Question about how to best use The Banjo Encyclopedia
I am in my mid 50’s and got my first banjo as well as your impressive book “The Banjo Encyclopedia”. I wanted to be sure that I am on right track and to verify that you suggest using the book in the sequence presented which has ‘Right Hand’’ techniques with Rolls prior to “Left Hand” techniques with Chords, etc.
Am I correct before I become immersed in your material?
Thanks so much for all you do for Bluegrass!
Ross Nickerson Answer
Thanks for your email. It's ok to jump to different chapters, work on both of those chapters simultaneously, don't worry about the advanced right hand rolls now or more difficult left hand exercises, but also don't feel as though you need to master each chapter before trying other ones. Focus on chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10 to start.
Key things on banjo are to learn good timing in your rolls, how to pick steady without stopping, and quickly gaining the ability to switch chords without stopping your picking or losing the rhythm in your picking. Practice the right and left hand's separately and then together. When you sit down to practice never lose sight of the fact that your practice sessions are primarily for the purpose of building ability and skill, not learning songs, when you can play good, learning new songs are easy.
Those are my words of wisdom tonight, I hope they help. Thanks again,