Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Ten Minute Study - Effective Practice

Hi Y’all

So you only have ten minutes to practice and your feeling guilty you can’t do more.

What can I learn on the banjo in ten minutes that will really advance my progress? I hear you say.

Well in point of fact there are a ton of things you can study and practice.

If your a beginner I would encourage you spend the time practising roll patterns. focus on accuracy and timing. Try these: Forward Roll. Foggy Mountain Breakdown Roll, Forward Reverse Roll, Alternating Thumb /Index Roll and the Backwards Roll. Add to the study the G TAG Lick, Hammer-ons, Slides, Pull Offs and Pinches. Time spent on these roll patterns and fundamental skills will advance your progress further down the line.

For the intermediate/advanced among us I would encourage you to look at the Bag of Lick Lessons that @BanjoBen has created. These are often overlooked as you plough on through all the Build a Break Lessons, Mr Munde Geography Lessons, Waypoint Lessons and Special Guest Lessons that tend to catch our eye when we are looking for a new goal or project.

Those Bag of Licks are like a boxes of candy full of flavours and interesting surprises. Add to the Bag of Licks, the Boogie Woogie Lessons. Let me tell you there is enough candy in those lessons to spice up your playing and I guarantee you won’t get bored.

Earl Scruggs has a bunch of fancy signature licks that are both challenging and interesting to study & play. That’s what I have been working on this past week and as I was working through these licks a conversation I read on the Forum about finding time to practice caught my attention, realising I wasn’t spending much more than ten minutes on these licks prompted me to write this article.

Ten minutes each day is just about the right amount of time to work on one of Earls Signature Licks. The great thing is many of these fancy signature licks have been TABBED out and if you can’t find them here on Use your Google skills to find them on the WWW. The Banjo Hangout is the obvious resource but don’t overlook the other Hangout’s especially the Fiddle Hangout. Yes your will find some great banjo tabs on those sites but you will need TefView/TablEdit to access the Tef files.

There are many TABber’s out there who produce and sell some great TABs but bear in mind that not all TABs are accurate,

Learning from TAB books is probably the worst way to learn play banjo it’s a slow and painful process and not very inspiring. The skills that @BanjoBen teaches you here can speed the process but if you have TablEdit I would encourage you to TAB out those book TABs. You might not consider this but learning to TAB out stuff increases your knowledge of how licks and roll patterns are constructed.

Only got Ten minutes. TABbing out a tune from a book into TablEdit will bring that TAB to life because when you play it back in the software it gives you a sense of the timing. It will speed your leaning and provide you with an effective practice tool.

Well got to dash I only have Ten Minutes left to get in some practice.