Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Jam Session Started

I met @crohnieks here on the site a few weeks ago and we had lunch last week. We wanted to try some picking together so I suggested we do it at my church. I invited an old friend of mine from church that is a banjo/guitar/dobro/mandolin teacher, and invited a girl from my church that plays Viola by ear. To make a long story longer😜 we all had a great time, and we’re planning on trying to get together as many Wednesday’s as possible. I haven’t played in a group setting very much, but I know one thing, it is so much more FUN! I’ve already had one other person at church volunteer to play bass, so hopefully we will continue to grow.


That’s awesome! There’s nothing like jamming with friends. As an added bonus, your skill level will take off in that setting.

I really need to make something happen with a regular jam night around here.

The teacher I was referring to, his name is John. John is in his 70’s I think, and he has been trying to get this started for a few years but I have always struggled finding time when he asks me about it. I am still struggling with the time, but I’m trying to make an effort. I know John ain’t gonna be around forever.

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Another upside to a jam session is that it required me to create my own break to I’ll fly away, since Ben doesent have that one posted anymore. It was nothing more than a Carter Style solo, but it’s a start. I almost emailed Ben and asked for his TAB, but I figured not having it would force me to do my own.

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You wrote:

I realize what you meant (John’s age) but… as a friendly realization… ain’t that true for all of us?

My point is ‘Seize The Day’… because we all have a fixed number of Days… but how we fill them is up to us, yes?

Call me Captain Obvious but it is good to have these reminders from time to time. if working with John gets YOU BOTH out there… that’s the important thing, right?

Isn’t it just the coolest when you hear your playing amongst others - especially after practicing alone nearly all the time. Sometimes, even the simplest chords sound glorious in a group.

I wish I could have what you are creating - Bravo! I am glad you are enjoying!


You’re absolutely right, None of us are guaranteed another day. It’s good to learn from others but especially from those wise folks out there that have lots of years and experience in life lessons. Before my grandfather died I tried to learn all I could from him about the old time ways. I treat my grandmother the same way. She may out live me, but I’m going to soak up as much knowledge as I can from her. My wife would never learn how to make buiscuits, so one day I bought some flour and milk and took them to my grandmothers house and spent all day with her learning to make buiscuits.:grin:. No one can take that away from me…ever!


I had a similar experience with my late, grandmother. I had discovered Pierogies in High School and asked my Polish Grandma about them. She told me to come over and she would make some - by HAND! Of course, I did - just the two of us… and when I asked her about how she would cut out the dough in circles… she held up an empty Tuna can and said, “With this!”

It was so… matter-of-fact… that I remember to this day… and thought of the many times she had done that! No special knife needed… just a Tuna Can.

The cutouts were perfect - and the pierogies were the BEST I ever had (how’s that for an unbiased review :wink:)

Thanks for helping me recall that treasured memory!