Sloppy playing can creep up on you before you know it, especially if you’re just starting out learning to play the banjo. As time goes on and you get more experience, you’ll start to recognize when you’re getting sloppy with your playing. And if you’re sloppy with your playing, then most likely it’s because you’ve been sloppy with your practice.
Here is a brief taxonomy of sloppy playing. Most of these really are self-explanatory, and the solutions are all pretty much the same; perfect practice makes perfect! Perhaps listing them this way will help increase awareness of the specific mechanism behind the sloppiness we occasionally find in our playing.
Can you think of other items that would go on this list of sloppy playing habits?
- Left Hand Problems
Poor slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs
Pull-off occurring when not needed
- Right Hand Problems
Hit wrong string
Hit multiple strings
Hit didn’t get across string
Too loud or too soft
Not planting either ring or little fingers on the drumhead
- Sync Problems
Left-Right hand sync
Syncing with other instruments
Out of Tune
Doing just enough effort to get by