Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Mandolin lesson: Basic Mandolin Rhythm- Part 3

We’re getting the hang of it now.

Just to make sure that I’m understanding this technique as I don’t hear Ben actually say it during the lesson but it looks like he’s lifting his fingers from the strings to deaden the sound after each strum. Is that correct? Is there anything else to that particular technique other than a slight lifting of the fingers?

LOL. I guess I should have waited until I watched the next lesson to ask my question.

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My little guy, 7 yrs old has super tiny hands…any suggestions for these hard to reach areas? Thanks…inexperienced momma with eager 7 yr old… :slight_smile:

Hi Angella,

It takes time (patience) and some muscle development to reach these positions with relative ease…as Ben says in the video: it doesn’t matter much who you are or the size of your hands…it takes effort (and time) for everyone to learn these positions.

I have quite long fingers and can still recall the sore muscle down the side of my hand from learning to stretch my pinky out to that far fret…and I was already fully grown, and a guitar player!

It might be a good idea to take a picture or video of your son attempting making a chord or two and putting it up here or sending it to Ben via email…that way Ben could see how he is positioning his hand and might have advice on anything your son may need to correct on his hand placement or angle to make it easier for him.

hope this helps


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Even though that is a very common chord shape if it is just currently undoable for your child than he can do fine without it.
I have managed to play for the past 12 years or so without using it much (although I can if I really want to) If he keeps working at it he will eventually be able to do it.

It gives the G a bit more depth but but I usually just skip that first string.
But it is good to make your hand stretch (especially if you are playing in certain keys like Bb)
So I would never suggest not trying.

I would encourage him to keep stretching! Ha! It is amazing what little hands can do when they get used to it. Until then, the more open chords are fine. I’ll try to address this in a lesson soon!