Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: Grandfather's Clock

After releasing my banjo version of this song, I got an overwhelming wave of requests for a guitar version! I’m happy to introduce the intermediate version of this old melody, with some great tricks as well. This version really works out our harmonics skills, and takes us all over the neck for some interesting pickin’!

Hi Ben, In your beginning section you talk about using a closed fist for your picking hand, but in this video and some others you are filmed with an open hand (not completely, but fingers not tight). Since I heard that lesson, I have started to look at guitar players picking hand and its a bit all over the place. Billy Strings, my current obsession, uses an open hand, but is flying all over the fret board. Any thoughts on when you use it and when you don’t and what your preference is when playing fast?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Great question, and I must admit that my technique has morphed over the years, as I have also observed in other players. The main thing is not to have tension, period. I find that if I’m playing more crosspicking or rhythm-lick songs I’ll have a more open hand, but will tend to bring in the fingers a bit for faster single-string stuff.

all I have to say is what a cool melody…good stuff right here.

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