I've been making noise with my banjo, and getting mad that my fingers aren't strong enough - and then finding that my guitar has improved bodaciously because my fingers are stretchier and stronger due to my banjo. I can play F# and C# on the guitar at speed easily now! Ha! I'm cross training or some such nonsense.
Retuned the banjo to Irish tenor banjo: G-D-A-E, which means I had to re-learn fingering for tune playing, but that I could play tunes that had notes below middle C. Melodies are recognizable, and brighter in tone than they were before.
Chords seem marginally easier to play - that is to say, they sound more musical, anyway. But the banjo is not used to the new tuning and is being quite stubborn about keeping it. (Maybe I need Irish tenor strings? Are there such differences?)braider
- (if you're reading this) could you tell me in which way you tune your banjo, so that before I get too far with my banging about, I can choose a style that you can give me tips on? And get myself books to try to teach myself something in that style? I find myself imagining that a musician in an Irish band might have Irish tenor tuning. (Like mandolins.)
It remains amazing to me that something I'm finding so blasted difficult remains so motivating, even under the most crawling of progress. I am also amazed that my family (including pitch-perfect Sparkle) have not yet really complained about my new annoying habit.
Still, it may be a good long while before I pull out Burton's Banjo in public. (It only took ten years for me to play my guitar in filk in front of other people. Maybe I can make my banjo debut earlier - like by 2015.) It sure isn't collecting dust.