Totally green


So I have been playing the banjo for 51 days. I bought a banjo and a book (with a instructional CD) and have managed
to learn and play 4 beginning songs. I can play them clear and in good time - well, 80-85% of the time. I also now play them with my own licks in them, as opposed to the milktoast learning version (no offense to milktoast…)

I play regularly with another picker, who is also a beginner (but has previously taken some lessons many years ago). I
work 10-12 hour days, 5-6 days a week, but still carve out time to devote to playing.

How does one recognize if they are developing “bad habits” when it comes to playing? Are actual lessons one-on-one
the way to go? I am just curious if I am hurting myself in the long run.



Hi Cobbler and welcome to the forums. I’m also a beginner so I can identify with what you’re saying. I’ve had a wealth of information and advice through this forum and others. I’ve been able to sift trough the suggestions and pick out my bad habits quite a bit through others BUT I’m still convinced that one-on-one lessons are the real way to go. I’ll be contacting Ben for these shortly after things get settled in around here and he gets a little more free time. I personally look forward to Ben’s teachings as I’ve never seen anyone else do it as well as him. So I guess my suggestion is the same as I’ll be doing and definitely get a teach early on so bad habits don’t become the norm.


Thanks much for the encouragement.

I spent some time watching the videos on the website tonight, as well as printing the tabs, etc. I am looking forward to going through them all.

As I stated in my earlier post, I play regularly with a buddy at least 1 day each week, for a couple hours. We sit and learn from each other - I am learning waaay more from him, than the other way 'round. We also had the pleasure of playing with a 3rd picker 2 weeks ago who was a seasoned player. That was a bit intimidating - but just watching and listening was pretty slick.
We did get to play in a “round-robin” on a beginner song myself and my friend can play fairly well. While we played our turn at the leads, the 3rd played backup - which also showed me that even a few notes, in accompaniment, adds a whole sound I hadnt even considered in such a plain song. So I have been experimenting on that - which is fun.

I dont belong to any internet forums, so this is new to me. Obviously, I dont want to bore anybody - but I do want to be active and absorb as much as possible.

So, thanks again Stich & Ben.