Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Christmas Meloday

Greeting to All!
Listen my wife is in charge of the Christmas party for our Sunday school class and because of this she has asked me to play some Christmas songs on the mandolin at the party. I was thinking of just putting together a melody of the songs found on Banjo Ben’s site. Problem - not sure how to go about arranging them for a smooth and easy transition. Has anyone done this and could possibly share what was done? Maybe someone has the tab when they did it. I would ask Ben about doing it but I am sure he is sitting around on some pain meds after the ankle surgery.
Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Hi Mike

If you have TablEdit It’s fairly easy to arrange the TAB into a medley. I have done this with Banjo TABs from different sources so long as it’s all in the same key or you have the knowledge to insert a key change…

Hope this helps.

Howdy Mike! Are you looking for folks to sing along or is this more of a performance?

It’s a performance

Okay, pick out the ones you’re interested in playing and I’ll help you with order and transitions.

I was thinking about Away in the Manger, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Joy to the World, Silent Night, and What Child is This. Basically all the ones you have in the intermediate manolin. Haven’t thought about an order because I didn’t know how to tie them together. Was looking at the “Bag of Licks” for that but just scratched my head. I even thought about playing one - then another and repeating the first or even a line or two - chorus mingled in to tie them. This is why I need help.
I pray your doing alright after your surgery. I know what you are going through my brother. My wife had reconstructive ankle surgery after falling and breaking hers. She has a lot of metal.

I’m doing good in the recovery so far, thanks! When I think about doing this, I’ll list out the keys of the songs I’ll be playing. I also think tempos, so I’ll label speed here with a 1 or 2, slow or fast.

Manger- D 1
God Rest- Emin 1
Joy- G 2
Silent Night- D 1
What Child- G/Emin 2

So, now I think about playing the least number of key changes but also keeping the tempo varying a bit. I also want to think about possibly involving them in singing, so I think about good singing keys. I might play them in this order:

Joy to the World
God Rest
What Child
Silent Night
Away in a Manger (play through it once, then sing in the same key to end)

I’ll try to get my mando tomorrow and show you some transitions.

Looks good to me and I really appreciate it. I do like them singing because everyone loves singing Christmas songs. Thanks again and be careful getting to that mandolin.

Hey Ben - Forgot to ask you - shouldn’t I just play the melody line - leaving out the rhythm or should I throw a few rhythm chords in there?
Thanks again and I’ll let you get some rest bro.

See if this helps:


Dude you are a freaking trooper! Much respect for your dedication to your students.


What you need right now is rest.

Ben - You’re a rock star! Thanks so much for all the help. Be careful with those pain pills…and get some rest. Stay off that ankle…

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