Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Getting ready to record

Howdy all, I’ve been trying to get ready to record a lesson for Ben and all of you to review, my problem is Everytime I practice I mess up at a different place and I range from 70 to 110 BPM. Also I have been practicing and hit a bad spot I close my eyes start over and have no trouble, sorry to be crying on your shoulders but I really love plucking on this thing but I’m driving my self nuts so though I would take you along, thanks for the help and support. Also I know I won’t record a perfect lesson but I want the best I can do. Well I hope you have a blessed day.


I know how you feel! It’s hard to play on camera! My tips, from lots of experience-
-Don’t even try to record until you can play the song 4-5 times perfect without the camera. You aren’t ready, and you’ll only frustrate yourself. Those mistakes you’re hearing while playing just for yourself are only going to get worse under performance pressure, not better- so know the song first!
-Then, practice on camera. Turn on the video and tell yourself you’re just practicing. Keep going through the song over and over as you have been. Don’t tell yourself you’re trying to get a perfect video for someone else, just tell yourself you’re recording your practice for your own benefit. I think you’ll surprise yourself with a really good take somewhere in there, which you can use to send away!
-Remember that this is just a practice video for a very kind and helpful teacher and supportive community of fellow students who all make mistakes. Allow little mess-ups if they come; be natural. That’s the truest representation of your playing anyway. You don’t have to start over if you make a tiny glitch.
I hope that helps! Looking forward to seeing your video!


Thanks for the help and support. I am a perfectionist so it in what makes me very hard on myself, also been working on this lesson for over two months and I feel I should be better then I think I am but will keep working thanks I will try the recording idea you recommend, thanks so much.


Howdy from Texas to @Flatpickin_Libby … I’m thinking I remember your face from videos you submitted on Bryan Sutton online class?? Am I correct? If not, please excuse.
Louie from Texas


Yes I’m in ArtistWorks :slightly_smiling_face: Hi!


Small world … glad to see you here … I never posted any videos in Bryan’s course … I learned a good bit there but I never worked up the courage to post a video.
Louie Modling :slight_smile:


Hello David,

I listened to an interview or comment made by Steve Kaufman once about his Guitar playing and I recall that he made a comment about mistakes and how he just played through them. I also noted that Tony Wray (Video on here) when fretting with his thumb was not always consistent with the Bass note and it didn’t really matter. Not sure I have ever played anything start to finish without mistake :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Play/record and put it up!



If you wait to record & share something “perfectly” you’re missing out on all the help you might get improving what you’re doing quicker.

Sharing something that has mistakes in it (trust me, we all do, including Ben) can help gain insight on correcting that mistake.

I’ve never produced any perfect recording of my playing, but have done a fair job at a few things.

I normally record until I get a minimally passable version cut.
Then I will save that and record another take until I have one that is better than the first
Then I’l do a third one until I get one I like more…and so on
By then I’m usually tuckered out, but might have something I can share by the end of that session, which I usually do… (and which I can always improve on and share again to gauge my progress.



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Thanks to everyone wow the support I am finding here is great I now have a game plan I plan to post a recording no later then the end of September good bad or what ever thanks again for all the help, God Bless and keep you.


Good for you look forward to it!


Go for it! You’ll do great!


I’m just going to echo what everyone else said. If your trying to get it perfect you may never record anything. One thing I learned at camp from Jake was When your practicing always start a song and don’t stop until it’s finished. Obviously you have to learn the song, but after you know it pretty well always strive to keep playing through the mistakes. Playing through your mistakes will make a ton of difference in your overall playing, and will help you to get a decent recording a lot faster. Do what @Fiddle_wood said, keep your recording but try and make it better over time. You can replace it as many times as you want.


I definitely agree with the Steve Kaufman comment about playing through you mistakes and not worrying. He makes the point that no will will notice if you get a couple of notes wrong, but they will notice if you stop playing or start again.

