Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Jack Wanatt from King, North Carolina


What is your favorite lesson on
Well, that usually depends on my mood and if I can find the printed PDF at the time. Right now, it’s “Intro to Melodics”. That may change by the time this is posted to the forum.

What’s your instrument of choice and what was your inspiration to learn how to play?
Hands down my instrument of choice is banjo. In recent years, I’ve come to enjoy that “twangy” sound, if you will, more and more. That along with nagging left wrist pain, one less string to keep track of, and a thinner neck made it a no brainer.

What’s your goal when playing and how long have you been playing?
My goal when playing is to always be anticipating what’s ahead one or two bars and to be focused on that. If you can do that all the way through the song, you’re in a very good place. Perhaps Louie Armstrong put it more simply when he said, “My advantage is that I can concentrate better than other musicians”.

What’s your favorite hobby?
I bought my banjo on the afternoon of July 23, 2017. That evening, I signed up as a Gold Pick Member, and I’ve loved every second of it. Shameless plug, Ben is the best, most easy to understand teacher I’ve ever seen at anything.

My favorite hobby is rough housin with my granddaughters. Talk about total opposites. Clementine is a complete tomboy who laughs when she takes a hard fall, while Olive is all about unicorns and playing with her LOL dolls. In addition to that, I like Italian cooking and reading. Joel Rosenburg, and Clive Cussler are a couple favorites. Other than that, it’s all about the music. It’s alway been that way and always will be.

And of course, I would be remiss to mention that I have been happily married to the lovely Terry for 32 years, and and have been a stumbling but devoted follower of Jesus most of my life.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
Since July 23, 2017.

What do you do for a living?
I am a Security Guard and a part time Medical Courier. Several years back, I retired from Wells Fargo Bank as an IT Tech. I also retired from the US Navy after losing the use of a foot.

What is your favorite place you’ve visited and why?
The coolest place I ever visited was Hamilton, Bermuda while in the Navy. I was blown away by how blue the water was and how far down you could see. I caught a huge Bermuda Chub off the fantail, and we rented mopeds and cruised all over the island. An amazing experience for an 18 year old country boy who had never seen much!


Congratulations Jack Wanatt! Nice to meet you.

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Congrats Jack

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You as well Roger…thank you.

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Thanks Archie.

Very nice and bringing some class with a tie! Wait, that’s not a clip on is it? (just kidding!)


Hey Jack… congrats on the gold pick member of the week. Maybe one day those granddaughters will pick up an instrument and play along with Grandpa!

I’m really hoping so brother. One is showing some good potential. Thanks for the kind words.

Appreciate that Trout!

Hey Jack! Congrats! Nice to get to know you a little better.

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You do look sharp with that tie on!! :sunglasses: Glad to hear your enjoying life with your Grandkids.

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Thanks Brandon…appreciate your being on the forum, and the kind words.

Congratulations Jack! Great story and didn’t realize you were retired Navy. When did you serve? I’m a retired snipe… GSCS 84-04 myself!

Hey Bob,

I was a snipe as well most of the time I was in, I was a BT. I was in from 77 to 80. I believe your rate was called MM back then. Medically retired because I lost the use of a foot. Nice to get those benes. Crappy that my foot don’t work.

I was on a WWII destroyer, 714: an FFG 5, and spent a year in Annapolis.

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Long Overdue congrats! I enjoyed reading your profile.

One Vet (6 years USAF) to another, thank you for your service - and presuming the foot loss was during service - thank you even more for the sacrifice!

Jack, I only just saw this, my apologies. FFG-5? The Dickie-P! My brother was a FN striker on the Dickey-P for a year or so back in 86, I think. Small world and an even smaller Navy!

Wow, a Gearing Class destroyer? Brother that’s some steamer! Talk about a greyhound!

My first ship was the USS Simpson, FFG-56 and my last one was the USS Arleigh Burke, DDG-51. Proud to know another destroyerman!