If you want to learn banjo quickly the best way is to engage in “deliberate” practice. Deliberate practice means mindful practice. It means practicing with a specific goal in mind every time we pick up our banjo.
For example, working on straightening out your rhythm on a particular song might be your goal for an upcoming practice session. Learning a new song might be another goal. Have a target to aim for and then follow up on that goal throughout the week.
Deliberate practice means practicing with focused and exacting attention to our playing at ALL times. It means being willing to problem solve if the music we’re making doesn’t match the music we hear in our head (e.g. why does that D7 chord sound a little muffled every time we play it? — Figure it out!).
Deliberate practice does NOT mean practicing while watching TV, carrying on a conversation, listening to talk radio or your favorite podcast. It also does not mean mindlessly doing what you did the day before.
A Banjo Journal can be very helpful. Use it to track the amount of time you practice and WHAT you practiced. Recording this information will help set your target/goal for tomorrow’s practice session.
Commitment to consistent, daily banjo practice is also an important component of any effective practice regimen. Ideally, you should be practicing a minimum of fifteen minutes a day. If you’re able to do more than this, all the better. But as a bare minimum, commit to at least fifteen minutes. (Let’s be honest, fifteen minutes isn’t much to ask in return for the joy of being able to play banjo!)
Regardless of how many minutes a day you’re able to squeeze in, if you’re engaged in deliberate practice every time you pick up your banjo, you’ll see quicker results than you would while practicing during the commercial breaks of your favorite sit-com. We guarantee it.
For some other tips on deliberate banjo practice, go here.
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