Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Jason Brown from Williamstown, Kentucky


What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site?
Banjo Waypoints lessons. Mapping out the neck is so important. Once all those little connectors are there movements are smoother and with less thought.

What’s your instrument of choice and what was your inspiration to learn how to play?
My favorite instrument is banjo and then guitar. My inspiration to play banjo comes from just liking the sound. Growing up listening to Ralph Stanley make that old banjer ring. I think the banjo more than the guitar keeps me close the to the old music. Being a lover of history that is important to me.

What’s your goal when playing?
Be the best I can be. I’m not having fun if I’m not performing well. I know its supposed to be fun, but to me the fun is when you are on it. The thing I struggle with the most as a player is what Ron Block (yes I’ll name drop!) called, “enjoying the journey.” I don’t enjoy the journey like I should and I work on that. So anyone who reads this don’t be like me! Enjoy the journey! Enjoy the mess ups and the struggles.

How long have you been playing?
Guitar on and off since high school. Banjo for about two years. I have a Martin DX1. My banjo is a Washburn B18 archtop made in 1978.

What’s your favorite hobby?
Music certainly. Since my hand injury and limited banjo playing I have gotten back into living history portrayal through Civil War Reenacting. My son is at the age that he can join me and that makes that hobby very fulfilling.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
For about 2 years now. Worth every dollar. If I never pick up the banjo again I more than got my money’s worth at the price. Ben makes it a point to be available to help when he can outside the videos. He is very active on the forum as well.

What do you do for a living?
I am an educator through 4-H in Boone Co. Ky. Its a dream job. Teach a lot of history and science. In the summer we go to camp and have our fair in the late summer. As I tell people, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this.” I also serve as a part time pastor at a local church.

Additional thoughts:
If I had any additional thoughts it would be to not give up on your instrument. Sometimes it gets rough and frustrating but a bad day with your banjo is better than no day with your banjo. Love your instrument and ask God to make it something you can excel at for some kind of good in this world. We all need more good.


Congrats Jason.

Congratulations Jason, nice to hear from you. Keep on pickin!

Congrats Sir!

About enjoying the journey… do me a favor…

Pick up your Banjer… pick out a tune you know like the back of your hand… sit down in a nice, comfy setting all by yourself - maybe outside on a nice day.

Take the tempo down to play real relaxed.

Then, just play and listen!

Enjoy the sounds as if you are hearing someone else play. Enjoy the timbre of the instrument. Be greedy with playing… slow… relaxed… controlled… and clean.

Make it your own private playing session… just for you.

Close your eyes as you play.

Play… but don’t give into the pull or temptation to work on anything on your “to do” list. Keep it light and fresh… and just play for a short while and put your ole Banjer friend aside…

Hopefully, this will feed your inner Banjer Spirit and rejuvenate your playing experience.

Congratulations Jason Brown!

Humbled everyone. What an honor. Thanks, @BanjoBen

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