Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Salt Creek- Intermediate Revisited

Salt Creek was one of the first lessons I ever put on YouTube, from my living room in 2009! You’ve asked me to update it, so here you go–but let’s make it mucho better! We have two solos instead of one, cause the last thing I want is for you to be up Salt Creek without some licks.


Looking forward to getting into this @BanjoBen couple of questions.

  1. In a jam situation what instrument would normally kick this tune off Ben. Banjo, Mandolin or Guitar?
  2. If it’s not too much trouble any chance you could TAB out the banjo rhythm chords section - I was a little confused when I watched it through.
1 Like

There is no protocol as far as I know…I’ve heard them all kick it off.

Check out the tab HERE for the shapes I’m using. I’m going back and forth between the Y and X positions for the A and G chords, jumping up to the Y position for D (measure 5), and playing a X position for the E chord where my pinky is on the actual 6th fret of the 1st string.

Yep, the brain’s just not functioning @BanjoBen with the capo on and you calling the chords by their proper names I am confused. It’s an age thing I just can’t get my head round the location of the E chord. Maybe once I sleep on it things will fall into place tomorrow.

it’s all good. Make the D chord position with the capo on and you will have it. That’s an E chord if your capo is on the 2nd fret. Your pinky will be on the 1st string 6th fret, then 2nd string 5th fret, then 3rd string 4th fret. NOTE: these fret numbers are actual fret numbers counting from the nut.

Hi Ben I was having a bad day yesterday I think I have all the ducks lined up in order today. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

1 Like

Hey Ben, awesome! Thanks so much!

Is there any chance the advanced version will be redone like this? :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks for the lesson! The links for the pdf and tef files do not function. Could you help with this?


1 Like

@ghebberd1004 - maybe try downloading again or using a different browser. The links worked for me in both mozilla and chrome.

1 Like

Loved this lesson! Thanks!

1 Like

Another Home-Run on this arrangement. Love it! I learned the original arrangement that was posted a few years back that had a sprinkling of melodic-runs in it also. These new arrangements really add variety. Our family will be playing “Salt-Creek” at the Fayette County Fair in Iowa this summer during our set. Can’t wait.
You know, I was thinking today, of how appreciative I am of this web-site and the benefits of membership, and with it, the progress our family has made playing guitar, mandolin and banjo. I think for the last 2-years or more, every room in our house has been converted into a practice room with the living room serving as a ensemble room. Work interferes with practicing, but I carry my guitar & banjo when I travel just to practice in the hotel if I’m away. Last year I was reminded of “Salt Creek” during Official Test for John Deere in Lincoln, Nebraska when I saw this sign: Happy Picking!


Fantastic Lesson Ben!
I just got back into playing banjo again…its been a long time. Im 64 and I started with this song.


Thanks so much, Paul! Honored to have you!

Hi Ben, a little salt creek question all the way from the Netherlands.
In the A part, mesure 19, 1 or 2 pull offs?
Greatings Cor

Hmmm, I’m not seeing any pull-offs in a measure 19 in either the 1st or 2nd solo, sorry!

1 Like

Sorry… a reverse choke

No, it’s meant to be a regular choke.

1 Like

Why does it kickoff it starting in measure 3? What is happening in measures 1 and 2?

If you’ll look at the .tef tab files, they first couple measures have click count-in beats.

1 Like