beginning bluegrass banjo
advice about practicing the banjo
If you want to learn to play reasonably well, you will need to practice an average of at least 30 minutes a day. This is true even if you aspire to a modest level of skill, and want only to play for friends and family in the living room. That's a perfectly good goal to have, but still requires dilligent practice!
If you aspire to really play well, perhaps playing in a band with other musicians and maybe in public, you will end up practicing at least one hour a day. But understand that anyone who is practicing that much is really enjoying their practice time anyway! When Bela Fleck and Earl Scruggs started out playing as kids, they sometimes practiced in their bedrooms for the whole day!
Like anything else worth learning, it will take time to start sounding like a pretty good picker. Be patient and PRACTICE. Compare it to learning a new foreign language. That can take many years of practice until you become fluent. The same holds true for any musical instrument and the banjo is no different. Accept that this is a long-term undertaking. If you are realistic about the amount of practice needed, and the long term commitment needed, you will definitely make progress. There's just no getting around the need for daily practice.
Yes, you can begin to teach yourself bluegrass banjo from your favorite websites, videos, and tapes, because any good musician is self-motivated. But be careful to not develop sloppy playing technique, which can happen if you go too long without a real teacher to keep you on track and away from bad habits, which are near impossible to break! You will soon need a real teacher to guide you. BLUEGRASS BANJO teachers- an international list
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