Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Keep finding nuggets around here!

I have to say I’m not regretting doing the full lifetime membership thing one bit. I figured I would jump over to the Guitar stuff once I caught up with all the mandolin lessons, but I’m starting to think I’ll never get there.

I’ve kind of hit a plateau with my playing, so I’ve gone back to the basics working the scales and stuff. I had originally passed right over that 2 octave stuff, but wow, catapult slides. It would never dawn on me to do them that way. Thanks Ben!

It’s pretty humbling. Even when I was practicing flat picking very consistently, Ben can come up with material, arrange it, make a tab, learn it himself, make a lesson plan, record a performance, record the lesson, edit the video… all of this for three different instruments AND he can do it at a rate where I couldn’t keep up with how fast he puts out new stuff on any one of those instruments. There’s lots of good stuff.

While you are perusing the fundamental stuff, did you hit the “Mandolin Backup - Ballads in A?” I enjoyed it. I haven’t worked it into a song yet, but I plink on it from time to time.

Yes I did go through that lesson a few weeks ago. Actually I stole the particular roll Ben used in it, it’s now part of a slow 30 second intro into one of the tunes I’ve been doing with my band (Steve Earle’s ‘Galway Girl’).

I started looking at the Build a Break stuff with Unclouded Day, but haven’t fully digested it yet. Ditto for the Syncopated Picking. It’s all good. I’ve more or less stopped playing any tunes at all for a while during my nightly practice sessions, except for one. Instead of Unclouded Day I’ve been using John Prine’s ‘Paradise’ as the basis for trying to build my own breaks.

Hey Mike how’s your new - oops I mean your wife’s - new MT, treating you? Ooops I did it again. Her. How’s it treating her?


The MT is doing fine. It’s a wonderful little instrument, but it’s being pampered currently. The other mandolin is the one that leaves the house thus far. It’s only a matter of time until the MT gets to go out and explore the world a bit.

Nuggets for sure … you have to dig and work hard that is great makes you hussle … found all kinds of stuff that can be done with simple chords too … Once you get to kinda know Bens style … I was really impressed with his gracious way of actually taking time to help one on one … This Guy is headed for the big time … and I am not the Ki$$ A$$ type Either … Thanks BB!