Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Don Nunn from The Villages, Florida

What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
As long as I can remember I enjoyed banjo music and thought it would be neat to play someday.

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I have been playing for about 12 years. My wife gave me a banjo back in the '80’s but I was traveling a lot on my job so it was hard to schedule lessons. We moved to Florida when I retired and found a music store nearby so I started lessons. I knew nothing about music. Took lessons for about four years. I began playing occasionally with a local bluegrass group and sat in the back and tried to keep up with the more experienced musicians.

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lesson. On Ben’s site is Wreck of Old 97 build a break, and the waypoints lessons. Actually, when I discovered the site I was like a kid in a candy store. All the lessons looked so intriguing, and that’s been my problem since I started playing…jumping from song to song and not really perfecting a particular tune.

What’s your goal when playing?
So my goal now is to practice a particular number or drill until it is automatic. I need to concentrate on timing/tempo.

Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I also have a four string plectrum banjo and am in a group that plays Roaring Twenties type music.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep (I’m 82 years old and can’t imagine not sleeping) I’d spend more time with my wife, play more golf and play more banjo.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I have been a Gold Pick member since the first of the year. It’s been great and I have a renewed enthusiasm for playing.

What do you do for a living?
I am retired but spent my career in distribution, marketing and sales.


Hi Don,

Congrats on being GPMOTW. Welcome to the site and the forum. I just joined last summer and found it to be a wonderful resource, I love it here, hope you will too.

I’m just down the road in Clearwater. I drove by The Villages recently on the way to the Orange Blossom Opry. I had always wondered where The Villages was. Looks like a pretty area.

Congrats Don on being selected as this weeks Gold Pick Member. I

Welcome and congats, Don! Playing with a group is one of the best ways to improve your playing, so good on ya for doing that!

Nice to meet you Don…
Glad you found us here and that you have found the time to work on your Banjo with being retired. Congratulations on your Picker Honor!

Hi Don,
Looks like you have really played that Banjo with all the wear on the head. It’s great to meet you!