Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Jeff Chesser from Westerville, Ohio

What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
My wife and two friends of ours decided we wanted to sing together, and we all liked bluegrass. Bass, guitar and mandolin were already claimed so I got the banjo!

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve been holding it and hacking on it for a couple decades but now I’m learning how to play it! I want to contribute more to our group, Alum Creek, as an instrumentalist. We already sing pretty well.

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
It’s hard to pick one; All Ben’s teachings are nuggets of gold and I just want to get better so I can get to the next level.

What’s your goal when playing?
To create something people want to hear and enjoy.

Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I was a music major on trumpet, and I currently teach band and choir in a high school, so I can play all the band instruments a little. I sing and play trumpet in church a lot. I really relate to how Ben teaches since he also had formal musical training (on piano), and banjo was not his first instrument.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Watch videos of Alan Munde, Roy Clark, Bela Fleck, and JD Crow, just to name a few! Then practice some more!

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
About 3 Months

What do you do for a living?
I’m a Band and Choir director at Dublin Scioto High School in Dublin, Ohio.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
Go on a world tour with the Purple Hulls! Or Ricky Skaggs. An African Safari would be kinda cool, too!


Nice to meet you Jeff!


Congrats on being GPotW Jeff! Glad to have you.


Congrats on being the Gold Pick member of the Week & welcome aboard!


Congratulations on being gpotw! Welcome to the site, it’s awesome! That’s a great music wall you got there.


HI Jeff, Welcome to the best online learning and store in the world…Congrats on the GPMOTW. Youll have to post a video of you and the Mrs. with your 2 friends playing. Very cool that you teach band and choir.


Congratulations Jeff. Nice to meet you. Westerville is where I grew up. Went to Westerville High School (now known as North) Lived on Collage Ave. Still have family there. Small world.


Thanks for the welcome everyone!


@jchesser1, it’s great to meet you, and that’s a nice wall of instruments you have there!


Does this mean you won… or lost… in choosing the Banjo?

In my book, you WON - BIGTIME!


This is awesome! What genre of music did you primarily play?

I played trumpet too! In fact, my brother still does and is a Jazz Professor at Western Illinois University (WIU). He got his Masters Degree from Bowling Green (OH) before attending NYU.