Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Just joined never played an instrument before

is their a way I should study the lessons or any pointers any people could suggest


I tend to jump around lessons a lot so lack structure. But welcome and enjoy, I do. many folks on here though will help and guide you I am sure. Happy Picking


Welcome to the adventure! I’m just shy of a year, so I’m the “Beginner with Expert Advice.”
First things first - Go to the same page where you clicked “Forum.”
Click “Banjo” at the top of the page, then “Beginner Banjo Learning Track.” This is a great guide to take you one step at a time in an easy-to-understand, orderly fashion. And you can keep track of your progress!
Next, when you get to a lesson, download the pdf TAB file and ,most importantly, the TEF file.
These are great learning aids, especially the TEF file. You can even change the speed to slow it down to my level!

Do not pressure yourself to perform to some weird expectations. Chances are you are the best banjo player in your neighborhood, so relax and enjoy! (unless you live next to Jens Kruger, Bela Fleck, JD Crowe, Noam Pikelney or me. :roll_eyes:)
As you progress, more questions will pop up and this is the place to get them answered!

While at first, practice may seem hard, but it will get better. As Ben so often says, “You gotta retrain your brain!”

One final thought - The talent needed to play banjo is not some magical musical gift. It’s the talent to stick with it.
It’s funny. At times it’s really hard to make the banjo do what you want, then other days it’s like somebody else’s fingers are on the strings & it sounds great!
Trust me, that is you picking!


Welcome to the site!


@redtrk70, welcome to Ben’s website and to the forum! I don’t have anything to add beyond the advice from @BanJoe, but don’t ever be afraid to ask for advice or opinions on the forum.


Hey Allen! Welcome to the forum!

@BanJoe gave you some excellent advice. Follow that learning track as best as you can. Get the rolls down forward, backward, square, and all, then head into the simple songs.

Don’t feel like you have to get one lesson up to full speed before moving to the next one. If you get stuck on a lesson, or start feeling yourself get bored, move on and come back to it later. We all learn a little differently, so find a groove that works for you.

I want to reiterate BanJoe’s TEF file advice. I’ve talked to so many people that went a long time without using them. Then they realize what they are and wonder how they ever got along without them. A few times, I’ve actually learned the entire song with the TEF file without referencing Ben’s videos. I DON’T recommend that for a beginner. Right now, watch those videos and pay close attention to Ben’s hand positions, fingering, note expression, and whether he plays the song straight or with a swing beat.

And don’t be afraid to post videos of your playing when asking for help. Lots of people here to give you advice, and if required, you’ll likely even get a personalized video from Ben to address your question.

Good to have you, Allen! Looking forward to watching your journey.


Ooooh…posting videos of playing. Pretty scary! (But not bad once you get into the pool!):grin:


Welcome Allen! Mr. G’s theory lessons will make good for strengthening your foundation. As far as actual playing, I agree with learning the rolls. (Forward, backward, sideways…every which way).


All great advice above. Learn the fundamentals and you will be ready to tackle any lesson here.

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Welcome @redtrk70. This forum is a great place to ask questions or advice. I didn’t get on the forums for quite a while after getting my Gold Pick membership but really wished I had been active form day one. There are a lot of knowledge people about many different instruments that are always willing to share their knowledge and experiences.


Welcome, @redtrk70!