Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Mandolin lesson: Bag O' Licks in C

I offer you 10 hot licks in the key of “C”! These work GREAT for playing in the key of C, but also in other keys that use a C chord in the progression (G, F, etc.). These licks work mighty fine as solo licks, but I especially like them for filling in when folks are singing. Enjoy!

I’m having trouble with the first lick’s up/down picking pattern. After the hammer on, my hand wants to pick up instead of down. As a result, the last note is up instead of down. Is it critical to pick it the way you have it?

Great question!

The last note of the lick is on the downbeat of the measure it is in, and should be played with a down stroke. so it’s fairly important to play the pick directions Ben has provided.

If I can make a suggestion…try playing it without the hammer-on at first and see if you can get the pick direction straightened out.

If not, you might just try playing the pick motions on the strings without the fingering until it feels natural, then add the left hand in.

It can always help to play VERY slowly when first learning something also.

hope this helps



Yeah, I worked on it for quite some time last night, going very slowly. It’s starting to get a little more natural. It’s a difficult hammer-on to get some true sound to come out.
Thanks, Fiddlewood!


Great advice! You can do it, @marianandmark!

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After several days of practice, I’m really improving. I’m a big fan of Lick#9, but I found it hard to incorporate into my jam session today. I could remember about 4 others and had no trouble with those, but #9 I all I could successfully do was to use the first half of it. Are there a couple of specific songs I could use the whole lick?
By the way, I use the website for a fun way to practice these. Besides the great selection of songs, you can select a backing track for just a key.
This has been a fun lesson!

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I think #9 would sound good to start a break on Little Rock Getaway!

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Well that’s a pretty cool tune, I’d never heard it before now!

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