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What You Need to Remember if You are Playing the Five-String Banjo as a Beginner

The banjo has some myths surrounding it, but perhaps one of the most common is that it is difficult to learn. The myth does exist for a reason, probably because the instrument is known for producing fast-paced sounds. Many bluegrass players have indeed become famous for their fast-as-lightning licks, but this doesn’t mean that the average Joe can’t learn to play it – and enjoy it – too.  The instrument comes with a few learning curves, however most people should be able to attain the Scruggs style of picking or playing. With enough practice, you can reasonably reach your wildest expectations. There are various kinds of banjos and different playing styles, so it’s up to you to practice as much as you can with your preferred type and the style that resonates with you. If your goal is to play the five-string banjo, however, here’s what you need to remember to play the instrument as a beginner.

Key pointers

While those who don’t know much about the instrument may assume that it’s more complicated than the guitar, the opposite is true. It’s easier to learn than another string instrument like the guitar because you will use lighter strings. This makes it easier to press the strings down onto the banjo’s fingerboard to get different notes. another reason why the five-string banjo is easier to play than the guitar is because, to start with, you only need to think about playing the four long strings; the shorter fifth string is used as a drone.

The basics of the five-string banjo

Most everyone will agree that the most popular kind of banjo is the five-string one, and its reputation precedes it as the easiest instrument to start with if you want to get good at the banjo. In fact, experts like Jofflowson.com and others can honestly say that they can teach someone how to play the five-string banjo in just a few months!

The foremost reason why this instrument is easier to learn is that the standard tuning for it is just an open G. Once you strum, even without having to use both hands, you can already play the G chord. It isn’t the same as with a guitar, where you have to learn some left hand fingering positions before you can even play a chord.

Once you can do the G chord, all you have to do next is create a bar using your middle or index finger, push all the banjo strings down on the fifth fret, and then you can already have a C chord. Afterward, you can slide the C chord up two frets to get to the seventh fret, and then you can create the D chord. Finally, when you have these three chords down pat, you can use your right hand to strum the banjo strings and begin playing numerous tunes. So you can play thousands of songs using only one finger!

Get to know some finger styles

To get an authentic banjo sound, you may also want to learn either the clawhammer or the three-finger picking style. The three-finger style can be effortless for many people to play right away, and the best way to familiarize yourself with roll patterns and so on is to learn to play cripple creek. Clawhammer, in general, is harder for many beginners, but once you can play the basic rhythm, you can quickly move on to a faster tempo with more choices in songs.

Image attributed to Pixabay.com

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