This is me after 6 months


#1

Hello,

i filmed this yesterday so i can keep track of my progress. This is all the songs i can play and about as fast as i can play before making too many mistakes. I have been playing for 6-7 months. I only have a cheap banjo for learning (i’m saving for a ‘better’ banjo) and i play left handed. I have never played an instrument before so this is my first real go at anything musical. I am quite happy with my progress and if you had asked me 6 months ago if i could imagine myself playing like this i would have said “no way!”

I try to get 30 mins+ a day but sometimes i need to skip a day and take a break. I have only been using the Banjo Ben Clark online learning resources and find it quite good.

Hope this gives some other beginners some encouragement! Please don’t critique my playing too much! :blush:

cheers


#2

Nice job Samy!
That’s a great idea to save snapshots of your progress. Keep it up! I look forward to watching future installments.


#3

Left handed banjo? I’m not even going to crack a joke… it’s too easy! :smiley:

You’re sounding good, there, Samy. Especially considering you have no previous musical background. If you’ve come this far in 6 months, just think how you’ll be ripping it up in a year’s time!

BTW, that’s one nice pickin’ porch you’ve got, too.


#4

Thanks! I’m currently working on Blackberry Blossom, it’s the first of the ‘intermediate’ songs on Ben’s website i’m giving a go. I’ve been enjoying the earning process so far! I really need to work on my fretting ring finger, it’s so slow!

cheers


#5

Sounding good!

You’ll keep making steady progress because you’re learning the fundamentals correctly from the ground up.

You’re playing the banjo left handed AND upside down. That’s quite a feat of contortion!


#6

Dang Samy…I’m impressed!! Keep on pickin’ and then come out to Colorado and pick with me!


#7

This is quite encouraging! I just started about 5 months ago and this is my first instrument to pick up as well. I’m learning a little slower than you, but I’m still learning.

Might make some videos myself. Never thought of using that to track progress and use for encouragement on those days when I think I haven’t learned anything in a while.


#8

I am so impressed. I have had mine for two weeks and you have given me great inspiration. I promised to play at Christmas.
Great job!


#9

Very good job.

I have a musical background but have played most of my instruments by ear. I’m having a little difficulty with the banjo. Just signed up here and it looks promising.

I practice atleat an hour a day.

How did you practice? So much on rolls, songs etc?

Please share your regime as it looks like you are on the right track.

Congrats on how far you’ve come.


#10

Those are not my recordings but I thought I could share my experience with you. I have been with Ben for about a year and half and he has been my only learning source.

If you play guitar, banjo seems like it should be easy. Less strings, less string tension, open tuning, what could be easier?

As you have found, it’s pretty tough. For me the biggest challenge was my right hand picking.

I started with Ben’s Section Rolls lesson. I just worked on that lesson for 7 or 10 days, trying to get to the point where my hands would sometimes follow my brain.

Then I did the Cripple Creek lesson which is pretty easy if you already play guitar (it’s all hammer ons and open string pull offs). This song is great because it is pretty easy but makes the banjo sound like you think a banjo should sound. Very rewarding.

I practiced and still practice a lot. When I was learning, I practiced in just about all my spare time. At least a few hours a day, 7 days a week (I live alone which has many disadvantages but banjo practice time is one advantage). If you watch sports on TV, that is a excellent time to practice (because you don’t really need to hear what’s going on in a game!).

Be patient. It takes time but every day you get a little bit better. Every day that passes, the fingerpicks get a little bit more comfortable, your fingers learn more and more where they should go.

Good luck.


#11

Thanks for your reply and thoughts blue.

I’ve been going quite alot on the finger picking. I can do it quite well actually. Only problem I have and it’s a big one, is knowing which one I’m doing. Hard to explain, but if I’m doing a forward/backward roll, I’m doing it with a fair amount of speed. However, I want to switch to do the alternating thumb roll and get confused until I look at a tab and then again…I go like gang busters…LOL…until I go to do another type of roll. My brain is telling me to do one roll, but my fingers are stuck on the old roll. I guess it will come with practice.

I have figgered out how to play Oh Susana by ear, just picking the melody with cords on at the end, G and C. No rolls with it. Can play the scale part of Dueling Banjo’s and know the cords, just not the fast picking part. Started to learn Jed Clampett and Foggy…just get the first part and then lost, but it impresses the little woman…LOL

Screwed my banjo up (Washburn B9) trying to set the rod. Had a buzz to it, not much but annoying. Took to one place that they said they set it up but it’s worse. Going to go to another place today and see if they can get it done. Pain in the butt when you don’t have any music stores in your home town. Closest is 1 hour away…today is 1 3/4 hrs away. But…going there anyway.

I will try to learn Cripple Creek as I need to do something besides hours of rolls.

Thanks again.
Jim


#12

Check out Ben’s latest lesson on banjo maintenance. I come from an electric guitar background and banjo setup seemed intimidating by comparison but it’s really not that complicated. Ben’s lessons gives you the tools to allow you to set up your banjo as you wish. Just remember to make changes in small increments.

I feel that Ben wants us to learn the fundamentals by playing songs. He picks songs that focus on different technical problems so that by repeating the song over and over, you are doing a technical exercise but having more fun doing it. A lot of banjo technique is just repeating and repeating things over and over until they become automatic.

Be patient and keep practicing.


#13

Samy,

Wow that’s great progress after six months. How about an update on where you are now. I’m just starting Joy to the World and loving it so far. Any pointers or suggestions?

AB