Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: Blackberry Blossom- Melody Solo

This is a straight-ahead melody arrangement built for speed, and I personally use it for a warm-up and speed builder. We’ll drive home the melody to establish a foundation to improvise upon!

Arkansas Traveler brought me here! This fun song reinforces the D position–much needed help since my comfort zone is the first 3 frets. Thanks!

1 Like

It’s not just me, right? There’s a syncopation in the second section of the A part, right?

1 Like

I would call this “playing it straight.” (Tef file of this song is in a swing/shuffle rhythm.) What I think you are hearing is the held F# over the D chord passage. That adds interest and tickles the ear (I missed that–you’ve got a good ear! I was just focusing on getting the notes and speed.) Syncopation is a stress on the off-beat, like putting a quarter note on the “and” part of the beat. It really stands out on songs like “Walking in Jerusalem.” Sing, “I WANT to be ready” and you’ll hear syncopation.

Good call, Aroth! That’s exactly what was happening. I went back and rewatched it. Because he doesn’t pick up his ring finger there it totally keeps the tone alive, fooling me into hearing syncopation. You get points for that sleuthing work!

1 Like

I was trying to figure out how to finger the Em licks in part B. Back to the video and it turns out to be a pinky strengthing excercise. Being new to picking, it seems you can’t learn the techniques until you go back to the video for the fine details. Thanks.

I think I’ve been leaning my guitar back a little trying to see the left hand. It seems @BanjoBen always has his guitar straight up. Just another detail.

1 Like

I was using my ring finger to do the bend (index on e, string 4), but noticed BBen using middle, and pinky for the bend. Any advantage to playing it that way?


Hello @s_robare22, check out the part B video. At about :30 seconds in, Ben explains the finger strategy for part B. I found this helpful but at the end of the day, make it your own. I often have to change up things so I can play it.

This has been a great tune for me to hone finger and pick accuracy. Good Luck :four_leaf_clover: .

1 Like

In the last 30 seconds of the rhythm lesson I had to let out a big old ‘Hot Damn’. This may be the first intermediate lesson I tackle. Love the challenges it presents and the rewards that will, no doubt, be reaped.


Woohoo, that makes me excited, @jonny1!

1 Like