Playing Speed


You know, it’s weird. I know that a lot of folks struggle with getting “up to speed” on a song. My problem is slowing down. For some reason playing fast or at a very brisk pace has come naturally for me. That’s not to say I always play clean mind you but fast is not a problem. Well, yes it is. I find it is much more challenging to slow down and play a song at the proper tempo that it’s meant to be played. All part of the process…


I thought I had a similar problem when I first started, but a few videos later, I am not nearly as clean as I thought. In, fact, it sounds terrible. Videoing myself has helped train my ear to hear things better. It sounds weird but true…it was a suggestion I’ve read many times on this forum. This may not apply to you @stixx3969 but thought I’d mention it as it pertained to my Banjo Journey

Also, I’ve been using that feature on TabletEdit where you can set a % increase in BPM for every run through. So I may start at 100 BPM and finish at 150 BPM after about 15 run-through s or so. I can only really do this after most of the song is memorized. So before doing this, I just use that rule where if you can do the song nearly flawless at a tempo, than kick it up by 5 BPM.

I have never though… played faster than the designated tempo…you must be smoking fast. :fire:


That is

Video or audio is a great way to hear yourself. And TabletEdit is a great tool. I just wanted to say that playing slow as hard as it is will improve your finger muscles and timing. I say ‘if I can’t do it slow that’s the part I need to work on’. Playing with a back track or metronome is important to find your week spots in a song. Be patient with yourself you will get past it.


Well, it is more comfortable but not always accurate! We all have a lot of learning to do…


I am not only new to Banjo Ben but am relatively new to the guitar. I am enjoying it but wondered about length of time and quality I should achieve before moving to the next lesson. I am on the rhythm section and I can occasionally get it right but have been stuck here a couple weeks trying to get it perfect. My question is wether I should stay with the particular lesson that I am on until I get it perfect or will that come with time and should I just move on to a new lesson.


Hey @The_Warden! That’s a great question. Move along some, but please consider posting a bit of your playing through that rhythm section to the Video Swap forum category and let me help you diagnose what may be going on.


I’ve finger picked guitar for 50 years. Thought the transition to Banjo would be a slam dunk. Well, it’s not. High degree of focus required on the picking hand and speed requires a claw like hand position that remains rock steady.
No… I haven’t achieved it, but believe I’m sneaking upon it… And hope to tree it soon.

Finding out I need to visualize my fingers almost pulling away from the banjo head... Picking on the way. For some reason, I seem to have better luck with that. I have mantain the neck angle. 

I'm developing a mental check list... If I'm having a tougher time playing.