best way to learn banjo

Learning to play the banjo these days is easier than ever.  With the popularity of the banjo and acoustic music growing at a record pace, there are more tools to learn with as well as other musicians to play with. So what is the Best Way To Learn Banjo and easiest way to play banjo??

Here are some great ways to learn:

best way to learn banjo

1. Start Simple

A very common mistake that beginners make is to start with complex solos. Mastering the chords while maintaining the rhythm patterns with the banjo can get extremely difficult for the uninitiated if one is starting with a difficult solo. It is very easy to get frustrated and quit if the notes sound halting even after weeks of practice.

The banjo is a great instrument to jam with. Thus, a fun and effective way to learn how to play the instrument is to start with the basic right-hand rhythm patterns that can be repeated progressively. You can then start jamming along with peers or even with a music CD. This will give you a fair amount of practice, strengthen your rhythm patterns and even help you identify chord progressions. Hours of jam sessions will build your confidence and keep you motivated to learn more advanced techniques.

2. Master the postures of hands

While this might not seem important at first glance, it is pivotal that beginners learn the correct way to position their hands and wrists while playing the banjo. An ergonomically incorrect posture will create fatigue and also restrict freedom of movement of your hands. Thus, the first step towards learning the banjo is to learn how to position your wrist.

We recommend holding your wrist in a neutral position, i.e. a natural position where it is not bent either towards your thumb or pinkie finger at an awkward angle. This will not only ensure that you are not worn out after an hour of strumming but also allow your fingers enough freedom to create fluid movements on the chords. It is also important to correctly identify the angle of your palm.

Hand Position for Banjo

While laying the palm straight on the surface will create extra tension on your fingers and restrict movement, arching the palm too much will extend the fingers too straight and potentially slow you down. The picking hand should be positioned as if you were holding an egg.

3. Let it ring

The key to creating beautiful melodies with your banjo is to let the notes ring. A common mistake that beginners make is to let go of the fret too soon or not applying enough pressure on the strings. This leads to the banjo sounding muffled and stuffy, which is not something that you would like to hear.

A good technique to ensure that the notes are sustained is to press the frets with enough force. After the note is fretted, it is a good idea to keep the left-hand finger down on the fingerboard as long as possible until it is time to changeover to a new note.

4. Smooth Transitions

One of the trickiest parts to master is smoothly transitioning from one part of a song to another without sounding halting. Here are a few ways how you can start on your path to mastering the art of making smooth transitions.

Keys to Smooth Transitions
  • Practice changing chords quickly
  • Enough practice will ensure that you can change chords even without looking at your hands
  • Listen to all the bluegrass CDs you can lay your hands on and identify the parts where transitions are being made
  • Watch the finger movements of other players to help solidify fluid movements and how transitions are made
  • Practice maintaining a steady rhythm pattern even while changing chords

5. Practice makes perfect

There is no substitute for painstaking practice. The longer you practice, the longer you tune your ears and the longer you spend playing your banjo, the better a player you shall be. It is a good idea to start practicing with basic solos. It might be tempting to start with something like “Cripple Creek” but as we stated in tip #1…. starting with something too difficult can often lead to failure.

A few good solos that beginners can start with are Shady Grove, Doug’s Tune, Bile Them Cabbage Down, Red River Valley and Worried Men Blues. They say that the more you enjoy your music, the better you shall play. Hence, practicing music you actually like will make the learning process even more fruitful.

Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments you should buy if you are Music Lover

An artist can improve his performance with the use of quality instruments. Here, we have enlisted the top musical instrument manufacturing companies in the world, that can help you select a trustworthy instrument brand.

1. Gibson

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Gibson is an American manufacturer of Musical Instrument company founded by Orville Gibson in 1902 headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Gibson is most popular Brand in musical instruments industry. The company mainly produced musical instruments, and consumer and professional electronics. It was established in 1902 when Orville Gibson founded such musical instrument brand. Gibson sells guitars under a choices of brand names. The Gibson Memphis shop has mainly focused on producing building hollow, semi hollow body guitars and other musical instruments. It is regarded as 1st place in the Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.

2. Harman

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Harman is an American company founded by Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon in 1980 headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, United States. Harman International Industries, is an American subsidiary of Samsung Group that innovates and engineers connected products for automakers, consumers and enterprises works in worldwide. The company mainly produced, connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation and connected services. Its a 2nd brand after Gibson in the Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments and its International shareholders has voted in favor of the acquisition by Samsung, becoming a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics on March 10, 2017 and this time Harman is top 2nd brand in the world.

