Monthly Archives: July 2009

Getting Away From It All!

Sometimes, it’s so good to take a break and get away from it all; especially away from technology! Have you ever received an email to this effect: “Hi, Sorry to be so late getting back with you; my email client … Continue reading

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When New Skills are Like a Magnet

When you learn repetitious musical techniques, it can also be human nature to resist things that are very close to what you already know. Continue reading

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They Ought to Have a Name for it – Stuck in a (Fret) Rut

This happens with your fretting hand when you are playing a lick and you don’t get your fingers positioned exactly right before it is time to pick the notes. You’d like to lift one or more of your fingers and … Continue reading

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Talent versus Persistence

We should value persistence, even more so than talent, in students. Continue reading

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A Great Time at the Banjo Jam

We had a great time at our Banjo Jam Session at The Coffee Tree on July 18th! We usually start these practice sessions off by working through a chord sheet with several standard songs we’re familiar with (more or less) … Continue reading

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Technique Control, Part III – Left Hand Techniques

Last time, we looked at several aspects of control with respect to right hand techniques (or the picking hand, to make it independent of whether you’re left or right-handed). Today, let’s look at how we need to control what happens … Continue reading

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Technique Control, Part II – Right Hand Techniques

Last time, we looked at an overview of techniques and why we need to keep control of both hands on the banjo. Today, we’ll look at what to control with respect to the right hand; next time, we’ll look at … Continue reading

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Technique Control, Part I – Introduction

I’m not a control freak when it comes to people, but I do see the very important role that control plays when it comes to a musical instrument. Hours upon hours of practice drill into our heads the fact that … Continue reading

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Complexity in Songs

The more full-featured something is (car, computer application, banjo, song, etc.), the more complex it is and so the more difficult to construct. (Also more expensive to fix and less apt to be fixable by yourself!) This seems intuitive as … Continue reading

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4 Hazards of Playing Slow

We usually have an optimal ‘window’ within which we play our songs. Too fast, and obviously we are out of our comfort zone. But play it slower than usual and you hit some different problems.   The main problems with … Continue reading

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