From the standpoint of efficiency and effective practice, we should completely avoid rest strokes until our free stroke technique arpeggio technique has been fully and properly ingrained. Because there is so much to keep track of playing any piece, our right hand technique needs to be largely unconscious and automatic. This means that if we are completely focused elsewhere, our right hand technique is just as good in every way as it would be with our full attention. Just as is our walking and talking. Practicing rest strokes before free strokes are mastered weakens and undermines our practice and muscle-habit development, slowing our overall progress.
Until our right hand arpeggio free stroke technique is so ingrained and habitual, our energies are better spent training it.
It undermines our practice and slows down the foundational habit formation that will most benefit us. Free strokes give you everything you need to play virtually any piece you will ever want to play. We can always come back and learn a new technique, such as rest strokes, when we have a solid foundation to build upon. All this said, many kids have a very hard time with free strokes.
is banjo harder then guitar? - Discussion Forums - Banjo Hangout
For very young students, rest strokes can allow for noticeable progress and motivation. The danger lies a couple of years down the road. The rest stroke hand positions become habit, and their arpeggios suffer both in tone, and by excess muting of strings. So start young children on rest strokes, but get them actively practicing free stroke arpeggio technique as soon as possible. When we practice carelessly, we not only waste time, but also get inconsistent and unfavorable results. We can continue to practice our arpeggio technique, as well as free stroke scales, while also introducing rest strokes.
The key is to keep the practices separate. When we practice rest strokes, we can give rest stroke technique our full attention. We can focus exclusively on the quality of movements, and eliminate any other distractions such as free strokes, rasgueados , or harmonics.
Just as we build complexity bit by bit with arpeggio technique, we can steadily increase the demands of free strokes. We practice the basic movements, switching strings, and transitioning back and forth between rest and free strokes. Over time, we will have studied many circumstances of using rest strokes, and switching between rest and free strokes.
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Then we can begin incorporating the two strokes into anything we play as the pros do. Free stroke technique is essential to classical guitar, so master that first. Until you have completely mastered free stroke arpeggio technique, avoid using any rest strokes. Rest strokes and free strokes use different hand positions and movements, and blending them too early in your progress can wreak havoc on your foundational muscle habits.
If you want to play classical guitar its harder. Folk or bluegrass guitar is easier. I find the guitar harder to fret than the banjo but the banjo is more satisfying. If you are singing the guitar is easier and the banjo less so because of having to decide as you go along what chords, licks, etc. They are both different instruments with pros and cons.
They are both equaly hard to master.
It's probably easier to learn a little guitar and sound ok than to learn a little Scruggs style banjo and sound ok. Actually, most of them are not for bluegrass. But I would be willing to cut my estimate in half and say that the guitar is only 25 times harder than the banjo. Originally posted by Richard Dress Here's a way one might estimate the answer: I guess that depends on your definition of what makes a "good rhythm guitar player".
If you mean for a good quality band, in our area there may be more good banjo players than "good" rhythm guitar players, but it's pretty close, certainly nowhere near 50 to 1, but then I don't play rhythm guitar, so maybe I'm missing something. On the other hand, if you're talking about bluegrass jams, in our area No. It's all a little vague. Let me try to be more specific.
It's been my experience after going to a lot of jams for many years that about one out of every fifty guitar players is a 'good rhythm guitar player'. I can't be exact, but I like the number 50 today Looking again at the same bunch, I would say that there would be here I would like to say 50 again but that's really stretching it about 10 banjo players that would rate a BHO 5-star score.
So now I have talked myself down to 10 to 1. But that is still heavily in favor of the guitar as being the most difficult. You could also look at it this way I know what you mean Richard, but maybe more people pick up guitar because it's a little easier to get started. If you don't have any rhythm, it shows on whatever instrument you play. Now, before anybody jumps all over me, I started out on guitar myself I've seen a lot of rhythmically challenged people at jams on just about any instrument.
I seem to keep running across bass players with no rhythm. I played once with a "classically trained" bassist who looked down his nose at bluegrass and then couldn't keep time to save his life. That changed my opinion about the bass being easy. From a technical standpoint I think the guitar is easier, but the banjo is so much more fun that I am willing to put in a lot more time practicing.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. The first instrument you do seriously is the hardest.
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From tehn on you have advantages that speed you through a lot of the boring part. The closer your first instrument is to your next ie guitar to banjo instead of trumpet to guitar the easier the transition. There is the "Thumb thing" between banjo and guitar which makes that a more difficuly corssover to some, but think about the fretting thing between mandolin and guitar and you realise tehr are always going to be new things to learn.
