Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Do 4 Quarters = One Hour?

I’ve searched for answers to this question & have found some regarding mandolins. I’m sure the basics are the same, but, “What’s the best way to practice?”
Here’s what I do in the Real World:
Practice 15 minutes in the morning, mostly just loosening my fingers, then off to do a couple chores.
Later, practice for 15 minutes, five minutes loosening my fingers then 10 minutes trying to get that pull-off lick right!
Squeeze in 15 minutes around lunch and play “Cripple Creek” a lot, throwing in the “ornaments” and working on that pull-off lick some more.
More things grab me before I can sit down and practice for another 15 minutes around 3pm. This time I try to work with a TEF or rhythm track. Still enjoying variations on “Bile Dem Cabbage Down.”
Finally, if it’s a good day, I can get another 15 minutes trying to do that 5-2 pull-off with my pinky. That lasts for 5 minutes before the cramps begin, so 10 minutes of rolling around with no particular place to go ends my practice for the day.

Usually it’s the 2nd & 3rd session when I will go online & work a BB lesson on the Beginner’s Banjo Track, if I’m not working on a specific song.

So did I get 1:15 hr of practice to advance my playing, or am I just spinning my wheels?


Way too structured for me, I just pick up the banjo till it’s time to eat, pee or sleep. Never been one to watch the clock. 9to5


I wish I only had to do those three things. As it stands, I have to pee more often than I eat and most often when I try to sleep! :wink:


ME 2 Joseph, What’s even worse is I have to take medication to make me go more. Every Quarter as it happens.


I think this is great!


I like the idea of many short bursts!

I wish I had the time to try it myself.

More opportunities for shaking off those occasional “frustration” sessions… and incrementally improve.

Thanks for sharing @BanJoe


I’m in the same boat! ( not cause o the peeing part) just that I tend to go down the rabbit hole of practice material.:wink: I start out with a song or phrase I’m having trouble with and before I get to frustrated on one particular issue I run through some scale patterns or some other drills then go back to what I started with to finish it off, that way I Don’t get board with one particularly difficult part. Then it seems to come together. I say Back off before you shoot your Banjo! It’s cheaper!!!:sunglasses:


See? That’s the Beginner in me coming out. I thought I was the only one who entertained the idea of shooting the banjo. I was embarrassed by my foolish attitude. Sawing it in half would be much better!


Yea but shootin is so much fun! :upside_down_face:


True, but it’s like dynamite fishing: fun, but messy. Little bits of banjo all over the place. Why somebody could step on piece and cut their foot!
Then how would they keep time? :hourglass:


Point taken!!! ( see what I did there) :sunglasses:


That sounds like the best kind of practice schedule to me! And it definitely does add up in improvement


Thanks. I needed that!


I am also impressed by the discipline it shows… but you know… If you ever even think about damaging that banjo, message me… 'cuz mine died and "What is one Man’s trash could be another Man’s treasure.

I wish I had a banjo :banjo: !


Your banjo died. Was it, as the cowboys would say “death by lead poisoning?”

Seriously, how does a banjo “die?” You would not believe the old homemade 5-string on which I learned “Cripple Creek” and many variations. There’s a split in the resonator and the frets cut your fingers when you pick it up, but it sounds like a banjo, and it ain’t dead yet.
I see many old banjos for sale and they ain’t dead.
How does a banjo die? (OK, there’s floods, fires, hurricanes and badly behaved people.)
How did yours pass over to the other side?


R.I.P to your beloved friend Will, I know you are sad and in mourning right now and it might be to soon but you will move on and it will get better. We are here for you in this very difficult time. Try to think of all the good times you had while your dear Banjo was still with us. And remember it has moved on to a better place where there’s no more broken strings, or bad notes only great jams into the night and good breaks that shine! And when that new Banjo find it’s way into your lap it’s not to forget what used to be but to honor what you had. :upside_down_face:


@WillCoop Was it the 5th string tuner that broke? Maybe you could replace the tuning peg?



Thanks for the sympathies… and the Eulogy. :smirk:

My banjo has bought the farm… :corn: and moved onto the big show in the sky. :innocent:

As I started my new job in the future, I hope to “upgrade” with a new Resonator from the Banjo Ben General Store (BBGS) some time in the future. :wink::cowboy_hat_face:


@Michael_Mark and @BanJoe,

Michael hit the nail on the head-stock :banjo: :hammer:

It was the 5th String tuner. I t just gave out and also may have issues with the tuner hole being compromised. The peg split.

My dilema is to sink money into a cheap starter open-back Banjo (Epiphone MB-100) versus applying that money toward a newer, better instrument.

I wanted a Resonator anyway.

Of course, I can keep that other banjo and consider to get it fixed later… but I suspect it needs some considerable work. Some ot the head clamps (brackets?) do not tighten into the rim either without starting to slide off altogether. Then, I need strings too… and who k owns what else.

Do I sink money into that when the whole Banjo was less than $200?

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to have it to learn on… and I did play it quite a lot over the past 3 years.

I probably will hold onto it. In fact, my preference would be to have @Jake look at it and make suggestions but I cannot ship the thing and don’t know how or when I could get it to the BBGS anyway.



Hi Will Part of the job of being a banjo player is to be able to do minor running repairs. Replacing a 5th peg tuner is a lot easier than you might think. Why not post a picture better yet a video maybe the community could help you fix it up until you can buy a new one. Surely that’s better than just staring at it every day.