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TOPIC: Is the banjo challenging to learn to play?

Is the banjo challenging to learn to play? 9 years 2 weeks ago #4922

I have been taking lessons for about a year, going to classes, and practicing. Admittedly I would like to practice more and should be. However life kind of gets in the way. That in mind it is interesting to hear that the Banjo is also one of the most difficult instruments to learn. IS IT TRUE??????

:P
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Re:Is the banjo challenging to learn to play? 9 years 1 week ago #4926

I never tried to learn any other instrument, so I have nothing to compare with. I have noticed that trying to learn at an advanced age has its own challenges. Occasionally I get these moments of inspiration where I figure out some stuff and feel pretty good. But most of the time I just struggle with making my fingers go where I need them to go, when they need to be there. Recently I have found that as I try to learn new stuff I loose the old stuff,that has been tuff/frustrating. I find that it is mostly due to practice time, or the lack of it. I know that if I practice more it will happen, eventually, I hope B)
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Re:Is the banjo challenging to learn to play? 9 years 1 week ago #4942

I've been at it for about 8 years.
I pratice very day and probaly average 8 hrs a week.
I have taken private lessons from 2 instructors for a total of about 3 years
Im not sure I can do you question justice without writting a book, so I will touch some hi-lites.
For me it's been very challenging.
After 4 years I was ready to quit or try a frailing style as I felt I would never get to an acceptable level of profficiency.
I think sometime around year 5 I realized that I could play "some stuff" reasonably well and there was hope.
Im still at it and trying to go back and pratice thing that I should have been doing more of years ago.

Here is my one piece of advice.

1) get a metronome and play a forward roll (8 notes to a measure or any other roll you like), at the slowest tempo you can sustain, and watch yourself wonder in and out of time. You can do this while fretting a chord or open strings or change chords to break up the monotny. This is boring and no fun but it is the basis of blue-grass banjo.
I was told by my instructors and others to practice this but I never paid much attention to the excersize. It is still my biggest challenge, to play a steady roll in time. practice this as often as you can stand it and adjust your roll to be on the beat on every note.

If you have the ability, record yourself every 6 mo's or so and see if you notice an improvement.
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Re:Is the banjo challenging to learn to play? 9 years 1 week ago #4959

I think any instrument is challenging to play, that's why we rely on the older generation to pass on the techniques. Just stick with it. It's a lifetime journey with many rewards along the way.
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Re:Is the banjo challenging to learn to play? 9 years 10 hours ago #4999

I'm not a banjo player so I may be trespassing here but I think any instrument must be a challenge. I think all reply's so far have positive notes. Unless you have an exceptional God given talent it is going to take a lot of time and hard work (practice). I'm sure we all get frustrated. I know I have. The rewards, even few and far between, are sweet. And over time, and with continued effort, they'll come to you more often and it all becomes a very worthwhile endeavor.
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Re:Is the banjo challenging to learn to play? 8 years 11 months ago #5010

I've been messing around with the banjo for many years with no noticable improvement until I finally made my mind up that I wasn't going to give in to the frustration .During the last year I have been practicing at least 6 hours a week (which is not enough) and the 2 hour Wed. sessions with Fretmentor and finally feel as if i have moved forward .It's all about putting in good quality time!
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