Brendon writes,

Your no-fail beginning video is awesome. When I do the accompany roll along w/ the 2 and 3 chord medleys my right hand tends to cramp or become tired. Is this normal? What warm up exercises can you recommend and for how long should I do them for? I currently practice for a half an hour a day and would like to work up to at least two half hour practices per day.



Dear Brendon,

I’m very glad to hear the video is helping. The cramping and tiring is pretty normal at first, but you should check whether your hand is positioned uncomfortably, or is tense in any way. That could be affecting it. Experiment a little to see if it works better with a bit of relaxation, or slightly different hand position. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of the muscles that control the fingers getting stronger, which comes naturally with time. I don’t know what to suggest as warmup exercises, as the rolls you’re doing are what some people do as a warmup. Try doing them a little more slowly at first, without the video running. I’d say just a few minutes of that, and then try playing with the tape. It should get easier in time.

Best of luck with learning the banjo!

Pete Wernick