Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

What's the difference between banjo and guitar?

I’ve been playing guitar for a few years now and I think it’d be really wicked to play some banjo too :slight_smile: but before I got out and actually buy a banjo, what’s the difference? Would I be able to just pick up a banjo and basically play, or are they completely different kinda thing and I’d have to learn a whole new instrument from scratch? Hope that made sense!

Then you could be “Banjo Benjamin!” I am primarily a guitar guy, but I tried banjo for a little while (a month). In essence, if your experience is like mine, there are many things about your guitar experience that will make learning banjo easier than starting from scratch. Your left hand will feel right at home in short order. The right hand has a fair amount of transference from guitar as well if you have done much finger picking (finger style). I never got comfy with the finger and thumb picks, but I probably didn’t have them setup right. I think having Ben’s vids would make the transition much easier (at the time I did it Ben didn’t have his site). If you can borrow a banjo for a bit, that’s a good way to see if you want to pursue it.
Best of luck!

Oh, wait… I’ve heard this one…

Q: What’s the difference between banjo and guitar?
A: About 40 IQ points


:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

now just a second larry! i’ve got a prob…darn drooled on the keyboard,again!

Isn’t that why they leave open backs on the banjo… to catch the drool? :smiley:

i don’t know about that but i was able to tell that the stage in my church was level,drool was coming out both sides of my mouth! :laughing: :laughing:

The difference between a onion and a banjo is no one cries when they cut up a banjo . It is different and it will take some time to get accustom to a banjo . The main item is practice, it will improve and when you get tired of it put it down for a day or two maybe a whole week and you will find your synapses has been working and you will see an improvement . just like flat picking,I never thought I would ever get any faster but as time went by I did get faster . Approach it like you really mean it and also find the correct way of doing it, with in reason of course as every one has advise about that . Work hard on anchoring at least the pinky, many good pickers do just that . A site like this one is an excellent place to start with a good instructor . You do not need a $5,000 banjo I have heard people play a $239 banjo and it sounded great. Just make sure it is set up right . With any thing we learn it takes time so be patient and learn . What will be very rewarding is when you can master a tune . I recommend that you deaden the strings when practicing rolls as the people around you willlove you for that . I think they make a part to do that deaden them .

I come from a background of playing electric guitar with a pick. For me, it was not a case of just picking up the banjo and starting to play something.

Now with the mandolin, I picked it up, figured out a couple of backwards guitar chords and started picking something that resembled music. But with the banjo, because I had no right hand technique, anything I played, guitar style, sounded pretty terrible.

I spent 5 days, maybe a week, just practicing right hand rolls, mostly on open strings, using Ben’s roll lesson. If you are not used to wearing picks, then that takes a bit of time too. They feel very awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning. It probably took me two weeks before they didn’t feel completely foreign on my fingers and especially, my thumb.

I’ve been playing for four weeks now. Now, the things I know about guitar playing, hammer ons, pull offs, fingering chords, are making progress a lot easier and quicker.

But in the beginning, you have to be really patient and understand that your muscles have to learn new movements and that will take a bit of time.