What would be a good time frame to master the rolls on the Banjo. Keep in mind that I am 76 years old. My fingers and mind is much slower than a younger person.
Don, thanks for the great question. I would say that we all should be continually working to perfect our banjo rolls. I’m hesitant to say that it’s possible to completely master them; however, it does seem that some have come very close.
I would say that within a few months of practicing you can get a very good handle on the rolls and should be able to play them at a fast pace without giving them much thought. This could come in as little as a few weeks if you practice daily. I recall, what would have been about a two week period when I was first learning, a time when I made leaps and bounds of progress on my rolls.
For me, I broke through the difficult stumbling around part of my rolls when I started to push myself to a much faster pace. I started playing my rolls faster than I could actually play them. When I started to do this little exercise I found that my banjo rolls smoothed out really quickly and I was able to play them much faster without thinking of each note throughout the roll.
My recommendation would be to play your rolls along with a cd or a metronome and then push yourself with faster and faster songs. Doing this will feel awkward at first but it will amaze you how smooth your picking hand becomes as it developes the required muscle memory.
Keep us posted on your progress!