Lesson Plan


#1

Maybe its my Instructor side coming out, but I feel lost without a lesson plan. For those of us just starting on a new instrument, I would love some type of guidance of what video to do in what order.

Now I understand obviously start with the Beginner videos. What I mean is, for instance:
Mandolin
Step 1: watch and master the Mandolin Basic Rhythm Series (8 videos)
Step 2: watch and master the Mandolin 2-Octave Scale Exer (4 videos)
etc…

Also, maybe give some kind of virtual award/certificate for passing certain levels. Just a thought…


#2

Yep, good idea methinks :confused:


#3

Maybe us members could put some together. There’s not a set way to go, but we could pick a syllabus for various areas of emphasis (rhythm, lead, right hand technique, left hand technique). Just a thought.


#4

I’m definitely looking for some direction here. What videos should I master first before moving on?

Ben: Any input?


#5

Different individuals require more instruction on different topics. chords may come easy to a person who has high difficulty with any lead picking at all, etc.

All the things Ben teaches need to be learned eventually in my opinion. My suggestion is to work most on what you understand or can accomplish the least if you really want to improve and have the patience for it. You are the only one (other than a personal instructor or someone you play with regularly) who really knows what you have the most trouble with; work on your shortcomings.

I don’t see an ordered structure of what to learn next doing anyone a lot of good as it becomes tiresome and depressing when you get hung up on one thing before allowing yourself to learn something else that may come easier and build confidence (which is needed form time to time also).

I suggest spending the majority of time on what you feel you NEED to work on. Then, work on what you Want to as the need arises to keep your spirits up and get some enjoyment form the process.

That being said I do suggest learning chords, chord progressions, and rhythm (to give understanding of song structure) first. One might play far differently behind a fiddle break than they do behind a guitar break or vocal verse or chorus. This also helps with learning more songs that can be played and speeds up the ability to play with others. Knowing a great lead break to a song is useless if you don’t know how to play all the other parts of the song, but if you can understand the rhythm and chord structure, you can jam with others and the leads and fills come much easier.

Optimally time should be split between learning and “perfoming”. Yes performing…recording self, playing with others, attempting to play with recordings, ect. Just as switching to a different lesson for a while can add new interest to learning, the “performing” side of things adds new dimensions to to your perspective of your own playing and can help you decide what to work on next for yourself.


#6

Some good thoughts, fiddlewood. I know when I first committed the time to becoming a better picker, I wanted a straight path to get there. I wanted someone to show me a stepwise system to becoming Bryan Sutton, and I was determined to faithfully execute it. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t going to work that way for me.

I like what you said about working on your shortcomings. I think that is probably the fastest way to get better. When I first started working with Ben’s materials, I’d choose songs based on which ones were my favorites, or which ones I thought I’d like to perform. Now, instead, I tend to choose tabs that contain something new or confusing to me even if it’s not my first choice of songs to perform. I also stopped trying to retain note-for-note transcriptions of Ben’s work in my head (it got full at about 15 songs). I still learn the tabs note-for-note, but I don’t mind letting them go in order to learn new skills. I just try to trust the process. With time, all the little distinct areas of practice have started to make sense in a bigger context.

I do like mreisz’s idea about members putting together a syllabus, or even just tagging the lessons with descriptors so we could search for “right hand technique” or “crosspicking”.


#7

I also like the idea of tagging, it’s an easy way to share w/other members what a particular song/ lesson helped us learn or accomplish.


#8

— Begin quote from "citadelpilot"

Maybe its my Instructor side coming out, but I feel lost without a lesson plan. For those of us just starting on a new instrument, I would love some type of guidance of what video to do in what order.

Now I understand obviously start with the Beginner videos. What I mean is, for instance:
Mandolin
Step 1: watch and master the Mandolin Basic Rhythm Series (8 videos)
Step 2: watch and master the Mandolin 2-Octave Scale Exer (4 videos)
etc…

Also, maybe give some kind of virtual award/certificate for passing certain levels. Just a thought…

— End quote

This is EXACTLY what I am looking for… Maybe for others they know where they are weak and where they aren’t but I am a beginner and have no idea. I’d like to have a lesson plan drawn up for me.

Do step 1
Now step 2
Now step 3

Fiddlewood, I understand your recommendation of working on my shortcomings, but if there WAS a structured lesson plan, would that prohibit anyone from going and working on their shortcommings? I don’t see how it would.

Maybe those of us who learn better from a structured lesson plan would eventually get to where we could just work on our shortcommings, but would have a roadmap to get to where we could recognize those shortcomings.

Just my two cents…

The Whale


#9

Jimmy, what instrument are you looking for? Maybe others who have looked at the vids for that instrument can give some guidance. Guitar are the only ones I have spent much time.


#10

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

Jimmy, what instrument are you looking for? Maybe others who have looked at the vids for that instrument can give some guidance. Guitar are the only ones I have spent much time.

— End quote

Mandolin! (Guitar has too many strings! :wink: ) And thanks for any guidance!


#11

I am not a mando player. I think I have played mando about 4 times in the past two years, so please take what I say with a huge grain of salt. With that said, I would suggest for a beginner to learn how to chop chords very early on. If you can do that well, you will be a welcome addition to any picking circle I have been around. Looking at Ben’s vids, I would think the basic rhythm series would be a good starting point. It may not be the easiest starting point, but in my opinion, it may be the best.
banjobenclark.com/videos/62/ … hm-series/
When you go through it, realize that unless you are a prodigy, it will take hours of practice to get ready to move from one video to the next. For each ten minute video, you might need days or even weeks to get comfortable and be ready to move on. I suspect if you are starting from scratch, it will take at least a month (and likely more) with steady practice to get through those and be able to play the chords at a usable speed. So there is one suggested start of the syllabus.

Alternately if your interest lies on playing breaks, you may not want to start with playing Rhythm. If you did start with Rhythm, your next step might be to start playing some melodies. Here is where my unfamiliarity with Ben’s vids is going to impair my advice. I would think that the Mandolin G Major study would be a good starting point and provide some nice background information:
banjobenclark.com/videos/50/ … ale-study/
After that (or possibly instead of) one of the simpler tunes would be fun to work up. I went and looked at a few and Cripple Creek looks like a straight forward and fun treatment:
banjobenclark.com/videos/46/ … ple-creek/

So here are a few possible suggestions:

  1. Mando Basic Rhythm

  2. G Major study

  3. Cripple Creek

  4. Mando Basic Rhythm

  5. Cripple Creek

  6. Cripple Creek

  7. G Major study

  8. 2 Octave scale excercise banjobenclark.com/videos/112 … cale-exer/

  9. Mando Basic Rhythm

Feel free to substitute any of the “basic” tunes in there for cripple creek. By the time you get through any of the above sets, you will have a feel for what you need to work on and where you want to go with it.

Hopefully someone with a little more knowledge of the mando videos will pipe in.


#12

mikes sugestions are all great ,and i’ve actually incorporated some in my own banjo practice,but i’ve got to agree with fiddlewood about the playing with others.when i started doing that my timing and ability to improvise on the fly really took off.nothing really beats real world type playing. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: