Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Banjo Forward-Reverse Roll Study

We’re going to use the forward-reverse roll to play a basic version of “Worried Man Blues.” You will not be worried or have the blues after this.

Just starting on this and I’m finding that if I know the original tune or lyrics, I pick it up faster and I had never heard this one before. I’ll play these in my Jeep to and from work with Ben’s banjo solo download to really get to know the tune.

Pete Seeger

The Kingston Trio

DEVO even did a remake, but not worth sharing…lol.

In the 3rd and 4th measures trying to push down the 2nd fret and 4th fret with index and ring finger is really hard. Feels like my hand is in a vice and my palm is always touching the first string. Is this something I just need to work through ?

edit: I paused the video at the wrong time…see now you lift off the index finger when going to the 4th fret.

Perhaps I do lift off, but you should be able to play both fingers down at once.


I downloaded this lesson to work with offline. Because I don’t have a signal out here on the boat alot of times. I use my android tablet mostly for viewing my lessons and it says it was downloaded. But I can’t figure out how to view it offline

Google is such a wonderful thing had to go into Google Chrome and search
Then I had to clik enable on view primary cache offline
Bunch of geeky stuff I know nothing about lol
Bottom line Google walked me through it and now I see my lesson offline

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Waaaaaaay too fast backing track! I need to start at maybe 80 bpm. This still pretty early in the course! Nevermind, I can download the 120 bpm one and slow with some software. Seems like I am long way off even 120 bpm, but I’m enjoying the lessons, thank you

Sorry, they were out of order…there’s a 120 here too.

You may already know this,but you can change the TEF play back speed to whatever you want until you are able to do the back track speeds. TEF is defaulted to 200 BPM on this file but it is easy to change under “relative speed”


Other people on the forum suggest you play it near flawless 3 times in a row before bumping the BPM up by 5. That is what I am doing and it is working well for me. Hope that helps.


Started on Worried Man Blues today. I’m gonna have to really concentrate on the Forward Reverse Roll with changing chords. Lots of new stuff for me to place into muscle memory Thumb changes / 4th fret reaches. Worked up to measure 5 practice practice practice. Glanced at the clock and before I knew it a hour had passed and had to give a break for my afternoon nap lol (my work schedule is 6am to noon and 6pm to midnight 7 days a week 28 days at a time. Still have 2 weeks before my hitch is up. My goal is to be able to play this song at least enough it sounds like a song before I get off.


3 times… flawlessly… I may never advance under that Criteria. :roll_eyes:


My favorite version

You can do it. There’s always a tempo slow enough to play something flawlessly. I shouldn’t say always, but it’s probably true :slight_smile:


Did you notice how I stuck that word in before flawless… “near flawless”. You can hear me say to myself…well that one part was really close, so I will count it as part of the 3. :innocent:

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Hahaha I haven’t got to the part that says Flawlessly
I’m :nut_and_bolt: lol

But I like Devo! Sorry guys… by my interest is very vast musically. I like Rock, Alt., Brazilian, and of course Bluegrass, Blues… and even classical!

I will have to look the Devo version up anyway… but please don’t hold it against me!

Pete Seeger was AWESOME with the Man In Black!

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You may have already but check out Steve’n’Seagulls

I am very familiar with their work! As is my 14-year-old rocker/blues guitarist son.

They are awesome!

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Definitely have a awesome style of their own

I’m new to Banjo Ben & new to using forum’s. So I hope I’m in the right place, I’ve been learning the banjo for a little while now and really enjoying it. i feel like I’ve got a handle on the reverse roll & the square roll. Really struggling with the forward roll, it seems that this is going to be a great lesson for me. Thanks


Welcome @foxgeno!