Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: I Am a Pilgrim- Clarence White Tribute

My two favorite guitar players are Clarence White and Tony Rice. I love to hear Tony talk about the influence he received from Clarence, and when you listen to Tony play, it is quite obvious. This tribute version of I Am a Pilgrim is not a copy of any particular version by those two masters, but rather a mixture of some licks and timing that they might have used or use. It is advanced for sure, but any player can benefit from the instruction provided in the timing challenges this tab presents! Go get 'em, soldier!

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I love your website and the spirit you bring to your playing, teaching and sharing your love of bluegrass guitar and banjo.
Mostly, I want to share my appreciation of all things “Clarence White!” I started playing 5 string banjo as a 14 year old kid in Queens, NYC back in 1978 after being inspired by the highjinks of Steve Martin’s banjo comedy and the virtuosity of Earl Scruggs. As you can imagine, being a city kid in the 70’s trying to play Foggy Mountain Breakdown with a stereo record player and limited tablature was a challenge, but that’s all we had.
I wish I had your website back then!
You are so talented and a great teacher.
As a kid I remember going into my local music store to look at and maybe buy anything bluegrass banjo, and I would see the Oak Publications “Bluegrass Banjo” by Peter Wernick, 1974, which I bought and treasured.
Right next to it was another Oak Publication entitled, “Clarence White guitar” 1978. I did not know who the long haired, bearded hippy looking guy was at the time, but since he wasn’t a banjo player, I wasn’t interested in it. Wow, it wasn’t until later that that smiling faced guy on that fake book was the same lead guitarist for the Byrd’s. To my astonishment, Clarence was that guitarist of The Byrd’s who played that awesome live pet of Black Mountain Rag that my brother and I listened to as teenagers in our bedroom. When I came across the YouTube video 12 years ago of Bob Baxter’s Guitarv Wirkshop show featuring Clarence and Rowland, I was blow away. I must have watched that video hundreds of times!
Now I have your website to finally learn how to play “I am a Pilgrim”.
Thank you!


Wow! Great story! The more I study Clarence the more I realize his genius.