Beginners are often not made aware of group intricacies early enough in the learning process.
I have actually received students that took lessons from other instructors that have been playing almost a year and do not know any chords. Their instructor only concentrated on the lead aspect of playing. A banjo solo only takes place like 15% of the time, the majority of the time you are either backing up a singer or another instrument.
So let's examine the skills you need in order to "play well with others."
-Know the proper Volume level
-Ability to play chords in a variety of positions up and down the instrument
-A common repertoire (this is why learning tunes is important). If you don't know tunes then you can't play them in the beginning stages
You will also need what I refer to as multi-dimensional hearing. In one case you'll need to listen to yourself to make sure you are playing the right thing in right time. On the other hand, you'll need to listen to those around you to make sure you are locked in time with them.
MORE TO COME