A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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it the only thing a hot picker really has on you is time.
Be yourself. You are not lacking in anything. You may at times feel that you are not measuring up to someone else but when that happens all yo u have to do is change your perspective. Look at your progress from a rational point of view. Ask yourself if you really know the whole story or if you are just making excuses.
Trust me, if all you can ever do is sing and play two or three songs people are going to watch you and say, "I'd give anything to be able to play like that!"
Speed
The problem with speed is that banjo students tend to make the mistake of thinking that playing fast is somehow different than playing slowly.
If you watch a truly accomplished player in action you will notice that whatever the tempo of the song is he works with the same easy pace. Whatever the speed of the song he or she never really appears to be playing fast.
To quote Mitamoto Musashi, " Really skillful people never get out of time, are always deliberate, and never appear busy. "
In other words, once you have developed your skills playing fast isn't really any different than playing slow. The note values stay the same, the rhythmic structure doesn't change and your technique doesn't change. The only thing that changes is the tempo.
Practice deliberately. Don't be in a rush to show off or get the song over with. My general rule of thumb is to never play a song any faster than I can sing it.
Build up your skills and after a while you'll be able to play fast and even ridiculously fast songs or breaks with just as much grace and ease as slow tunes.
Good first. Fast second.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III