Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Studying 2 instruments at once

I have a Martin D28 and a Deering Goodtime II. I love playing both of them, and up to this point, I’ve tried to juggle both. I am a rank amateur on each, still very much a beginner.

Given the demands on my time, practicing both daily is not always possible.

In your view, is it practical to study both at the same time? Should I dig deep on one until reach a certain skill level, then branch out?

I’m concerned that if I do that I’ll be missing out somehow. The guitar is more versatile across genres, yet there is nothing like the voice of a banjo. I hate to have to choose.


Welcome to the forum, Chad!

I wouldn’t give one up unless you actually dislike it. There’s not much possibility that splitting your time between two is going to hurt your overall musicianship; if anything, it will most likely help it. You might want to read through these threads, too:

In my experience, playing better banjo helps me play better guitar, because I gain more understanding of the banjo’s role and how to complement that. Playing better guitar helps me play better banjo, because my ear is more familiar with how guitar rhythm lines up with banjo.

If you find that you take to learning one more easily than the other, you may enjoy putting more time into it than the other, which is completely natural. But unless you end up uninterested in one, you probably will not be benefited from stopping.


Great question, I tried to learn the guitar and the mandolin whist learning to play banjo. I loved the banjo much more than I did the guitar and mandolin and decided to give them up in favour of the banjo. Years down the road I truly regret my decision.


My dilemma exactly. I’m still working on both of them. In groups I usually get drafted to banjo, but love the incredible versitality of the guitar.


Just my two cents… if you aren’t relying on it to feed you, just play what you want.


I agreen with @Mike_R. Unless you have specific performance goals, play for enjoyment. Sometimes you may be in a banjo feel and sometimes a guitar.

If you have specific goals then you may want to make a plan according to your goals.