One area where I have great difficulty as a lone learner is with timing/using a metronome, is this an area you could cover at some future date?
Peter, thanks for the great lesson request. Yes, timing is a huge issue when it comes to playing the banjo. It can become a great barrier for those who struggle with timing. The facts are this: Every banjo picker struggles with timing on a regular basis.
I just previewed Ron Block’s new dvd and one of his major practice habits is to use a metronome on a consistent basis while practicing. We all know what a great established player he is and it’s no wonder when you consider that he practices on a routine basis with a metronome.
Personally, I haven’t used a metronome a lot in the past few years. I did use one fairly regularly during the first years of banjo picking but it got lost somewhere in the closet.
My theory has always been to play with others and your timing issues will pan out quickly. It’s very difficult to play in a band with poor timing; however, it does happen and you can tell when you’re in the audience. Jamming as much as possible will do a great deal for your timing.
I am going to take some of Ron’s advice as I hope you will and get back into the metronome as we all should. It can be mind numbing at times to just pick through a few tunes with a metronome but I think it will do a great deal for our timing and will keep us right on the beat.
Below are a few great online metronomes that I have found. Check them out. Thanks to the internet you no longer have to purchase a metronome. You can even download one to your cell phone for about five bucks!
I’ll be uploading our member’s video on how to properly use a metronome this week. We’ll discuss how to pick right on top of the beat and a little exercise that will get you there quickly. You’ll discover whether you’re a lagger or a rusher. See you then! Thanks Peter for bringing this topic to our attention.
Keep the lesson requests coming.