Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Mandolin lesson: O Little Town of Bethlehem

This one is built to play as both a solo or as a duet piece with my guitar arrangement. Merry Christmas, y’all!

Wow, that Northfield sounds really sweet. Great job @BanjoBen!

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Bravo! I am going to see if my wife will learn this. Yay!

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It sure does! I am completely sold on these Northfield folks…they have it going on!

Another FANTASTIC version Ben. These selections are just so tastefully done and they sound amazing…

Thank you for posting these - especially early enough that we just might whip them into shape by the holiday time. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

If I can see some significant progress in 2019, I’d sure like to upgrade from my KM150 to the Big Mon.

I feel silly to ask… “Big Mon”?

I do believe Bill Monroe had a Mandolin which he named Big Mon

Thank You for the Reference @Archie. @Maggie’s references stretch the limits of my ability to comprehend. I just try to keep up… and hope I catch just some of the good stuff from y’all.

@WillCoop, Although @Archie is right I think about Bill Monroes’s mandolin, in this lesson, I believe Ben is playing either the Northfield F5S or the Northfield Big Mon.

Go check these out and watch and listen to @BanjoBen and @Jake both show and play these two mandolins. They give me chills. And so do the mandolins :wink:

A very large Jamaican. :laughing:


The high resolution of your newer videos is absolutely stunning! What kind of camera are you using? This arrangement is beautiful BTW.

It sounds great… I’m interested in that mandolin, but I’m also wanting to know more about Weber. Do you guys have any of their instruments in your store?

@WillCoop, they are both right, and big mon is also a tune I believe to have been written by Monroe, but that’s not what little Maggie was referencing

Ben, you’re the best musician in the world. Thank you very much from the heart for allowing me to be your student. The arrangement is beautiful!

Awww thanks…your comment helps me justify what I’ve spent. Haha. I’m using two Panasonic GH5 cams, but did a huge lighting upgrade as well. Plus, I switched editing software (now using Adobe Premiere Pro) and so things are sharper all the way around.

We’re not an official Weber dealer (I like them, though), however we just got in a used mandocello that is incredible!

The mandolin I’m playing in this video is the F5S. I do not believe you can find a better mando for the money:

The Big Mons are a step up from that in price and sound…they just blow my socks off. They are hard to get, too, and we sell every one we get in almost immediately, though we do have one now. A week from today is mandolin bundle day, so if you’re interested in this mandolin, you can get some sweet stuff along with it a week from today (if it’s still there):

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Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to get one. I must have watched your review video on the northfield’s big mon at least ten times. Also whatever you are doing with the videos lately they look amazing. I don’t know if it’s better lighting or a better camera or what, but they look very professionally done.

Got to far to go to learn a lot more before I could justify getting one right now. Maybe eventually I’ll be good enough to entertain the thought. Do you think players should progress higher in the craftsmanship of their mandolins as their playing level rises or will having a higher quality instrument just make you want to play and practice that much more? I’ve got an Eastman md 315 right now.

Once you get to decent instruments with good playability, it’s up to you. There isn’t a wrong answer. If your Eastman is set up well, then it is perfectly fine for whatever you want to do. “Nicer” instruments do often provide motivation, but it isn’t a requirement. Nice instruments will generally hold their value, so for me, I’d rather have the cash in an instrument instead of sitting in a checking account.