Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Larry Haden from Fayetteville, Arkansas


What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site?
I’ve been playing guitar off and on for about 25 years, but only recently decided to learn how to flatpick. I saw a video of Jake Stogdill playing and talking about Blueridge guitars. I had been looking for a guitar more suited for bluegrass, so I shot Jake an email and I was at the General Store in South Missouri that afternoon. I got to “play” multiple Blueridge models that afternoon. I write play in parentheses because sitting there listening to and watching Jake play… I seriously considered taking up the kazoo as my instrument of choice. I did not purchase a guitar that day, but I was back within the month and got a Blueridge 140A! If anyone is considering a new instrument, I HIGHLY recommend giving Jake a call at the General Store. He had the guitar set up better than any I had ever held. Truss rod, bridge, flux capacitor…you name it and Jake had checked or adjusted it all to make sure that guitar was perfect before it left the door.

I’ve only really “dove” into the Salt Creek and Cripple Creek lessons. I really like the Cripple Creek lesson. All the hammer-ons and pull-offs make me sound like a WAY faster picker than I actually am! The Bag o Licks lessons are on the agenda next, I need to add some flavor to my boom chicka.

What’s your instrument of choice and what was your inspiration to learn how to play?
I remember being over at a friend’s house around the age of 12 and hearing Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd for the first time and thinking to myself, “I want to be able to do that!” So I started teaching myself to play guitar. I never made it to that level, but it got me into playing guitar. During college, I became a huge fan of Dave Matthews and learned probably 75% of his tunes. After college, the guitar kind of got put to the side. I’d pick it up from time to time but nothing serious. In the last few years, I have really started to enjoy and gravitate more towards bluegrass music, so naturally I wanted to learn how to play it. I quickly found out that I wasn’t going to be able to just teach myself to flatpick. So I told myself to go sign up for a gold pick membership on BanjoBen. But wait, Ben’s an Aggie!!! I can’t let an Aggie teach me how to flatpick! After a few days of trepidation, I gave in and signed up! JK Ben! I can honestly say that my playing has progressed more in the last 2 months than it has in the last 10 years. Thanks!!!

What’s your goal when playing and how long have you been playing?
My goal when playing is be able to one day just pick the guitar up and jam with anyone. To be able to go to bluegrass jams and wail away on the guitar and then to help someone else who is just learning.

What’s your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobbies are fly fishing and upland hunting with my bird dog. Living in Arkansas, I am able to fly fish for trout year round at some world class fisheries. From November through January, I spend as much time chasing quail and pheasant with my Lllewellin Setter Finn. I enjoy watching my buddy work and point birds more anything.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I have been a Gold Pick member for about 2-3 months.

What do you do for a living?
I work in data analytics for a large Candy Company. I am a self-proclaimed “Excel Nerd”.

Where’s your favorite place you’ve traveled and why?
I’m not a very “traveled” person. But I have a long list of hunting and fishing destinations that I’d like to visit someday…Alaska, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, basically anywhere out west.



Welcome to Banjo Ben and the forum, Larry! Congratulations on being Gold Picker of the week! Nice to learn some things about you… hopefully you get to go on some of those western hunting trips someday.

Congratulations Larry Hayden nice to meet you .

Congrats Larry

I was in the middle of moving to our new house… so sorry I am responding late.

Ok, truth be told, we moved in at the end of April… but getting that new house, packing/unpacking. New Construction and all that stuff… I am finally getting caught up!

Congrats - good to know ya!