Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

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…

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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.

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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.
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