The majority of people do not analyse what you play note by note, It is important to remember that you are delivering a song. You simply need to get to your destination and take your listener with you. They will forgive any errors, if they even notice them as long as they enjoyed the overall journey.

Like everyone else, I make countless errors everyday when playing. What I took away from Steve Kaufman’s positive approach and learned was how to quickly get back on top of the song after the error, so most people will not notice that you’ve fallen off the horse. I found the more I ignored worrying about the mistakes, the less I made and the quicker I could get back to where I should be in the song or tune if I did make an error.
Try not to worry and just keep playing.

Best of luck to you!


Hi Sailor,

I made an earlier post about Steve Kaufman’s view of mistakes and how you should not worry about them.

I wanted to add that I’ve used a lot of Steve’s Bluegrass workout back up tracks to learn from the great many tunes he teaches. A few of them actually have small errors in them, which do not match the tab. I only noticed them as I became much more familiar with the song I’d learnt from him. At the beginning, I had no idea that they were there.

I’ve never been put off by the errors and as the recorded version he originally made was largely correct it did not hinder me following what he was trying to teach me and I learnt to play the song correctly. I’ve even sometimes edited his tabbed versions to embellish over parts that I considered he’d kept too simple.

So even though you want your resource to be perfect, as long as it is mostly right it will not do any player any harm to hear a few errors. They will still learn what you want them too and benefit a great deal from your hard work.

Best wishes with you recording


Hi ,

Was very pleased to read that you have also followed Steve’s instruction and works and his humble approach to playing. As a Brit it makes me feel even better :slightly_smiling_face:That I am clearly at least following the right paths.

Take care


Hi davidgear,

I’m actually a fellow Brit who has been flatpicking guitar with Steve’s solid guidance since 2004. He is a wonderful teacher and all his resources have been a goldmine to players like myself who live outside the US, who would struggle to encounter people with his depth of knowledge, ability and a love for bluegrass. He is a world class player and teacher. You could study his work for a lifetime and discover something new in his playing - I often revisit his instructional DVDs and notice aspects to his performance playing that I missed in the past. Steve is great starting point for any bluegrass player, I’d say he’s only limited by his own stylistic interests and goals. You simply cannot go wrong with Steve as his versions of tunes are so well thought out to be accessible to anyone who wants to learn them.

I’ve also learnt from him the importance in making mistakes. He encourages you to keep going. Initially this is useful to just get back on top of the song or melody you are playing, without too much trouble. But I’ve also discovered that if you keep his approach of diving back into the song you can pick up a melody or tune at any point in the progression. As your mind is still following along with the music and his approach helps you to train your fingers to quickly find what your should be playing at any point in a song.

I’ve not mastered the ability to always seemlessly dive in an out of a melody and am always working on my transitions between my rhythm playing and the flatpicked melody. But his encouragement to simply keep going and enjoy what you are playing has been an important lesson to me, to not give up and just stop in the middle of a song. Sure I may need to revisit my errors in detail, if I keep repeating them, but I shouldn’t worry about them and not give up!

I short Steve is a great path to follow and I’m still learning something new from his work at every opportunity I can find.

All the best


Ben is not bad either :wink:

Thanks for thought our response!


Sorry I’v not responded but a little time ago the VA opened to some surgery so I was able to get the cataract surgery I have been waiting for, still don’t have my new prescription but I did find a pair of readers that work OK.
First I would like to say we need a moment to remember those that lost their lives today and the hero’s (first responders) that are still dealing with the aftermath of this day 19 years ago, never forget.
And now I would like to thank everyone of you for the support you have shown me I will not stop pickin. I have started playing again with the help of the readers so far so good, well not gook lol maybe ok at best lol.
God Bless all here.


AGREE on the remembrance of today Sir!!!

We are in outage, and were signing a guy in the 4kV switchgear room for maintenance. He was signing in and asked what the date was. I told the ops manager that we should run that guy off, not realizing what today’s date is!!! Pitiful!!