As a banjo teacher for over 20 years, I’ve heard it all from students who come back lesson after lesson without touching their instrument. Here are some of the most sorry excuses:
1. I couldn’t remember how to tune it.
Have you ever heard of “Google”? I understand if you have just started and couldn’t remember how to tune your banjo, but all it takes is for you to Google “How To Tune A Banjo” to learn how.
2. I lost my picks.
Hello… try playing without them. Yes, it might be harder for you to play if you are used to playing with picks, but it shouldn’t stop you. Take it on as an opportunity to try playing without them.
3. I’m too busy.
This is the most overused one out there. We are all busy. Just take 10 minutes out of your day to practice. You probably had time to watch an hour of your favorite t.v. show. Well… practice during the commercials.
4. My wife/husband/roomates etc. complain it is too loud.
You can always mute the banjo with one of our mutes or by stuffing a towel or shirt in the back of the banjo. If that is still too much - go outside where no people are. I know a trumpet player who used to practice in his car in shopping mall parking lots after they have closed. Just this past weekend I saw a girl practicing outside by the Mississippi River and ran across someone else practicing by Lake Ponchartrain.
5. I forgot what we did in our lesson.
If you forgot what you just learned in your lesson then at least practice what you already know. Buy a book and you’ll always have something to practice.
6. I don’t know what to practice
I see people with books and books of learning materials but they say they don’t know what to practice or where to start. Here’s a hint… take one of your books and start on page 1.
7. I broke a string and didn’t know how to fix it.
Fixing a broken string is very easy. Go here to learn step by step how to change your strings. http://www.deeringbanjos.com/blogs/banjo-maintenance-tips/9569487-how-to-change-your-banjo-strings
You should always have an extra pack or two of strings lying around just in case you break one. Buy some banjo strings here.
Let us know some of the other sorry excuses you have heard or some that you have used for not practicing banjo more often.
This was originally posted on the Deering banjo website, but we decided it'd be good to show here as well in order to help people learn how to buy a banjo.
Of all the questions we receive about banjos, this has to be one of the most common. We will keep this explanation very short but if you have any further questions, send them to us and we’ll answer all of your questions.
So, by popular demand, here is our answer.