Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Intro to Banjo Backup

Back it on up, friend! Let’s begin to look at basic banjo backup theory and techniques.

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Hi Ben. Ben here :slight_smile:

When I try to go from the Y to X position, I always end up shifting my hand and THEN switching my fingers, while it looks like you are able to do it simultaneously. Its resulting in me getting behind when I try to follow along with the lesson. How would you recommend I practice to try to get my transition smoother?

This is something you just got to work at Ben. I know of no short cuts, just patience, practice and perseverance. Is the best advise I can offer.

@bsthoma3, I made you this video…lemme know if it helps.


Wow, thank you. Not only was this a fast response, but you made a video… that’s hospitality right there. I’m on the week trial right now and you just convinced me to commit to a membership.

Also- that really helps a lot… Breaking it into components is helping me get it. Thanks so much, have a great weekend!

I’ll be honored to have you on board, and will do all I can to help you progress. Welcome!

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Can I just say Ben whist’s your pondering your options. I have tried all the top teaching methods out there and I can say with all honesty @BanjoBen 's Life Membership is by far THE BEST bang for buck there is.


Hey I’m newbie so bear with me a little but the problem I’m having is once I get up past the 15/16 frets my fat finger don’t want to tuck in behind each other is that just something that will come with time and practice or am better off play those cords further back on the neck

Hey @kurtlewisr169 - good question. Tons of us have that question as newbies. Don’t worry, with practice, you’ll get there.

In the meantime, you can watch this YouTube video and marvel at this guy’s ability to get his fingers inside the frets.

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Ha! Good ol Izzy!

Hey Kurt! Welcome to the board!

Rance hit the nail on the head. I know guys with tree trunks for fingers that can lay it down anywhere on the fretboard. You’ll get there.

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Thanks for the reinsurance guys I guess it just helps sometimes to know other people have the same issues and with time and practice it’s panned out for them


Its great to see this swapping positions is not everyone’s easy workings. My issue is the ring finger. I watched the additional video Ben put on about isolating the finger movements. All is well and that has helped with 3 of the 4 fingers. My darn ring finger is my issue and it wants to lift when i switch positions. So when I change that finger lifts and by the time im down to the 9th fret I have some sort of floating gang sign of fingers off the fret. I have even tried isolating to just the ring and the two in the middle. I can not get that darn finger to stay put. Thinking of gluing it to the string if I can’t find a better idea. Thanks for the time.

Did you try just the ring finger alone?

i did not till i read that. duh. I have found some sort of muscle issue with the ring finger think it has something to do with the break as a kid. so I embraced the lifting ring and just pick all three up and then put them down. Im not quick at it at the moment but hopefully that will build over time. I think part of it is just new. Thank joe

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I have been working on vamping with major 7th chords. I am fast at major chords, but learning with major 7ths had a new shape for me. It was like starting over. It is all about building muscle memory. I know the more I practice, the faster/easier it will get and I will be able to vamp 7ths just like I do regular major chords. Just remember the fun is in the journey, not the destination. :slight_smile:

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PDF link is dead for the back up vid. Working on my Y to X positions,

Welcome to the forum Steve @bigwaves

it opened fine for me.

You can try refreshing the page or clearing the cache on your browser.

In case that doesn’t work I’ve sent you an email with the PDF attached.

let me know If you still are having a problem or not.


It’s most likely you stayed on the page too long. After several hours, the links expire. Just refresh the page and they’ll work again.

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Hello all,
Just on my week trial but wanted to chime in…
I’m already enjoying Ben’s teaching style!
Looking forward,


Welcome Brooks!

If you would like other’s opinion about Ben’s lessons, please check this link out… Lessons are they worth the money