Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Feeling discouraged

I started playing banjo about 3 months ago. I try to practice 45min to an hour a night. I don’t feel that I am getting any better. I knew that music never came easily to me I took it on to work my brain but i didn’t know it would be this hard. I just got to the point I can play boil them cabbage down but, not with any speed and a few mistakes. is this normal or is it just me. I am 61 years old I do woodcarving and other types of woodwork. I enjoy banjo and not going to give up


Don’t give up! Or, at least let me give you permission to give up first! Ha!

I really need to get some video of you playing if at all possible. Do you have a way to record some video and upload it to YouTube?

Everyone who plays has been where you are…learning an instrument takes time…different times for different folks.

When you first start out it is the hardest…things get better with time…have patience. Back before lessons were so available it took me a year + to figure out Blackberry Blossom…i can play it on five different instruments now, but back then I wondered if it was impossible for me to ever learn it.

Improvement isn’t always noticeable in a short period of time like three months…many times I’ll learn a tune to a certain level and it’s six months or a year until I can tell there is a noticeable improvement above that.

I would suggest posting a video for Ben, and being more patient with yourself…“learn to enjoy the journey” as they say.

remember it is not a job or a test…it is a form of entertainment…enjoy it and have fun…


Laughed at -

Yes, don’t give up. I have always been pretty successful at everything I ever truly wanted to learn how to do, which isn’t a whole lot cause I don’t get too excited over much, but banjo has been the most difficult challenge of all for me… Had the same desire sounds like you do, and probably all of us here.

You’re in the right frame of mind when you say, “I’m not going to give up” . So stick with it and you’ll sure to be rewarded in little leaps and bounds. Boil them cabbage is a great start. Cheers!

Butch B.

Hi Byron, we all go through periods of self doubt, take a break and watch a movie or a ball game. The banjo will be there waiting for you when you feel the need to pick it up and play.

I didn’t start playing banjo till I was 61 so we have that much in common. That was ten years ago and I still get a buzz every time I learn something new.

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Stay with it, Bryon! Twelve weeks is a short period of time to see major improvement, at least for me it has been. Ben’s suggestion to post some videos of your playing is really a good one. Might result in good insight into how things are going.

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Don’t give up. Enjoy the journey. Love the moments even when you mess up. Record yourself playing and then a few weeks later go back and listen to self. You will hear more improvement than you will feel in that present moment.

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Maybe take a short break from it. I’ve had to do this due to some frustrating moments with out any perceived progress until I told myself it is supposed to be fun…not frustating (easier said than done) and maybe take a few steps back in the lessons to reboot.

thank you everyone. I am not going to quit Ill get my daughter to help me with a viedo. Maybe that will help.
Again Thank You


Don’t give up… you will only start up again 3 months later and that will be 3 months of playing time gone forever. Trust me, I’ve done it a thousand times.