Hello! Welcome to Banjo for beginners. This website is dedicated to learning how to play banjo. We have lots of articles on the learning process, and are constantly updating the site with more articles. My name is Paul, and I am the resident banjo player. Lets start by saying the banjo is a very appealing instrument. It has a unique upbeat sound that compliments any setting. The banjo is rooted in American and African culture, and it is a truly fun instrument to play. And, unlike the guitar, not everyone plays the banjo. You can actually bring something different to jam sessions. Back when I wanted to learn a musical instrument, I looked at my options. Both my brother and mother play guitar. I wanted an instrument I could make my own, and would enjoy spending time on. So, I was naturally drawn to the beautiful and inspiring banjo. Whatever your reason, the banjo is a solid instrument and is sure to bring you happiness.Not everyone was born with banjo playing in their family (myself included) so it is useful to go over the anatomy of a banjo. Also, that way when someone asks you if your head is tuned you know not to be insulted. Link to anatomy. Also, check out this article on the 5th string, a major oddity in stringed instruments. Its one of the many unique aspects of the banjo. Link to 5th string. Open G tuning is standard on a banjo, and need a little explanation. For those of you who use standard guitar tuning, open G tuning will be a lot different. In a good way. link to tuning. But enough with the physical element. On to actually learning the banjo.
When learning anything, there is a question you should ask yourself beforehand. What do you want to be able to do? Goal setting is very helpful when starting a new task. It can help out track your progress and keep you motivated. Link to What do you want to be able to do? The definitive aspect of banjo playing is right hand technique. That is what separates banjoists from other string players, the Scruggs style of playing. Scruggs style is used by Belá Fleck, Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs. Scruggs style is a little unnatural, and if learned incorrectly it can be very hard to relearn. I can give you some tips on how to properly deal with any problems that come up. And as with all instruments, timing is important. Tempo is especially important for the banjo, because often the banjo is the easiest instrument to hear. It is the equivalent of the drum set, and hopefully acts as a uniting force.
So what is needed to learn the banjo? Well, first off you need a banjo. There’s lots of banjos to choose from. Lots. Along with the banjo itself, there are a lot of things that might be overlooked. Banjo Strings seem pretty simple, but there are actually some aspects that generally get overlooked. And of course, picks are needed. Scruggs style of playing banjo involves the thumb, index and middle fingers. So you naturally need a pick for each of those digits. However, choosing the material of your picks can vary the sound greatly, so I provide some insight into the different tones different picks put out. There are a lot of things that you might find helpful. Like a tuner for those of us who don’t have perfect pitch. Or a metronome for those of us who have trouble keeping perfect time. Also straps. Straps are important if you ever want to stand and play banjo. And they add a level of customization to your banjo. I’ve gone through the trouble of creating a suggested items list just for you. Again, these are just recommendations, but its nice to have some of these things.
The banjo is an incredibly fun instrument. Let me be the first to tell you, you will not regret learning the banjo. What you might regret is not putting enough effort in. As with most hobbies, you reap what you sow. If you put in the effort, it will show, in your play and confidence. I can say from personal experience that as soon as you tell people you play banjo, many of them will want you to play for them. Well, I didn’t really try that hard when starting off, so I didn’t play in front of people for the first two years I played banjo. This situation can be avoided if you practice. Playing banjo may seem like a lot of work, but it sure doesn’t seem like work when you’re playing. Do you have any questions unanswered here? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, happy picking!