Learning to play the banjo can be a challenge, but it becomes easier once you master the basics. At a point during your musical journey you’ll begin to recognize picking patterns you’ve used before, and you’ll keep building on the skills you’ve developed. Here’s some useful tips that may help improve your speed and playing. Use this guide to help you become a better musician each and every time you pick up your instrument. Maintain Your Instrument Properly The state of your instrument is very important if you want to get faster and develop your skills. To start, you need a quality instrument that’s easy to play. If you don’t have one, you can still improve, but you should invest in an instrument that’s worthy of your skill level. If your banjo isn’t calling you to practice, you should be calling us! To keep your instrument in the best shape, you’ll want to install fresh strings regularly – at least every two to three months. And wipe your fretboard with a clean cloth after each practice to make the strings last longer. You’ll also want to check bridge placement and intonation to make sure your instrument can be properly tuned and sounds the correct notes. A professional setup is a must if you plan to be a long-term player. A good banjo tech who is also a good player should know how to get the optimum sound from your banjo, and make it easy to play. Practice Every Single Day It sounds obvious, but practicing each day is something you need to do in order to get better and faster. It can be hard to block out time each day if you’re not a pro, but it’s something you absolutely must do. Do your best to schedule that time, so you don’t have to skip it. Put it on your calendar and stick to it – at least 30 to 60 minutes per day. Practice Properly Getting faster isn’t about just playing more – it’s about playing right. When you’re practicing songs that are new to you, pick with a metronome and slow the tempo. Accuracy is far more important than speed. Speed will come later, naturally. You’ll also want to keep working on basics like rolls: forward, backward and alternating, for example. A few minutes each day will make a big difference when you begin meeting with other musicians to jam. And that’s what makes it exciting! Contact us at Banjo.com for more tips to help improve speed and playing this year. We can also help with all of your instrument, accessory and training needs.