We’ve written before about Bennett Sullivan, a banjo player plying his trade in New York City, and his fine album of new banjo tunes, Lady Nora.
In addition to performing in and around the Big Apple, Bennett is also a successful instructor with a unique method for helping five stringers improve their skills. He offers lessons in person and via Skype, and welcomes new students, but it is his Practice Strategy Checklist that has been especially beneficial to beginner and intermediate banjo pickers.
As a long-time banjo instructor myself, I know that having your head in the right place is as important as anything you might do with your fingers. Especially for new players, some of the most crucial aspects of getting over humps can seem counterintuitive, and the frustration of trying something completely new can really dishearten adult learners.
Sullivan’s package includes tabs, videos, play-along tracks plus a booklet with his 6 steps to more effective practice time, a list of essential recordings every banjo player must hear, tips on improvising, and the all-important checklist to keep you on track. His overall strategy is to teach you to become your own instructor, rather than walk you through songs and tunes.