Playing the Melody on Banjo
A question on how to learn to pick out the melody notes.
So you have any suggestions that would help me learn how to just pick the melody notes out when learning a tune or is it just learn the notes on the fret board?
Try working in chapter 13 in the Banjo Encyclopedia, take out a flat pick and try to play just the melody of When the Saints go Marching In and Red River Valley,.. using the metronome too. After that try picking around a little one note at a time on the fret board and explore what you hear, see and feel. and try to figure out some things at the same time too.
I can't pick out mary had a little lamb without help ( too tab dependent) ?
Nothing wrong with memorizing tab, staring at it and never playing without it will hurt your overall progress though.
If you feel that your ear is a little underdeveloped, there are a lot of music ear training things out there, it is normal part of music training, ear training is, and it can be learned, anything you learn with regard to that will help and be an improvement for you.
Or will it just come natural later ?
It did for me, singing out the melody is the way to do it, even if you don't feel like you sing good. if you can sing it, you can play it, as the saying goes.
My ear has gotten a lot better over the years, but rhythm is still more my strong point, that works good for banjo pickers too.
Hope that advice gives you something to go on.
Keep picking, you'll work it out, just takes time,