Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Mandolin lesson: Sixteenth Note Pull-Offs

We’ve all heard those fluttery notes of goodness coming from the fingers of the pros. Well, now you know how to do it too!

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Why are you giving away secrets?!? Just kidding… looks great. I’ve never learned Liberty, so two for one!

Your finger ok?

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Sweet!! Thanks, Ben. This will be fun, too.

Are you just super in love with that northfield, or are you trying to build interest in them for sales? :joy::joy: sounds great, what happened to your pinky?

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Now that I’ve gone thru the lesson, I was right. This is a blast. Can’t wait to build up to Ben’s speed. :wink:
Mando pickers – try it!

@BanjoBen Ben,

I don’t know what it is… but I am just such a fan of this song. The chiming nature… the melody… and the fiddle-tune feel… and maybe the Patriotic Theme… all contribute to its’ charm for me.

The evolution in this lesson to build on, enhance and evolve the Basic Lesson… is extraordinary! Then, throw in the functional aspect to develop pull-off 16th note skills while playing is why Banjo Ben’s site SETS the Benchmarking standard for online instruction.

I printed the tab immediately and can’t wait to dive in…

@BanjoBen - Thank you sooooo much for doing what you do… sore finger and all (what happened?).

May God Bless us all with many more amazing lessons like this from you, Sir! CONGRATS!

Hi Ben,

I loved this lesson! Lots of fun.

I find that it is pretty easy (well, sorta) to pull off to an open string (measures 31 & 32) but find it harder to get my finger into position for when you pull off to a fretted string (measure 35, 38). The pull off in measure 16 and 18 isn’t so bad because you can keep the second fret covered while you pick the third fret and pull off to the second… I slowed down the video where you played the whole song, and you had your finger in position on those fretted pull offs.

Any pointers for doing that, or ways to think about getting that second finger in place to “pull off” to?



I think the trick is that the finger I’m pulling “to” was already used to play a note before and I do not raise it, which means I don’t have to worry about putting it back down. Keep working on it and keep me posted on progress!

Sliced the end off with a chef’s knife cutting tomatoes! Rookie move! All better now :wink:


In all seriousness though, this artist series I just got is the best mandolin I’ve ever played. I’m just in love!

It’s the artist series? Is that the one that comes in five bar or two bar bracing variations? Which one is it? Are you gonna sell them?


This is the 5-bar and I’m telling you, it is breathtaking! Yes, I ordered it to sell, and now I have a grand internal struggle of whether to list it or make it my own. I really can’t afford it. I’ll put it on the site and just gaze at it intently until someone buys it.


Did you keep a big mon? You could have that as a comfort when the artist sells. I’d buy it if I had that much money :roll_eyes:

No, I have sold all my Big Mons and have another on the way in June. I can’t afford to keep them! I sometimes think I do, but when someone wants to buy it I can’t say no. Haha.

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Guess you’ll just have to reacquaint yourself with your snake charming abilities :wink:

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No offense but it is kinda refreshing to consider that you can identify with those of us in this same boat.

It may sound naive, I know… but I just presume you have any/all access to all products on the site.

Somehow, it is kinda nice to have this in common… as you can relate with us instrumental “dreamers” too. Not to also overlook, you also demonstrate how these purchases are so major, personal and impactful for us aspiring players still in the steep curve of learning. Oh the joy of getting a new instrument!

I cannot wait for the day I order my next banjo through the site.

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Replying to myself… Lol.

Further, I have been to other stores where 1) the “salesperson” is not a player of the instruments they sell - which is totally understandable - but the store visit can feel like a sterile or “cold” experience as a result… even if the rep is attentive (which they often are not).

Or… 2) the store reps may have had a love or desire when they started in the store business… but over time and countless customers, it transitioned into just a business or a nameless stream of unknown customers rather then aspiring musicians. Either they have “egos” where they act pretentious… or disinterested if you are not buying a professional (expensive) product providing a sizeable commission.

@BanjoBen, @Jake - you guys are AWESOME as you both are NONE it these things!

You realize that $100 is a real BIG DEAL and a hard-earned “investment” stemming from a genuine interest. We students are EXCITED to get that 1st model. We WANT to make the educated and best choices for accessories and equipment.

You guys are so kind and good at what you do and patient with us… even SHARING in our enthusiasm, our quest for knowledge and that rush of picking (pun intended) our axe… our friend… our (in some cases) LIFE-companions.

When I watch @BanjoBen play a lesson or sample an instrument… I actually FEEL that appreciation and devotion to your craft… Including that Excitement for the craftsmanship in the instrument. Even if it is a “starter model”, you genuinely convey the value to us… making us TRUST your offerings without fear of throwing down our hard-earned cash!

When I see @BanjoBen host an artist to share with us… And you can see the joy in the musical connection (the musical “conversation”) which results in smiles and comments between @BanjoBen and the artist… he just can’t “fake” that.

It shines through where we feel like… One day… we can arrive there too.

@Jake 's instructional videos are similar… always with good info and tips that goes well beyond the basics… insight from knowing your craft so well. You cannot “fake” this type of sharing because the desire to share and go that extra distance comes only from within.

All this with that ever-present humor (to break away the ego and nerves) while putting smiles on our faces.

Thank you @BanjoBen and @Jake. I am here to remind you that these qualities go well beyond the solid value of Life Membership!

Where can you find that kind of personal attention, passion and genuine interest? Only at @BanjoBen 's Store… And may it always remain so!


They should create a badge for this…

Maybe it could be called the “Split Personality” badge?

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Hi Ben,

Yeah, I know what you mean about leaving your finger down so that you can pull off to it, like in measures 16, 18, 20, and the first pull off in 21.

But in measures 21 (second pull off) , 35, 38 and 41. there is no finger to pull off to!

I’ve figured it out, but had hoped there was some way to think about planting two fingers down in preparation for the pull off.

Love this arrangement!

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