I play both Banjo and guitar and I tend to lean that the Banjo is harder to learn and play than the guitar, the Banjo has more going on and more things to do to make the overall music sound better as far as playing back-up and the fill in's or kick-off's, while the guitar has it's momnets of stardum it mainly plays rythmn with a hit here and there.
Plus I think it depends on how much you put into it also, I know I put more into my Banjo than I do my guitar. I was just reading a biography of Jerry Garcia the other week with particular interest in his time learning banjo. He originally wanted to be a bluegrass banjo player and for many years he would practice five to eight hours a day as well as play in several bands in the evenings. At a certain point he and a few friends formed a band called The Warlocks, the predecessor to the the Grateful Dead. He decided to play guitar iand felt thereafter like a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
He said in an interview that Scruggs had set the standard for musicianship inaccessably high on the banjo and that the intricacy, speed, and precision required in the style had taxed him enormously. Now my banjo is my best friend, and I'd never give it up for a different instrument, but in my own experience, I find that just about every instrument I play is easier to play than the banjo, whether it's guitar, mandolin, harmonica, dobro, or penny whistle. It's not that any of those can't be as difficult My guess is that Flamenco or Classical guitar be be every bit as difficult, and so can Travis picking.
Within the first few songs you do, you have to do numerous pull-offs, slides, and hammer-ons while playing eight notes a measure. I can pick up a mandolin, figure out a scale and play She'll be Coming Around the Mountain in a bare bones melody in a matter of minutes and it sounds ok. But you can't get away with playing a bare bones melody on the banjo for it to sound right.
Why You Should Avoid Rest Strokes on Classical Guitar (for now)
There's fifty notes on the version on the mandolin and a on the banjo. And Banjos are loud; there's no hiding a mistake. I am asked this question frequently in the store. After the usual disclaimers "Everyone is different. I tell folks that I believe it's easier to learn to play the banjo than the guitar: I take a banjo off the wall and have them strum across an open G chord, and I then explain that they are now "playing" the banjo--the question is "How good would you like to become?
Few people make headway if they don't truly enjoy the instrument and the learning process. However, I also am quick to point out that if they really want to learn to play the guitar, that's the instrument they should be working on, and vice versa. I think this is really the key. We had an acoustic guitar around the house when I was growing up and I never really bothered to learn it -- didn't really care, I guess. I always hesitated at the thought when I realized that you couldn't make much of a recognizable chord without fretting it. As soon as I figured out the banjo produced chords without much, if any, left-hand involvement, I became curious enough to want to learn how to play it.
Of course, becoming good at it is a whole 'nother story, but I DO enjoy it! So far, no one has made me change my position that guitar is harder. Though RICH and sjyokel, among others, have come up with some good ideas. I realize that we haven't agreed on what we mean by 'Guitar' and 'Banjo'.
Here is another try at definition: Looking at the bluegrass population jams, local live, festivals, I've actually been learning both over the past year or so -- I spent about an hour a night on both -- and I'd say that the banjo is a bit harder I find the banjo to be more interesting as a beginner because there are tons of simple songs that are fun to play, sound good, and make you feel like you're really accomplishing something. When you hit an open string, the string is bending down at the bridge and at the nut you can see this for yourself and therefore making a particular length of string for that note.
When we fret notes on the guitar, the string is still being bent down at the bridge, but is now being bent at the desired fret as opposed to the nut, therefore shortening the string and making a higher note. Again, your finger placement will eventually become instinctual, but take the time to really nail it now before you develop some bad habits. Often times, people immediately assume this is from them not pressing hard enough. Sometimes, this is indeed the case, but more often, the string is actually not being allowed to vibrate and therefore make a beautiful sound because one of the fingers in your chord shape is touching it.
An easy way to tell is if you take a finger off from your chord shape and all of a sudden that problem note sounds just fine. This again, can be very tricky, and will take some time, but experiment with your fingers and where your thumb is to get a nice curve in those fingers. There are plenty of things that we can talk about, but these are definitely the most common technical problems I see as a guitar teacher. Guitar is no different. Mike Lowden has been playing the guitar for as long as he can remember, and enjoys playing every type of music that he can get his hands on.
Now the guitar instructor and co-owner of Falls Music School, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, his mission is not only to teach music students at the school, but also through online content. I usually went through these mistakes while I was a beginner. Yay, keep me informed!
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