Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Dan Thornton from Salisbury, United Kingdom!

What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
I was young, people in bands looked cool and I dreamed of a golden ticket to not having a real job. I now have a real job

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I started playing when I was 14. Music was everything to me as a teenager and I had to see behind the curtain. The cool thing is that the magic didn’t fade when I learned the songs. It got more magical!

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
G Lick of course. It all starts from there. The lesson ‘Bag O’ Licks Flatpicking Bluegrass Guitar Lesson’ was my intro and I still go back to it.

What’s your goal when playing?
To play with conviction and entertain anyone listening (mostly that’s me).

Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
OK, you got me. I’m a metal guitarist at heart. Players like Zakk Wylde and Dimebag brought me to country style and then I heard Tony Rice. I had to know how to play like that!

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
About 8 years or so, never regretted it. It costs around £30 for a 30 min guitar lesson in the UK so this has been worth every penny. I wouldn’t know where to start finding a bluegrass tutor in the UK.

Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
I don’t think it counts as a technique but I always try to put energy and a bit of swing into what I’m playing. You have to really listen to yourself playing and get beyond just fretting the right notes to get the feel of the music. Easier said than done!

If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
It’s tempting to pick one the legends but I wouldn’t want to stand next to Jimi on his best day! So I’d pick a band with great songwriters and a great rhythm section like Pink Floyd, Radiohead or Pearl Jam.

What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
I play electric guitar mostly, even when crosspicking (I know, right?). I don’t like to use many pedals so I can keep the natural amp tone. Strats are my go to guitars and a good tuner is essential.

If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
A Dave Murray signature Stratocaster.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
A lot of people would pick worthy things but I try to get those done as best I can already. I’d love to have extra time so I could have fun wasting it.

Anything else you’d like to add?
It’s been a privilege to share with you folks. I like to think we can all learn from each other, whatever our backgrounds.

Thanks for being willing to be featured Dan!


Hello Dan and welcome from another Brit in East Midlands.


Yep !


Cool Axe! Congrats!

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Would love to visit that area of the UK one day.

There’s “that sound” again!

Congrats, well done, keep playing and good luck with that real job!

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Congrats on being selected as the gpotw! Loved your interview answers from the start. All the best on your musical journey.

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Hi Dan

Welcome to the BB world :slight_smile:

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Welcome and congrats, Dan!! I hope to see you around the forum!!


Howdy folks. Sorry I’m late to my own party but thanks for all your kind words. I usually say Rock On but here I’ll say Twang On!


“Keep pickin’ & grinnin!” is always appropriate, too. :grin: