This is a public version of the members-only Banjo with Tony Trischka, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Banjo with Tony Trischka.
Join Now

Level 1: Beginner
 ≡ 
Level 2: Intermediate
 ≡ 
Level 3: Advanced
 ≡ 
Old Time Fingerpicking
 ≡ 
Classic Style Banjo
 ≡ 
Clawhammer
 ≡ 
Celtic Tunes
 ≡ 
30 Day Challenge
 ≡ 
+Music
 ≡ 
Video Exchange Archive
 ≡ 
«Prev of Next»

Banjo Lessons: Working on Speed

Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Resources () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Music Theory
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Close
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Banjo

This video lesson is available only to members of
Banjo with Tony Trischka.

Join Now

information below Close
Information
 ≡ 
Course Description
 ≡ 

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Banjo with Tony Trischka. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Banjo Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
X
Log In
X
[MUSIC]
One
thing that may have attracted you to
bluegrass banjo in the first place
is the speed of the playing.
[MUSIC]
Well,
you may not be playing quite that fast
yet.
But one thing that can really help you
build up speed.
Well there are a couple of things.
If you're playing with people, sometimes
just having someone outside of you
playing a fast guitar thing can help you
build up, just to keep up with it.
Usually, you usually need something
outside yourself
if you've kind of hit the wall in terms of
your speed.
You'll need something outside yourself to
bring you to the next level.
If you don't have people to play with,
you can sometimes play along with the
recording.
And I've experienced this myself
sometimes.
Just, if I wanna try to play really fast,
I'll take some recording from,
you know, Flatt and Scruggs, from early on
or Bill Monroe from the 40's or something.
And, and just use that as the thing to
push me to keep the speed up.
But a metronome is or, or a drum machine,
is a really excellent way to do this.
And I had one student in particular, that
I remember,
from the beginning to the end of the
lesson, I was able to double his speed.
Or he was able to double his own speed, I
didn't do it for him,
but basically I said, let's find out the
speed that you're playing it at, and
I set the tempo on the metronome at that.
And in this case we're at 132, and let's
say we're doing two notes per click.
[MUSIC]
Sorry.
[MUSIC]
Bring this down just a little
bit actually.
[NOISE] Let's bring it to 100.
And he was starting somewhere around 100.
Let's say he was playing Boiling Cabbage
Down.
[MUSIC]
And
he was just kind of stuck at that speed.
So I said okay, let's just move it up one
click.
Literally one click to 104 on, in the case
of this metronome.
[MUSIC]
And just continue doing that,
literally one click at a time.
Whoops.
[MUSIC]
I'm
not gonna take the time to go through
every click but by the end of the lesson,
basically he had doubled his speed.
So sometimes you need something outside
yourself to push you.
Cuz speed is definitely something you
wanna be able to get to to do.
And one, one little tip is as you're
playing really fast-
[MUSIC]
There's a tendency to wanna
just tense up your hand because you're
playing so hard.
But actually, the opposite is what you
should be doing is relaxing your hand.
Cuz by tensing up that impairs your
ability to play quickly.
So, even though it's counterintuitive, the
faster and
harder you play it's nice if you can relax
your hand.
[MUSIC]
And there are contests.
You can go to the internet and check out
YouTube and
they have people who claim to be the
fastest banjo players alive and,
and they're in the Guinness World Book of
Records.
Something you might want to consider.
See if you can beat out whoever's in
there.
Okay.
[MUSIC]