Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Intermediate Fiddle Tune Request

Hi, Ben. I’m having a lot of success learning Angeline The Baker! I honestly never thought it would be possible to play like this, as I’ve tried a number of times to learn to play tabs and ended up quitting in frustration. Your lessons are so easy to follow, the only way to fail is NOT practicing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
My goal this year is to learn one fiddle tune per month, and would like to ask “pretty please” if you would consider adding Intermediate lessons for Salt Spring, Big Sciota, Red Haired Boy, Red Wing, Soldier’s Joy, and Whiskey Before Breakfast, as these are all played regularly at the jams I attend.

Thank you for all that you do!


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You are too kind!! So, to be clear, the versions I have for some of these tunes like Sciota and Redwing are too difficult for you?

At this point, yes. I’m definitely planning on working up to them down the road. There’re enough Intermediate fiddle tunes here from the list to keep me in business for a while. Just thinking ahead.
Thanks, Ben.

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Just a thought… @BanjoBen you have done a bunch of showing how to build things up from a basic tune. However, the opposite is a skill I don’t think you have explicitly addressed (watering down). I (and I suspect many others) wouldn’t mind watering down a break or two to share. But it seems like this is a request I see often (making something a bit more easy). Would it be worth it to give a brief lesson segment on taking a tougher arrangement and watering it down while keeping it tasty? As I think through it, it seems it would be very similar to the build-a-breaks, but perhaps you can come up with some tips to give folks confidence in watering down.

In the mean time, Kerry, if there is a particular song that you would like help in simplifying, let us know. I bet there are a bunch of folks who would love to help with substitutions for the harder phrases.


Thanks, Mike. The learning curve from strumming to picking is quite steep for some of us, and I greatly appreciate your offer of help. Also, I think your idea about reverse build a breaks is fantastic, and I will start applying this immediately. It shouldn’t be hard to find simply line melodies for a lot of these tunes and get some practice building my own breaks. I love how problems that seem difficult on the surface can often times be easily handled in community. I am grateful for the support here.