Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Consistancy in practice, how do you do it?

Just curious, no matter the instrument you play, what kind of practice schedule do you all use? do you start with scales then move on to licks or do you just work on lessons? do you spend time daily behind the instrument or when you can fit it in? I try to get in daily but some days it just doesn’t happen as life gets in the way.


HI Dean,
These days I’m working mostly on fiddle.

I spend most of my waking hours playing or working on music in one way or another. I take breaks for meals, to let the dog out, and to stretch and relax muscles (and a movie once in a while) on most days.

when I get sore or have a “why do I sound so bad” day I spend time listening to get some new stuff locked in my brain. or just mess with some exercises. (these are also greeat days for figuring out something new)

I incorporate all kinds of things in my practice from just finding the notes each morning, to jamming along with backup tracks.

small parts of my time might be scales, exercises, etc.

By far the largest amount of my time is spent either slowing down & transcribing breaks I want to learn ,or paying attentive repetition to any current trouble licks of which i have plenty to choose from for variety.

Almost never do I work on speed…When I;m perfectly comfortable and relaxed with a tune, then I’ll up the tempo a little. I work toward playing in tune, in time, and cleanly.

I do spend some time on guitar & bass also to cut rhythm tracks for any new tunes I’ve leaned on fiddle.




It has been a year since you sent this to me. A lot has happened in a year, not much playing–graduated with a MS in Molecular Biology, lost my wife, dealt with my own cancer, had to move 100 miles away for a new job as a Genetic Scientist working to cure cancer, and been working that new job since June. Just getting back into playing and I appreciate what you wrote then and I will use it this year. This has been the hardest year of my life and it can only get better. I just love Ben’s website and all these folks on the forum and all the topics WOW, so much to learn!! Thank you for sending this when you did and maybe you can tell me what you done since then. take care!!

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Not much has changed in my routine except less transcribing and more time spent on perfecting trouble licks and new ones.

Wow, that’s a whirlwind year…don’t forget to just take some time for yourself… to just grieve or reflect when necessary.

Man, I’m sorry to hear about all of that, Dean. Banjo therapy is real (for me, anyway.) Hope things are looking up for you now.

Keep you head up and keep picking. I’m praying for you man!