Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Irish washer woman

I want to try and improve my single string technique, so thought what better than Ben’s Irish washer woman.
Can only play it slow until its tattooed onto my brain. :joy:
It’s quite tricky when your hands got used to all the bluegrass rolls to suddenly want to break the rules and get it to do something different. It’s getting there slowly. :slight_smile:
I played it on my budget banjo which doesn’t stay in tune too good so apologies for an odd string sounding sharp/flat.


That was very good! Very clean picking, great timing, didn’t sound like you missed any notes. Did you play it as it’s written? Cuz that would mean I play it differently than it’s written :thinking: oh well. Keep at it, and the speed will come!

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Very, very good!

Thanks all. I’ll keep practising to get it up to speed. :wink:

Nice job Jon, I know what you mean about beginning single string. I’m dabbling in Shove The Pig’s Foot and Irish Washerwoman and I feel like a noob again. It’s weird how the string that I pick turns out to NOT be the string I fret, even though it feels like it should be. It’s like trying to do a task in the mirror or switching around to doing it left handed. I have to learn coordination all over again, but I’m keeping at it, and starting to see results.

Good on ya.


Great job Jon! I don’t know why, but I love listening to others play.

I find that the single-string stuff, really forces right-hand discipline to another level. Irish wash woman, Shove the Pig, Devil’s Dream, June Apple I can say have really, really helped me. Then when you go back to Scrugg’s Style, it feels like you’ve let the horses out of the barn in terms of speed & accuracy. Keep up the great work and… Happy Picking! Campbell Clan

I hope and think it will improve my playing. It’s given me a little finger strain but that’s just because it’s my hand adjusting to something new. No pain no gain as they say. :+1:

Love this song! You did a great job on it. Now I have something else to aim for…

Sounds very good, clean as well…

Outstanding job on a challenging little tune!

Great job Jon, That’s a tricky one to learn, also an invaluable lesson for single string picking. It certainly helped me a lot.

Thanks Archie, yes it is tricky, especially when you try increasing the speed. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Will keep practising. :+1:

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Small increments. A little each day.

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OK so i’ve been practising like crazy on this one and finally (After countless takes) just about managed to get through without a major mistake :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
So here it is with a little backing I recorded too. :+1: BTW…Apologies for the squeaks on the track, its not me, but compressing the file down for upload seems to have caused a few odd harmonics/squeaks on the track. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


This is so very cool! Seems like you have become a pro in 24 hours! I have been trying this on guitar for quite long time, countless times maybe, still I can’t get it clean. :frowning: Tempo looks perfect too (90% of Ben’s speed??). Great job!! Another genius! :slight_smile:

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Super take! Excellent dynamics!

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Your too kind. Thanks. It took a lot of takes to get it recorded so I’m far from being pro. When I can stand up in front of a crowd and play without any mistakes, that’ll be the day I will be happy. :blush::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The way you’re making progress, looks the day is not too far! :slight_smile:

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Excellent Jon, All you need now is a little green suit and a green hat

An Irish Toast

When we drink we get drunk
When we get drunk we fall asleep
When we sleep we do not sin
When we do not sin we go to heaven
So, lets get drunk and go to heaven

                             and now your all set for St Patrick's Day

Haha, thanks Archie :rofl::+1: