Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Blue Railroad Train

Figured I’d link this video to here in the “Give Me a Break” section. It is not mine, but wish it was around when I learned this break 2 years ago.

I’ve seen Eric’s stuff before on Youtube and always take the time to watch his videos…he does a good job on this break and explaining some of the licks.

If you are thinking of starting on a “Blue Railroad Train” break and do it like Tony Rice does it then this will help you out:


Now I want to learn this song even though my plate’s already full. I’ll put it on my wish list.

It’s a fun break Larry! You gotta learn it. This break and the break Shawn showed us from “You Don’t Know My Mind” are about as “fun as it gets” for me.

For those interested in “Blue Railroad Train” here is a Tabledit file of the way I learned it. Is slightly different than what the video shows above. With both the video and the tef file to reference one should be able to work through this and pick which parts they want from each and come up with a nice break.

Definately alot of good stuff in that video! I see quite a few new tricks to learn. Nice!

[attachment=0]BRT.mp3[/attachment] Nice video I can learn a lot from that and here is the way II play it a little slow but hey I am slow.

Sounding good, welder.

I just started working on this one and found Tony’s version is a little low for my voice so I attempted to transpose his break to the G position.

[attachment=0]Blue Railroad Train G.tef[/attachment]

I got to learn this one you put up now Dang thought I was done except for a few places dang! It is good to know more than one way to play it or any tune. I play it more like Watson did than Rice, Rice is about the best flat picker I ever heard he is really good and knows his music theory also . I am very glad to hear these young ones learning the flat picking, it would be a lost art other wise . Mamma don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys instead let them learn to play the guitar or banjo or mando anything to do with Bluegrass. YEAH!

Looks good Larry. There’s some nice licks in there and some things that will be different for me (from what I have played before). I might need to water down the end of measure 17 through 18. I don’t think I would be able to get from the first fret to the 12th fret in a half beat, and coming back down would be more doable, but I’m not sure I’d get to speed on it.
Thanks for posting it!

Yeah, that big 11 fret jump perplexes me, but I couldn’t figure out good way to do it and stay true to Tony’s version. I’m still practicing at intermediate speeds so I haven’t been forced to deal with it yet, but I’ll have to come up with an alternative eventually. I’ll probably wind up modifying measure 16 and the first part of 17 so as to give me a head start at working up the neck.

Here’s one solution. I just lowered the notes up the neck down an octave. Not so flashy, but much easier to pull off.

[attachment=0]Blue Railroad Train G v.2.tef[/attachment]

That is easier taking it down an octave. I like it.

I had played around a bit with it and came up with the following for the 17th measure on. I am not sure I didn’t mangle some of the notes. I can’t play it anywhere near speed so I have no idea if it’s reasonable.
[attachment=0]BRT 17.tef[/attachment]

Yeah, that’s it! I knew it was there somewhere. Thanks.

That whole break is out of my normal comfort zone. I suspect that means it will be good for me to work on. :smiley: I think it’s the phrasing that gets me. There are some neat licks in there. Thanks again for posting it.

It’s out of my comfort zone too. I think because it is so syncopated.