Taking My First Banjo Lesson

My first lesson with the banjo was not a success. It was actually a disaster. It wasn’t my first lesson with a banjo. I actually had been taking online lessons for quite some time and thought I knew what I was doing. A website that had videos of a dude strumming and plucking was available for download. There were also tabs you could use to follow along. My first lesson on the banjo was online months ago. I felt like I had made some progress, even though I was lazy about it all. I only learned the songs and techniques I was interested in and then mailed it in.

I was so close to giving up on that banjo lesson. I was able to get there and wanted to be proud. He looked at me like a dufus and I didn’t know a single chord. This is my first instrument and it’s also the first time I have ever played in front strangers. It was easy enough for me. I have never been shy or had any problems speaking in public to large groups of people, so it shouldn’t be difficult for me to learn the banjo with just my instructor. It should have been simple. Wrong. It was terrible.

What I don’t get is how I will ever learn anything from my lessons on banjo if I can’t even find the nerve to play in front of my teacher. He is kind, understanding, and, besides, a talented banjo player. I was able to use some of his great exercises during lessons and put them into practice for my next lesson. It was very helpful. You can learn so much from being able to study and closely observe a talented musician. Will I be any different or will my banjo sound better?

How will he know if my performance isn’t up to his standards? How will I know if I have learned any lessons from the banjo? Are I really making any progress? It’s hard to get feedback when I don’t have the opportunity to play in front my teacher. To play back to my teacher, I have decided to record my playing. It might initially be hard to play the banjo, knowing I am recording it to demonstrate my progress at my next lesson. But it will get easier. I hope.