Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Having Fun. Pickin' 'n a Grinnin'!

I’ve been going off the reservation, so to speak… Truth be told, my mother and grandfather were the ones that listened to bluegrass, gospel, old country music, etc. So, I enjoy listening to it occasionally. It makes me feel closer to them.

BUT… I grew up on heavy metal, classic rock, and anything that made your ears bleed. So, it’s what I know best.

I’ve found that I struggle to learn the bluegrass tunes because I’m not very familiar with them. As I’m practicing, I have no tune in my head to compare to. It makes practice very frustrating. To aleviate that frustration, I figured ‘why not learn stuff that I already know the tunes to?’

This is one of those tunes. Not metal… but I try to make to it scream in the second video. Had a heckuva hard time keeping a straight face. It was too much fun, and too funny to me.

Here is the refrain (chorus? main riff?) from “He’s a Pirate”. Two versions.

First, the Eastman E8D

Next, my son’s cheap electric (through a Boss Katana 50 MKII)


Thanks for sharing. I had to look up the song to listen, I’ve never heard it before. I like the sad version, too.

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I retired from broadcasting, and I spent many years messing with audience research information… One little tidbit that bubbled up a few decades ago was that metal heads tended to also like bluegrass & classical music, but not Country.
Rock fans won’t do Country until they get older & discover many of their Rock heroes are now doing Country.
Pop music listeners rarely strayed from Pop music, but Country fans would also lean towards Classical. Gospel fans would tolerate some Country, but did not like those cheatin’ & drinkin’ songs.
Mind you, these are generalizations based on a few focus groups. Your mileage may vary.
Finally, males pay attention to the music & women pay attention to the lyrics.


That is some interesting info Joe!

My issue with modern country (not old country) is it has become too Pop sounding to my ear and for some unknown reason makes me unreasonable irrirtable.

I prefer the old cowboy songs, and old country. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Marty Robbins. Bluegrass doesn’t sound pop at all, it’s very refreshing when I want to just relax. Classical is great. Oldies are great. About the only things I won’t listen to are modern Country and Polka.

Lately, my Pandora plays mostly blues: SRV, BB King, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepard, etc. Occasionally, classic rock. Metal is a rare listen for me in my 40’s. After awhile, drop D songs, and E5 power chords just get boring.

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When they started using electric guitar for rhythm it had an extreme effect on the genre in my opinion.


I tend to think of two kinds of music: Country music and Nashville music.
Nashville music ain’t country, but it sells better because it has “attitude.”
And marketing.
Country music gets re-discovered about every 20 years as something “new, fresh & authentic.”
One of the sadder days of my life was when I read an article written by a professional music know-it-all that described rock 'n roll as “a genre popular during the mid-to latter part of the last century.” Ouch!
Funny how those old songs still pop up in new TV commercials every day!