Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Confessions of a Budding Banjoholic?

Dear Abby:

I have an OB-3 Gold Tone banjo (Twanger) that was part of the original batch from the Banjo Ben General Store, and I absolutely LOVE it. I have recommended it to others, and would not hesitate to do so again. The decision to purchase it was based upon an extensive banjo pilgrimage that took place during and shortly after the inaugural Cabin Camp at Ben Clark’s house in the spring of 2019.

My original banjo was a 3rd-hand open-back Deering Goodtime in need of some TLC, and it has served me well. Before my hands-on banjo pilgrimage, I had dreams of getting a new Deering Sierra, but certainly did not have the budget to match. Fast forward to this summer…an acquaintance of a co-worker had a used banjo for sale, and knowing I had an interest in banjos, he asked if I knew what a Deering Sierra was. My heart fluttered and I said, “Yes, why do you ask?”

I was a little disappointed it was a 2005 model (one year prior to the coveted 2006 Deering tone ring) and before the ornamented inlays were added to this model, but I told myself (and my wife) it was a very fair price for a 2005 Sierra, it was very low-mileage (only driven to church on Sundays for three or four years) and that at the very least I could resell it without losing anything but a little time. She was supportive of the idea and I now have a crow(d) of three banjos in our practice room (A.K.A. guest bedroom).

Well, I put new strings on it and tightened the head with the aid of my handy drum dial (both from the Banjo Ben General Store). It needed a little cleaning and polish, and because I much prefer a wooden armrest (and Deering now offers them on-line), I added that as well. Now, I’m careful to try to prevent my wife from feeding and caring for stray cats (“…and whatever you do, don’t put a collar on it or give it a name!”) But maybe I’m just as guilty with this banjo? It has a very warm, woody tone and is absolutely scratch-free (it purrs a little when I play it), and it came with a set of Keith D-tuners installed from the original dealer purchase by my co-worker’s acquaintance (as attested to by the accompanied receipts, of course.)

Now, I don’t want to sell it…because I’ve fallen in love with it. I don’t love my Twanger any less than before. My wife is not pressuring me to get rid of either one, and has not said a word (but has been eyeing a certain stray ginger tabby). I can clearly tell the difference between the sound of the two, and want them both for different reasons and for different songs or moods. Is it wrong for me to fall in love with TWO different resonator-back banjos?



Welcome to el club.


It may sound banjoist, but I’d say no as long as they’re getting the same amount of attention.


Dear Tightly-Strung -

In matters of love, “Two’s company’s, three’s a crowd.” You wisely chose to enjoy the company of three different banjos, so no one is ever left alone…except maybe your wife.
Better sleep with one eye open or she may slip a bowl of Tender Vittles to some panhandling pussycat!
Remember, you can tune a piano, but you cannot tuna fish…unless you know the scales!



I am gonna buy a Twanger one day :banjo::banjo::smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :cowboy_hat_face:



I thought I was just nuts, but apparently the struggle is real. How many banjos does one person need? Correct answer: one more.

For me, the struggle is dividing my time between the banjo and my guitar. I simply don’t have time to pay equal attention to both of them. So, rather than making a dumb decision I’d regret later, like selling my Martin for the sake of a banjo upgrade, I just put the Martin into hibernation in its case and gave all my love to the banjer. I’m an all or nothing kind of guy.

Maybe I’m neurotic, but I understand your concern. “No man can serve two masters; he will love one and hate the other.” If I have two or more instruments, I’m always worried that the others will somehow fall apart from neglect if I don’t play them every day.