Hello, I got a banjo for Christmas this year from the family. I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life (now 48). I find it easiest to be guided through one string at a time. Whether it be a forward or backward role, 3-2-1, 4-1-2. Thats how it seems to work best for me.
I find the left hand a little harder. My fingers get in the way of each other. Can you help.
When you’re a very new beginner and just learning the roll patterns and chord fingerings. It will be much easier for you to learn one step at a time as you have mentioned.
1. A steady consistent forward roll is crucial. I would spend a considerable amount of time working on your right hand. By this I mean practice the forward (3-1-5-3-1-5-3-1), reverse (1-3-5-1-3-5-1-3), and alternate (3-2-5-1-4-2-5-1) rolls over and over until they become second nature. This is the core of your banjo playing!
2. Start memorizing the three main chord positions and work on switching back and forth between positions. You must be able to move your left hand smoothly between chords without looking at the fingerboard.
3. In regards to the left hand. Don’t become too concerned with the crowded feeling that you are experiencing with your fingers. Most of this comes from poor finger posture. It’s best if your fingers come straight down on to the strings. It should look like the ends of your fingers are pointing directly into the heart of the fingerboard.
You don’t want the fingers to be laying in a flatter position while your trying to fret the notes. This will result in buzzing and the feeling of your fingers crowded against one another.
Thanks for the great question! Our next member’s video will go into detail about step 1 and 2. I’ll also cover the three main chord positions that you need to be working on as a beginner.
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