As of now, it isn’t. For that matter, the instrument is not an easy instrument to learn or master. Even the first time it feels new. Even the first song or chord changes can get you scared. But that’s because a lot of the chords, melodies and rhythms come from the piano, rather than the strings, as they are not yet exposed.
If you do your research a lot, and read a lot of great books (I have found that the books you need are called “Guitar Learning” by Chris Lydon and “Guitar Book of Blues Licks” by Jimmy Johnson) and do lots of practice sessions (as well as, I hope have, some regular practice with the instrument) you will soon be able to play and jam with a sense of ease and confidence.
The first time you learn to play guitar the “easy” way, you have to start somewhere, so I recommend you start with a small repertoire that will get you used to the instrument and gradually work your way towards learning a complete system. It does make the learning process a little more stressful and time consuming, but it’s worth the risk and I recommend taking the first step.
How do you practice your bass? Do you think your technique has improved from playing with your banjo?
Well, to be honest, my banjo skills have always been a bit below the level of my guitar skills. So the only thing that made me aware of my technique improvement was when I started the bass playing training with Jonny Greenwood and had to start learning the bass lines. I think I played pretty well with my banjo, but my practice got so much better. I do like my guitar and can now play what I want in a more controlled way. I’m also trying to learn more about banjo chords and how to get them to sound good.
How has playing with your banjo affected you as a musician?
I think it has helped my music-making-mind, as I learned to listen to the music that I like rather than think about what sounds good for me as a musician. I also used my banjo in a way which allowed me to make more confident and natural guitar parts instead of trying to get that ‘guitar sound’.
So, as a musician, my playing has definitely improved.
Tell us about getting older. If you could, what would you like to improve and what is still working to do?
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