Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Tiny Breakthrough!

Like the title says, this is a “tiny breakthrough” but it felt YUUUGE.

I’m pretty comfortable with forward and backwards rolls, enough so that I’ve been adding in the forward backward roll practice song to push myself forward and it’s just been a bear to figure out. I was using the foward and backwards part as a warmup before, but adding in the note changes, and additional notes really threw me off.

So, I tried to slow down, and that was an absolute mess. Tempo up, tempo down, tempo up, tempo down, pause, tempo down, pause… etc. You get the picture.

Figured, I would try with the metronome at 30 BPM. Okay, that’s helping a little. Slowly getting in time with the metronome and it’s clicking sound.

After a bit, I got frustrated and stopped to mess with the metronome app. It has a bunch of different sounds. Scrolling through, I found a snare drum. Dum, tiss, Dum, tiss, Dum, tiss… my brain could work with that!

After finding the snare drum sound on the metronome app, I was able to keep in time with the metronome while screwing up the notes. Which was fine with me, at least I was learning something today.

Like I said… Tiny Breakthrough, but felt huge!


As a Beginner, I can speak expertly about this topic. This whole “playing music” stuff is all about tiny breakthroughs. Little light bulbs go off in your head, never that blinding “road to Damascus” flash of greatness.
You will climb a hill, only to find you did not reach the top, merely another plateau. And just when you think you will never get off the plateau, you suddenly soar to new heights, only to be stuck in that updraft for a while.
But as time goes on, one day you will look around and realize all those little light bulbs and all those plateaus have combined to make a pretty interesting world of music…with a whole universe to discover!


Tiny breakthroughs are like compound interest. It my seem small but over time those small improvements add up to something big. We (definitely talking to ME here) need to be able to celebrate these small breakthroughs because all improvements/learning is important.

Keep on picking!