Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Ballad of St. Anne's Reel: singing with rolling backup

This song made me a singer. And, it helped me learn to sing and play banjo at the same time.
The first two solos I made up, the last one is @BanjoBen’s advanced solo


There’s no stoppin you now Gunnar!!!


Not only did I not realize there were words to this… wow, there’s a whole lotta words! Leave it to you to pick a very wordy song to be your 1st picking and singing song! And on the banjo no doubt out of all your instruments! Well done! :grin:


So what exactly are you playing whilst singing? Is it rolls over chords or licks ? If licks which ones ?

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You had me at “He”! Wadda fine job! I especially enjoyed your singing. You tell the story in fine style and your accent only adds to the Gunnar mystique. Your use of dynamics on your instrument behind your voice is a skill that takes years for most people to develop. As usual, your banjo playing is flawless and picturesque. It’s going to be a real treat to see you perform live.

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Great job!!! I am still working on rolls and singing, it really messes up my timing.


Your singing kind of reminds me of a bass player who was in our bluegrass club, Owen Pierce. the only song he would sing was One Piece at a Time by Johnny Cash.


First of all, I was stretched out in my big comfy leather recliner and my computer was on the couch just out of reach. It was hooked up to my TV though and my mouse was on the table next to me, I was looking at other posts and doing replies with just emojis, cause I didn’t have my keyboard and because lazy. It was quite the exercise, you see, picking just the right ones to get my point across, and I was doing fine, til I stumbled upon this post.

Well, obviously just emojis wouldn’t suffice, so I had to get up out of my big comfy leather recliner to grab the laptop. Jeepers Gunnar, you just keep amazing me. I really like your deep voice. I’ve had enough of the high lonesome already, so bring it on man. And of course your picking is great as usual.

Listen, when we’re at camp, remind me to get your autograph. I’m pretty sure it’ll be a good get in the not too distant future. Actually, you won’t have to remind me.


Thanks everyone!

If you watch closely you can probably pick it all out, but it’s basically a single roll I figured out that consists of a quarter note played by the thumb followed by two forward rolls. That’s it, it’s very simple and easy to sing over. Also, I use a G lick occasionally (it’s audible)

Thanks for the whole compliment Billy! I thought the accent fit the tune nicely.

Thanks! That’s a good performance, I’ll have to listen again somewhere quieter to hear all the words. I can do a fair Johnny Cash impression when I want to…

Lol, glad I could contribute to the anti laziness movement…

Thanks! I used to sing it in B for my voice, but I’ve adapted cuz I like the banjo being lower, and it allows me to get away with singing more quietly (I usually sing after everyone’s asleep

Thanks! I didn’t realize it was actually so many lyrics until you mentioned it, it’s a storytelling song, so it’s easy to remember everything. And I’m never one to jump into the shallow end cuz you’ll hit the bottom, so if you wanna jump, the deep end is preferable (and I like jumping…)


Oh, @Archie I forgot to mention, several times instead of picking a quarter note with my thumb, I strummed a quarter note strum with my thumb