#1
So yeah.. I've bought myself a banjo (5 string). Reason for that really is, I've always wanted to learn, and in my music tech class they all play acoustic guitar, so I want to stand out!

So if anybody plays banjo, could you give me beginner tips?
Farida D32E
Walden D522 12 String

Levellers <3
#2
I don't play banjo, but my one guitar teacher tunes his like a guitar and plays jazz chord inversions (he's got a 4 string and tunes it D G B E - the more treble strings). He just got it for the tone of the instrument, but maybe you could do the same.
#3
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
I don't play banjo, but my one guitar teacher tunes his like a guitar and plays jazz chord inversions (he's got a 4 string and tunes it D G B E - the more treble strings). He just got it for the tone of the instrument, but maybe you could do the same.


But mine is a 5 string. And i'd like to have it in somekind of "Drop D" tuning!
Farida D32E
Walden D522 12 String

Levellers <3
#5
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
well then tune it like a guitar in a dropped tuning minus the most treble string if you want to - there's nothing stopping you for doing, well, anything. Got nuts.

Country-metal on? \m/


It's on!
Farida D32E
Walden D522 12 String

Levellers <3
#6
I play my banjo and would more often if it didn't smell as much like a corpse as it does.

Um... finger picks are annoying, use your fingers, if it sounds too twangy then take off the resonator, learn the "shave and a hair cut two bits" and intro to Dueling Banjos because that's all anyone wants to hear on banjo.
#7
Quote by Wisthekiller
I play my banjo and would more often if it didn't smell as much like a corpse as it does.

Um... finger picks are annoying, use your fingers, if it sounds too twangy then take off the resonator, learn the "shave and a hair cut two bits" and intro to Dueling Banjos because that's all anyone wants to hear on banjo.


Is it possible to strum it?
Farida D32E
Walden D522 12 String

Levellers <3
#8
they strum on dueling banjos..... and practice saying " you got a real perty moouth" watch the old movie "deliverance" and you'll understand.
#9
What kind of playing are you interested in? There are several different popular styles of banjo music. You have the "old time" style usually called "frailing". Fingers only.....thumb alternates and you play chord/strums with downward sweeps of the backs of the nails and upstrokes and melody notes with the index finger.
Next is the currently standard "Scruggs style" finger-picking used as instrumental accompaniment for bluegrass and country.
The older chord-melody type of playing used in jazz and ragtime is done on four-string instruments.
There are tons of instructional pages and videos on the net....Tell me what you are interested in and I'll steer you to some.
#10
I've played banjo for a good while. Here are some things I would suggest.


Learn to play without fingerpicks. I think of them moreso as something you use for tone rather than playability. That way you can pick up any banjo at any time and be comfortable. You'll be surprised how well this has helped me out.

Learn some popular banjo songs for the reason someone said above. It'll simply be the best way to throw out some quick tunes for people who wanna hear. My suggestion actually wouldn't be dueling banjos, though. Learn something like the Clawhammer Melody or Wild Woodflower.

As a banjo player, I constantly battle off the stereotype that it's a novelty instrument. I've staved off most criticism by getting good at it. That's why I'd say to stay away from those popular rednecky sounds or the novelty songs.

Play with other people! Banjo is an odd beast to try to fit those weird dissonant runs and picking patters in. Play with others or play along with something as much as possible, it'll help you develop an ear for the instrument really well.

Overall, HAVE FUN! The banjo is damn addicting once you get going with it. Good luck!


EDIT: Oh yeah, you can definitely strum it.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#11
Quote by JustRooster
I've played banjo for a good while. Here are some things I would suggest.

Learn to play without fingerpicks. I think of them moreso as something you use for tone rather than playability. That way you can pick up any banjo at any time and be comfortable. You'll be surprised how well this has helped me out.

As a banjo player, I constantly battle off the stereotype that it's a novelty instrument. I've staved off most criticism by getting good at it. That's why I'd say to stay away from those popular rednecky sounds or the novelty songs.

Listen to this man. He knows of what he speaks. I strongly agree with the fingerpicks thing.

And remember: you can use a banjo for more than just bluegrass some of the finest folk playing I have heard (real folk, not that indie shite) is on banjo.
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#12
While not a banjo playing I'm banjo-curious(also mandolin, lute, viola da gamba, and all kinds of other curious(not a instrument *****...or maybe I am )) May I suggest Bela Fleck as someone to check out? He's got a really weird but amazing take on the instrument.
#13
Is it possible to tune it to something like Drop D?
Farida D32E
Walden D522 12 String

Levellers <3