Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Hey! any banjo players around the World, who speak with foreign accent?

Thanks for this lovely site and forum! I was wondering how many of You, pickers, are non US bluegrass maniacs and how do You cope in Your countries with access (no access) to live music and jamming.

I personally come from Poland. I started my banjo sometime in 2005, when lived in Chicago. Attending Old Town School of Folk Music let me start my bodhran and banjo playing. I stayed with bodhran for long (celtic music is my love), but I put banjo aside aftern two months or so.
Now, after over 10 yrs, with two children and living in Poland for good, I decided to get the dust off my cheap, lousy instrument (i believe, I bought it for some $150 or so) and dig through rolls and licks.
I was suprprised that Cripple Creek still comes automatically with my fingers after all that time.
I am a guitar player and play mostly with fingers, so it gives me extra trump card with this 5string monster.
There are not many bands and banjo players here, so internet and printouts are the only resources I can go with. Pretty harsh…
Some somples by my hometown band (no, not mine). Enjoy!

1991 Country Picnic MrÄ…gowo:

and something in my mother tongue for a change

another problem I have to face? In the medevial times a monk made a mistake copying old books. Now our music scale is C D E F G A H (sic!) C. Simply by mistaking b with h he made everything even harder for me. I have to bear mind the change when working on both - american and my materials, funny, huh?


Hey, Erwin from Belgium here. Bluegrass here is VERY unknown, but I don’t think it’s that much different than in the US :slight_smile: How many New Yorkers you reacon know the name of Bill Monroe ? :slight_smile:
We’ve got a couple of VERY good groups here (“Rawhide”, “The Sons Of Navarone”, “Blue Maxx”, although the last one is more European oriented (a Dutch fiddle-player, a German banjo-ist, a Belgian singer-guitarplayer, and I don’t know where the bass-player comes from…)
There is ONE little bluegrass festival in Belgium, and a couple of jams, where you always the same crowd :slight_smile:
The advantage of Belgium is that is so small… If you literally drive 100 miles in any direction, you’re out of the country ! That means that you can visit festivals in other countries like the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France…
Some day, in the next 5 or 6 years, I hope to have my own modest bluegrass band, and be a BIG CELEBRITY in Belgium :slight_smile:


Hi @iwo.jankowski I speak with a Scottish accent do I qualify ? As far as I am aware there are only a few Scottish Bluegrass bands. There’s a bigger following in the South of England and some in Wales I believe.

Like you I have to rely on books DVDs and internet for lessons


I live in Mozambique and speak an American, Australian, Indian, British, cape colored (not racist, that’s what they’re called), Irish, Italian, Mexican, or Scottish accent depending on my mood. There are no bluegrass bands in country afaik, and my only source of lessons is the internet. I occasionally convince my older brother to play some tunes with me but it’s rare, I do play with bens backing tracks a lot, and even change instruments in the middle (which makes me miss the first a part) I wish I could have a band, but might be able to do some jamming in the states (I might be there over Christmas lord willing)


Also no bluegrass festivals here (obviously) and I think there might be two instrument stores in the country, with practically no selection, three hard days drive away


I speak Dutch (my native tongue), French and English. Dutch is very close to German, but not the same. So I do understand most of it, but am not able to have a meaningful conversation in it.

Afrikaans is closer to dutch than German is, so you might be able to converse meaningfully with an afrikaaner. It’s one of the languages I really want to learn

I speak Portuguese… But do not have an “accent” in English because I am from Michigan… Us mid-westerners speak very plain English except when we throw in the occasional " 'eh " - influence from our Canadian neighbors to the north… That changes any statement into a question…

Example: “Going to the movies, 'eh ?”

Take off, you hosers!

For the benefit of our younger forum membership, Doug and Bob Mckinzie explain it best…

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My wife’s family in Oklahoma say, “He talks like the TV newsman.”

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Well, I know midwesterners say they have no accent, and others say that about them, but they actually do have an accent. Everyone has an accent, but you don’t notice until you hear someone else’s. Technically, all banjo players speak with a foreign accent to someone. Like people notice British accents, or Indian accents or southern accents, but I notice more subtle things, like I can tell someone from the north/north-midwest cuz they have a slight Canadian flavor in their voice. One friend of mine is from Texas but has lived in Ghana for years, (and just married a Ghanaian) and she has a very noticeable accent, but you can’t really place it. It almost sounds like English is not her first language. If you can’t tell, I’m an accent nerd :joy::joy:

I’m from northwest North Carolina and we definitely have an accent. :joy:

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Having spent time in the Carolinas, I am confident you do.

Of course this is true. I just meant that people in the Midwest seem to sound like journalists… In that the style of English is very direct… devoid of drawl… and not very fast…

Of course, someone from Boston or Texas would definitely hear that I speak different than them…

Aside from the Canadian influences… I think we speak plain and frankly, rather boring.

I find others “accents” much more interesting… Whether it is someone from NY, Philly or Louisiana… Let alone the UK or Scotland, South Africa or… wherever.

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Yeah, but someone from NY or Scotland or wherever might find your accent very interesting, and their own rather boring

Possible, I guess… But probably not probable

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I thought I was the only one who played one song on 4 instruments! :wink:

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Wait till you hear my latest project…

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This guy has my favorite accent! I love hearing him talk!

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Sounds like an outright threat to me!

Watch it @Dragonslayer… :wink:

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