Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Bluegrass meets gypsy jazz - FMB

Deciding to record a song increases your dedicated practice time tremendously!
Foggy Mountain Breakdown is one of the coolest tunes I know, but I never focussed enough to learn it, so when my boyfried, who is mainly a gypsy jazz musician, proposed to record our own version of it, that was the moment I had to stick with it.

Here is the result of our FMB bluegrass / gypsy-jazz fusion.


Special thanks to Ben for the tab of this tune and all the great lessons here, I’ve learned so much since I became a lifetime member!

I must be honest jacqy,

When I saw your title “Bluegrass meets gypsy jazz - FMB” I wasn’t one bit interested in taking a listen. But then I thought, no, you were kind enough and thoughtful enough to go to the trouble of first, making the music and second, posting it for us that I owe it to you as a lifetime member to at least check it out. And I’m sure glad I did!!!

That was incredible and very well done. You both are a great talent and compliment each other quite well. Thanks for teaching me a lesson on closed-mindedness. :blush: :blush: :blush:

I loved it, great job! Feel free to post more of your playing. Nice speed and timing on that too btw.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

captured the melody for sure, and well done good job and thank you for posting.

JW, thanks for your honesty! I am really glad that you shared all the thoughts you had while seeing the post and that you decided to listen.

As we have both bluegrass and gypsy jazz all through our lives, I tend to forget that there is such a big separation between the two worlds. In my view the two styles have a lot in common, though perhaps not the musical theoretical basis, but the strong instrumental skills they both require, the basis of improvisation and the jamming that comes with it gives them a similar ‘vibe’. It is great to see that both styles get more attention as bluegrass is expanding in Europe (I try to do my share, but we still need MORE banjo’s here!) and gypsy jazz grows in the US.

I don’t want to start any discussion on similarities/differences between styles here, because they both are unique on their own and in the end you like a sound or not and I’m glad that you liked it :slight_smile: !

Thanks again for your thoughts! Next time I will share an all-bluegrass tune…

Welder, thanks for your response. One should never change the original melody I would say, especially not in this song!

I like it alot! Nice job by both of you. I like the sound of those three instruments together. Kudos to your boyfriend for breaking out a Tony Rice ending and a “Yee Haw” grin to end it. That was a nice touch and gave me an out-loud chuckle.

I liked it a lot; I think I’ll listen again! I don’t know anything about gypsy jazz, but I know what I like and I like this.

Thanks for the positive feedback.

Mike, I agree the instruments work well together, especially the fills that the lead guitar plays behind the banjo I find really cool (almost as cool as the grin at the end, love that most in this vid haha!)

Tres fort, le duet du hotgrass d’hague!

— Begin quote from "jacqy79"

Thanks again for your thoughts! Next time I will share an all-bluegrass tune…

— End quote

You’re very welcome Jacqueline, and I too am glad I decided to listen, and watch!

Looking forward to the next one.

Wish I had that right hand technique at my disposal on guitar. I’m afraid to stop alternate picking to try it.

Hi Larry,
As a banjo and rhythm guitar player only, I shared your comment with the guitarist. He told me it is safe to try the ‘gypsy-picking’ as the hand position is completely different so it should not intrude with your alternate picking.

Good to know! I might get brave enough to devote some time to it eventually.