens.joshuat is absolutely right… Learning a new instrument will make you better at guitar or any instrument you play. It sounds weird but it’s true.

Give it a try… and God Bless you too!

J.W.

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I think the more ways that you can approach learning anything, the better you will learn. You can approach music from an infinite number of angles, both instrumentally and vocally. The more ways you can engage your mind and the more neural paths you can create the better. I just bought a Roland FP-10 keyboard to add to my guitar (main instrument of choice) and banjo (new instrument this year) and I love the variety of ways these 3 very different instruments give me to approach music. Sometimes something clicks for me in one place/instrument, and I can take it a different place/instrument.

Same thing applies even within an instrument. Last night I was playing some of my oldies on the guitar (before I found flat picking and @BanjoBen) and I started cross-picking (technique I am learning here) the song Time in a Bottle, which I’ve always finger picked. It was a fun “cross over” so to speak for me. Applying a new technique to an old standby. Very fun.

So maybe think of taking up the banjo as cross-training in your musical world, it will be a great thing!

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I’m glad to see this. I’ve been learning guitar for a while and just picked up a mandolin. :slight_smile:

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If I could ask a similar question. I initially thought I would start the beginner guitar and banjo track together. I ended up just doing the Banjo track this past year and am really happy with the progress. The focus has been good for me. Should I finish the beginner banjo track before I re-start the beginner guitar track? I suspect each person is different but just wondering what folks thoughts were on that.

banjitar or ganjo is that the way forward :wink::wink::wink::wink:

Not for Purists I feel :face_with_raised_eyebrow: