Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Before I sign up

Here are the questions that I have

  1. Do many of your lessons depend on playin hymns?
  2. I have arthritis in my hand, so it becomes necessary to fudge some IOC the fingering. Would that create problems enough to impede my learning?
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Hi Jgottlob1:

  1. Lessons are varied across the bluegrass spectrum. I don’t think that hymns make up a disproportionate amount of the material.
  2. I have dupuytrens contracture, which also requires a little fudging, but so what? It’s still a lot of fun. Do what you can do.

Good luck,



I don’t understand your first question…

As for your arthritis, do whatever it takes to play and have fun. You will learn a ton. Just don’t take everything too literal. Use Ben’s lessons as guidelines and then work things out to what suits you the best. Ben is a brilliant teacher and a great guy, you will definitely get a lot from signing up and many folks will back me up on this.

You will also get good help here on the forum with about anything going on in your life as well as prayers if you’d like.

BTW, Django Reinhart worked out his finger issues quite well. I hope your arthritis gets better and doesn’t keep you from playing.



Hi Jake, Welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum.

Yes a lot of Ben’s lessons are gospel tunes but there are other tunes in the syllabus. I think in may ways it’s easier to learn the physical mechanics of playing banjo when a tune is familiar and many gospel tunes are already in our memory.

As for your arthritis, I regret I have no medical background to offer advice. On cold days I start my practice by washing my hands in warm soapy water. It feels good and seems to get the blood circulating and the finger joints more flexible.

As you say playing banjo is a lot of fun, so long as you get enjoyment out of your experience why not give it a try, just be careful not to do anything that may cause injury. I would also encourage you to have a chat with your doctor and seek his/her advice.

We have a saying here in Scotland. Ye might as well be happy whilst your living fur yer a lang time deid

Welcome to the forum, @jgottlob1!

I’d say one out of 20? You can see how many hymn lessons I have by filtering by that collection on the left margin of the lesson page.

There are lots of good answers here and I would agree with them. Take my instruction and try to follow it, but remember that I’m always here to ask questions about how vital something is. I’d be honored to have you on board!

Thanks to all that answered my inquiry.
I decided that I am going to sign up this coming week.


Great decision :checkered_flag::checkered_flag::checkered_flag:


Welcome to the forum!
You will find a variety of songs to choose from. I highly recommend following through the learning tracks. I had played piano starting in 1st grade…I think, that was a long time ago! Then played clarinet in Jr and dr high. I still reviewed, some skimming, the theory and am very happy I did. I learned some new things and was a wonderful reminder.
The later songs in the tracks are built on things learned on earlier songs. I admit that I have skipped around a bit and that it would have been easier to go in order. I’m not generally one for too much order though :wink:
There is a great group of folks to share ideas with on the forum. Very nonjudgemental and safe for sharing videos. Ben will give advice as well.
Best wishes


My pick hand thumb hurts some days to the point I can’t hold a flat pick. I slide on a thumb pick and keep playing. Like the others say, do what you can do. I have enjoyed everything about the Banjo Ben adventure.

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