Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Flatpick Challenge

This link was posted over at the flatpicker hangout, but it was so good I thought I’d post it here too. I can’t decide which one I like best. It’s always the last one I listened to.

On a related note, this is just ridiculous:


Regarding the Big Mon vid… wow. For any that are curious, I tapped it out at about 360 BPM!

I suspect it’s only a matter of time until someone posts that he doesn’t play with any feel :laughing:

Working my way through… it’s not what I typically think of for flatpicking, but Ben Cockman’s arrangement and playing of Danny Boy is fantastic. Lots o nice licks and alternate chords.

Andy Hatfield’s stuff is fantastic for solo guitar… like you said… my favorite the last one I listened to.

Just like I told my cousin while he played shredding I think is what they call it ,I appreciate the articulation but it is not my listening to kind of music, way to fast to enjoy the melody. Do I think he plays with out feeling? No I don’t, he is very into it and has to be at that speed /. it boggles the mind what a human can do. The guys got more in his little finger than I do in both hands and then some. he is very very good, I liked St Annes reel very much it was fast but sounded great . It makes you wonder where they get the energy whew!

Thanks for posting that Larry.

I was able to go to the Old Time Fiddler’s convention this year and saw Scott Fore and Wayne Henderson compete. Wayne got third this year (second last year) and Scott I think didn’t have the best night. He didn’t place in the top ten after winning last year. There was some amazing guitar players there and I’m glad I wasn’t a judge. Presley Barker was also there and he is so good, he competed with the adults and placed sixth! Watch out for him! I honestly thought he was good enough to win.

Sometimes players try to throw in too many notes and it seems to take away the interest of the song. But I suppose if you can pull that off cleanly and still keep somewhat of the melody (which very few can), you’ll rank high with the judges.

I have a couple favorites in these ten, but one of the things that stood out the most was Matt Lindsey’s rhythm playing, especially on the second song. Take another listen, maybe some of you will agree. I too really liked Ben Cockman’s version of Danny Boy Mike.

Thanks again Larry.


All of these guys are really good, and I’m amazed that they all get good results with such different right hand techniques. We’ve got some guys generating power from the elbow, some from the wrist, and some from the thumb/fingers, yet it all sounds fantastic.

I relistened to them and I have to pick Jim Dungan as he had a more human aspect to his playing earthy you might say, some one you could listen to more than a few minutes. Reminded me of Jeff Woods my nephew and his cousin Gary Gross .

Good choice welder. If I may, I’d like to side with ya on your choice. Pretty tough choice with a fine group of players like they are but the facial expressions tipped the scale for me. :sunglasses: Great pickin… I might get there someday, just not sure when. LOL

I am new to this forum, but not very new in person! In other words I am along in years. I have to say all were very good, but I too liked Jim Dungun the best. He didn’t try to over play. It just sounded natural to me. Made me feel like i was there.

Another vote for Jim Dungun. Not saying that he’s better than the others but I sure like the way he picks “Cotton Patch Rag”.

Ben Cockman and Jeff Fore are the two that stand out for me, Ben has a great technique and move around the fretboard with ease and has a great knowledge of chord voicings, but Fore has always been one of my favorites as well, seems like a good ol boy you’d see banging away on a front porch somewhere, either one makes me humble for sure, but they are all great and accomplished players for sure, hard to pick just one…