3. Shure

shure is an American audio products company founded by Sidney N. Shure in 1925, headquartered Niles, Illinois, United States. The company mainly focuses on produced microphone, wireless microphone systems, headphone, earphones, phono cartridges, mixers and conferencing system. Shure recently discover numerous series of microphones for various applications, including the, KSM, SM, Beta and PG series, as well as specialized in consumer microphones, wireless, Microflex, and other musical instruments. It is a most valuable brand after Gibson, Harman and Shure is 3rd brand in the world in musical instruments industry.

4. Yamaha

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Yamaha is an musical instrument and street music retail store owned by Yamaha music retail store owned by Yamaha music in United kingdom. The person behind Yamaha’s foundation was Torakusu Yamaha. Yamaha is mainly focuses on predominantly musical instruments, electronics and power sports equipment. It has grown to become the world’s largest producer of musical instruments, pianos, “silent” pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, woodwinds, violins, violas, and vibraphones, its is regarded as 4th place in Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments in the world as well as a leading producer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related goods, sporting goods, home appliances, specialty metals and industrial robots.

5. Fender

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Fender is an American stringed instruments and amplifiers manufacturing company founded by Clarence Leonidas during the year 1946 headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States. The company mainly focuses on produces acoustic guitar, bass amplifiers, public address equipment and other musical instruments. When Clarence Leonidas Fender founded such musical instrument company. It also rewarded as 5th most popular brand in musical instruments and it is also a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments. It has one of the world leaders by defining the sounds we hear, by meeting the needs of musicians, by discover quality products and by backing them up with products and services.

6. Steinway

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Steinway is an American piano company founded by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg during the year 1853 headquartered in Europe and international Hamburg, Germany. The company mainly production of grand pianos, upright pianos. It works in the worldwide. Its provide a largest number of musical instrument brand names and producing facilities. Now it is owns manufacturer of pianos, brasswinds, woodwinds, strings, and percussion under dozens of unique brand names. Its mainly notable goods include Steinway & Sonspianos, Bach Stradivarius trumpets, C.G. Conn French horns, Leblanc clarinets, King trombones, Ludwig snare drums, Selmersaxophones and woodwinds, it is regarded as a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.

7. Sennheiser

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Sennheiser is a German privately held audio company founded by Fritz Sennheiser during the year 1945 headquartered in Wedemark, Hanover, Lower Saxony, German. The company mainly focuses on manufacturing audio electronics, microphones, headphones, telephone, aviation headsets for personal, professional and business application. The company is represent in more than 50 countries worldwide. Sennheiser is mainly known for its production of nice sound of its headphones and microphones and also famous for its best products , it also a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.

8. Roland

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Roland is a Japanese electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software manufacturing company founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi during the year 1972 on April 18, 1972, with ¥33 million in capital. headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuko, Japan. The company mainly focuses on manufacturing electronic musical instruments, synthesizers, digital, pianoes, Electronic drums, Guitars, synthesizers and DJ controllers. It is a world’s famous leading manufacturer and distributor of electronic musical instruments because it is a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.

9. Kawai

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Kawai is a musical instruments manufacturing company founded by koichi kawai in 1927 headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. The company mainly focuses in manufacturing Grand piano and upright pianos. It is known for its best products like grand pianos, upright pianos, electronic keyboards and electronic synthesizers. The company control in business segments. This segments also gives tuning and repairing services for instruments. The products Processing segment produces and sells processed metal materials for electronic and electrical instruments, processed materials for automobile parts, pig and cast metal, soundproof rooms, acoustic and music related goods and its also a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.

10. C.F. Martin

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C.F Martin is an American guitar manufacturing company founded by Christian Frederick Martin during the year 1833 headquarters in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. CF Martin & Company Incorporation operates as a guitar manufacturing company. It is known for its steeel string acoustic guitars and is a leading producer of flat top guitars. The Company gives acoustic guitars, strings, and music products for the music industry. CF Martin & Company also offers distribution, manufacturing, and repair services and it is also in a Most Popular Brands of Musical Instruments.

The Final Note

The tips shared in this lesson are a great starting point for any beginning banjo player. If you want to take your learning to the next step, though, hire yourself a teacher from a local music shop. If that isn’t in the budget there are some really solid online teachers, like the ones found at BanjoCompass or BanjoBen. As always, StringVibe will continue to publish the best Banjo related content as well! 

There might be a number of different reasons why you want to learn the banjo. Perhaps, you have always been a fan of bluegrass music or perhaps you want to just embark on a new adventure. Whatever may your reason be, we hope that with these tips your journey will be a little more enjoyable. There are very few experiences which are as rewarding as learning to play a new instrument. Happy learning.

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