Banjo Ben

Brand new to banjo and music

Ain't nothin' in the world like a 5-strang banjer...learn more about playing the banjo, and mingle with other like-minded players here!

Brand new to banjo and music

Postby Hotwheelscalgary » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:12 pm

Hi... I am absolutely new to music and the banjo. I know nothing about reading music or how to play any instruments.

I have the desire to learn the banjo but am lost on where to start. I have picked up a 5 string open back banjo, a pick, and plastic finger picks and thumb pick.

I have done some very very basic rolls at a very very slow speed but I'm not sure if the plastic finger picks are doing the trick.

Can anyone offer some guidance as to where to begin to actually make some progress?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby mreisz » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:07 pm

Welcome! We all had to start at the same place, so don't feel intimidated,

Assuming you have strings on the banjo it sounds like Banjo 102, Picking your picks and Banjo 103, Right hand rolls would be a pretty good place to start.

https://www.banjobenclark.com/videos/4/basic/
Mike

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby 5stringpreacher » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:50 am

I actually started just like you. Welcome to music! It is a blast!

Ben actually does a really good job putting his beginner videos in order. I'd take it at 102 (I started with plastic picks, too. The metal picks make a huge sound difference! My advice: go with .025 thickness) and just start following it from there. Once you get the rolls down with some songs, the Essential Banjo Theory is one you'll keep going back to time and time again as your brain learns not only banjo, but just how music works in general.

Have fun!
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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby skunk » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:30 pm

I was the same as you less than a year ago!

Ben's videos are awesome. Just start in the beginner section like Preacher said. Also, Ben is making a bunch of upgrades to the site this spring and he has also been mentioning (on Facebook) that he's coming out with a new series of guided lessons that take you step by step through.

This is the video he posted:
https://banjobenagain.com/?bc=rkv03FZIx
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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby Tertom » Fri May 05, 2017 3:45 am

Saddle picks are nice and easy on the fingers. They are pricey but I have kept mine for two years. They push the unique thumbpick but I didn't like it.

http://www.saddlethumbpicks.com
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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby welder4 » Fri May 05, 2017 7:31 am

I would learn tablature it is a road map to where to pick as well as note values and rests. you can down load tabledit from their web site they have a free version and you can slow her down slow enough you can get it ,you can also high light sections to play over and over when learning a phrase of the tune. click tuning you can capo with that

http://www.tabledit.com/ here is a link to help you on your way . it has been one of the most important parts of my learning . it is free . you can buy the full soft ware for around 60 bucks , you can save 16 bars with the free one and if you try and save more you will wind up with 16 bars period , a 80 bar lesson can turn into a 16 bar lesson and it can only be down loaded again to get the 80 back. Enjoy the music it is good for the soul . have fun ! :D :D :D
It's not as hot as it is was it! Sometimes making no sense at all makes sense .

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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby ez2cy » Sun May 14, 2017 9:48 am

I'm a couple of years into this journey and I wish I had taken a different path.

Ben's site was my first stop and I followed a couple of his lessons to learn a couple of songs. I did know my pickin patterns before I had tackled that.

What would I have done different? 1. Learn your right hand picking patterns first, over and over and over again. 2. Chord shapes, up and down the neck. 3. Back up . 4. Certain songs.

Reason I say the above is, I got asked to play with a group here in town that play mostly at nursing homes etc. They play everything and I mean EVERYTHING. I could sit and play a few songs top to bottom and sound pretty good, but I couldn't play with others. Now, playing with them, I've had to learn how to play different and what most would call "weird" chords, minour, sharps, flats etc. I also had to figure out what kind of a picking pattern sounded good with these non BlueGrass tunes.

I would search out Ben's lessons covering pickin, backup etc. One video that helped me with chord changes was HappyBanjoDude 's Hotel California lesson on YouTube. It's only a three finger chord shape up the neck to down the neck, but you have to change from the "y" to the "x" position every chord change. Helped me with getting good at that. Later, I added the fourth finger.

Best of luck. With Ben's lessons you'll do fine.
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Re: Brand new to banjo and music

Postby Tertom » Sun May 14, 2017 1:15 pm

Bens videos are great. But there is no substitute for hands on lessons. I have been playing 3 years now and can't recommend that process enough.
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