Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Jens Kruger Masterclass EP4 - Q&A

Jens Kruger answers questions about his recent Masterclass EP4 Single String & Triplets


Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is when Jens does not understand your question?

I do. :grin:

Thank goodness Ben understands, and answers them in a manner I can understand!

All kidding aside, I find that blending Ben’s lessons & Jens insights has been very beneficial to my mental health. Jens helps me relax and Ben moves me forward.
And both have helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the banjo.

To make a strong rope, you must combine a bunch of small threads.


I struggle sometimes and I am sure @BanjoBen does too, trying to understand questions from students here on the Forum. Jens has an even greater challenge to answer questions because English is not his first language.

I think his thought process is German and when he talks or answers questions he is still translating his thoughts to English as he speaks and often doesn’t complete his sentences. For that I am very forgiving. Sadly there are some folks who claim to be great teachers who’s first language is English and still cant explain things clearly.

I like your rope analogy Joe. Over the years I have studied lots of banjo tutorials taught by multiple teachers, each teacher claiming their teaching method is THE BEST.

Some base their talents on the number of students they claim to have taught not on the quality of the teaching or lesson content. Leaving students disheartened and frustrated at their lack of progress. I include myself among them having forked out a tidy sum for lessons and having gained little or nothing from participation.

In my experience the best teaching method is the one that as a student you gain some knowledge or skill. Where the teacher is approachable and takes the time to explain things.

Many of those tutorials and books I read on my banjo journey added little to my knowledge or skill level until I came across a teacher or other student who could better explain things.

You can study banjo for years but if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. Like you say we are blessed that Ben is here to guide us.


Believe me, there are many days when I am doing the same thing! Native tongue does not matter when your thoughts are jumbled & racing & darting all over the place. What is intended as a clear, concise question comes out as a “What are you talking about” moment.
The Hindus refer to this unquiet mind as “the jumping monkey.” Until you can quiet him, it is difficult to bring things into focus.

On the upside, I am getting much more comfortable with the F chord shape! Every day I add another stick to the woodpile!


Me 2 :smiley:


I’ve tried to watch the video several times but distractions rule the day. I did pick one idea when he talked about Salty Dog Blues. Playing the E two frets up from D. Duh!

I’ve view the Alan Munde fretboard geography lesson many times. The first time I was overwhelmed. I picked up several ideas listing to Katy walk from one chord to another. The next time I viewed the lesson it made scenes and I gained another idea, and so on. There have been times I was not ready for the idea being taught. But as I continue to study, I learn.

For the past year single string picking has been one of my hurdles, along with most everything else.


The thing about watching these videos is you pick up little snippets every time you watch. Often what you see and hear doesn’t register but later on when you work on a project you quickly recall that moment and things click into place.

Single String doesn’t come easy, I am revisiting a lesson that I learned and recorded last year. I stopped practicing it for a month or two and I am having to relearn it from scratch all over again measure by measure lots of single string and cross picking.