Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Do you ever struggle to get through a lesson to the ending?

When I was a beginner I always seemed to struggle to get beyond the first eight measures before had a train wreck. If this sounds familiar try this little tip

Work on the B Part/Second half first then learn the A Part./First half


Good Idea ill have to try that:ok_hand:


That’s good advice Archie, I find that when you break it down into separate parts works best for me. Work on one phrase or measure at a time till you got that down clean then move to the next. If your having issues with one particular area work on that one a lot! That’s what works for this newbie.(so far):smirk:


Sure Jon, I recommend that course of action too. But sometimes a mental block get’s in the way and I found that learning the second part first seemed to push through that mental block.

I am currently working on a pretty challenging melodic tune right which is a bit of a struggle to get my head round. It kinda triggered the issues I had as a beginner so I thought It might help others if I seeded the idea here.


AH ! Got it, One more tool in the box, I will use what you’ve suggested. I’ve been working on some difficult exercises myself and that will be helpful. Thank you

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I know the feeling @Archie

I usually work on 2 measures at a time and only move forward after I can do it somewhat fluently and without looking at the tab. Every time I learn a new couple of measures, I play the whole thing over up to that point.

I find that splitting it into sections takes less time to learn the long run, even though it does not feel that way


Interesting concept! I too, break the song into small sections, practicing at a very slow tempo working-out the fingerings slowly. (Emphasis on ‘slowly’). This can at times, be tedious, but then you can play at lightning speed if need be when this pre-work is correctly done.

Happy Picking!


This is all great advice! I had been just working on the A part and then the B part or trying to just memorize the whole song. I will definantly put this into practice!


Working one phrase at a time helps me. Once I undrrstand what something is supposed to sound like it is easier to do!


Hi @stephen_cassell I get that as many others have already stated. What I am referring to is a mental block syndrome where you hit a brick wall and can’t move forward.


I get out the sledge &beat on the wall 'till she gives…haha


great tip


I don’t have a really great answer there. Sometimes when I struggle to get something right I find that leaving it alone and working on something else helps. Recently I was working through the guitar lessons for Bury Me Beneath The Willow and Cripple Creek. As I worked on them separately I think something clicked in my brain and spots where I had difficulty on both seemed to come together


That happens to me too, I am currently working on five tunes at the moment. Most are nearly nailed. Last night I pulled out an old lesson that I had come unstuck with and hadn’t worked on for about four years and was amazed at how much of it I could play from memory. I was more relaxed and things just seemed to flow better. I guess the long break from it helped my brain process the info and the result came at such a surprise.


That sounds like a terrific payoff for a lot of hard work put in. Hasn’t happen for me yet, but maybe soon since I’ve dived deep into a melodic lesson from another site with challenging inside rolls and a little single-string thrown in. Feel on the verge of a break-through. Just working on a four measure ending and some back-up. I’ve been slack on posting videos so hope to soon.