Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

A few tunes from our sets

We hadn’t recorded ever with my son so, a cheap camcorder and three cheap instruments later… :wink:






I enjoyed them all . she has a wonderful voice . Very blessed . good job on them all . you are fortunate to have family into music .

I love your all’s version of Norwegian Wood. Great job with the harmonies. I think the dulcimer would work for that as well (in a normal tuning it’s married to D). That would be a good song for my wife on mando, it looks like it would be fun to play and sing.

I forgot to thank you I know making these videos takes time and effort I appreciate it very much I really enjoyed hearing a family play together .

No thanks necessary… my son has been on me to make a recording for some time. This was actually much easier than I imagined it might be; set up the camcorder and turn it on. The hardest thing is that we are in the middle of moving so I had to move lots of boxes out of the room so that we could record and play. :blush:

It’s a funny thing about playing with these two, we gave my son lots of the singing leads cause he is the best looking of the three of us (young and cute and all that), and Sara has this angelic voice that really shines in nearly any musical situation. Even though I do all the arranging, teaching of the tunes and directing the tunes during performances, I tend to be “just the guitar player”. :wink:

Well, I didn’t get into this because I wanted to be famous…

… or wealthy …

… or well rested …

… or even well liked …

… … … …

… why did I get into this??? :laughing:

Love these drguitar! You guys are great together! Nice pickin’ in there too.

Angel Band is one of my favorite gospel songs.

That was a great surprise on the forum, loved them all…Jerry

Thanks guys! We are in the middle of moving at this point. Today we finished painting at the house and moved three loads (each the size of a packed landscaping trailer).

The past week, we needed to repair the damage our renters had done to the house over the past year. In one year they had broken two window, punched holes in two bedroom doors, put several holes on the walls, removed and lost all the door knobs on the bedrooms, and left so many marks on the walls and floors that the entire house needed painting (even though we had just painted the house one year ago) and all the commercial tile floors needed repair, striping and refinishing.

So, 5 days of hard work later, we are just starting to move our stuff back into the house. Thursday the movers are coming to move the big stuff (mostly furniture). We like to move all the small stuff ourselves (electronics, instruments, lamps, computers, nicknacks, pictures, clothes, PA systems, tools, kitchen stuff…etc). Tomorrow, most of the rest of the small items should be over to the house.

This is an exciting move for us. We bought this house back in 1995 and are just 3 years from having it paid off. It was a serious “fixer upper” when we purchased it (fist sized holes in the roof, water damage everywhere, no heating system, no working plumbing, poorly wired, 26 broken windows…etc). After 8 years of working on the house (while living there) I had the place 85% finished. About 2 years ago I finished the last 15% and ended up with a place that looks like this:

What you cannot see are the two sound proof studios I built in the basement (actually sound proof), along with the complete rewire, new plumbing and new heating system in the house. I also installed 2 central air conditioner units (one for the first floor and the studios and one for the second floor bedrooms and baths). That way you are not using a large central air conditioner when you need to cool just the first floor or the second (cheaper in the long run). Each unit incorporates a whole house air filtration system for those folks with allergies (like my wife, son and I). It is a nice house in a great location (2.5 blocks from the train to center city Philly “30 minutes on the train”), dead end quiet street, township park just across the street and wooded area behind us.

Best of all, we get to move back into it. We have never gotten to enjoy the work I did on it since we needed to move to our job (boarding teachers at a boarding school) just a couple of months after I had finished building a back deck and many of the previous repairs. I am especially looking forward to using the Jacuzzi tub (whirlpool tub) that I built into the master bathroom.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I am bragging, I’m not. I am just excited to get to enjoy some of the fruits of my labors (I have quite a few scars on my hands from the work I did on this house over the past 20 years). We bought this house cheap and lived in it one room at a time as I repaired it (we slept in the dining room for over a year when we first moved in). I have nearly endless horror (albeit funny) stories about the work we did on this house including the time I was up on a step latter sistering floor joists (to strengthen the floor capacity for a 2 floor bedroom) and stood a bit too high on the latter impaling my skull with a nail sticking down through the floor above. My wife inquired at the squish/crunch sound, “What was that noise?”, “Hold the ladder honey, I need to pull my head down away from the ceiling…” :open_mouth: Or the time during demolition of a room I was on a ladder and stepped down hard onto a nail that drove completely through my boot and out the top. My wife turned green as I asked her to hand me the hammer so I could pry it out from the bottom of boot so that I could get my foot out of the boot. :astonished:

So the sharing of the pictures is more about me living through the experience and being able to laugh at the memory of seeing bone in the back of my hand as I slammed my hand on a piece of raw vent system metal. :laughing:

Back in 1995, the bank we were trying to secure a loan from had us jumping through hoops for nearly a year to purchase this house. At one point, the loan officer commented to me that they had only one other “self-employed” musician couple that had ever tried to get a home loan through them (about 9 years earlier). I asked, “How did they do?”. His reply… “They failed.”

This is an exciting time for us.

First off, you aren’t bragging, you are sharing a happy time and that’s a great thing. That’s a beautiful house, you all did a great job. Sorry that the renters did so much damage in such a short time. That has got to be a terrible feeling. But thankfully, you already knew how to fix it, so it was just a matter of getting to work on it. I look forward to seeing pictures of the studios. Congratulations!

Really nice!!!
Thanks for sharing. …

— Begin quote from "drguitar"

We hadn’t recorded ever with my son so, a cheap camcorder and three cheap instruments later… :wink:

— End quote

It’s great to see families play music together. It is like having a whole other vocabulary to use with each other. That is why I love music so much, and pity people that don’t have it in there lives. Being able to play music with friends, family and strangers immediately opens up that barrier that we all instinctively have, and allows us to connect in a special way.

I definitely realize how lucky I am. :blush:

Here are just a few more as it has been so quiet around here lately…





Great stuff. I like it.

You guys sound really good together. I can’t believe the bass your wife is getting out of that…whatever it is. Can you fill me in on that?

Yep. The bass is a Kala Acacia Ubass. It is essentially a baritone ukulele with thick polyurethane strings. The strings have the right combination of mass and flexibility to vibrate at about 1/2 the speed of a steel string of the same short scale. In other words the strings play an octave down from what a steel string bass of the same scale length would play. It is tuned just like an electric bass guitar.

It is a fretted bass with a solid Acacia top, sides, and back. It has a rosewood fingerboard and bridge with a passive piezo pickup manufactured by Shadow of Germany. It is very lightweight and extremely easy to play (the strings press down with practically no resistance). The strings have a short decay (more like an upright than an electric bass) and have a decent thump and growl to them.

I think you can still purchase the spruce top version of this bass for under $300, just be sure to get the one with frets as the fretless ones are difficult to play in tune (with such a short scale).

One last thing. The pickup system in this is okay, however it sounds much better through a bass DI box like the $29 Beringer BDI21.

Thanks for the detailed info. Learn something new every day on the forum!I did notice the short decay which I seem to appreciate.