Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Learn the Classics


Many times on this forum I’ve read that you need to learn the classics if you want to play bluegrass. This leaves me in a bit of a quandry. That being, I don’t really what the classics are.

I would appreciate if anyone might suggest what they would consider the top 5 bluegrass songs of all time or something close to that.

Any input is much appreciated.


This thread might help.

These are not necessarily our favorites, but what we would consider to be the top 5 Bluegrass songs, the classics as you put it, for any picker regardless of instrument, to have in their repertoire:

My 80+ year old Uncle who grew up in West Virginia came up with this list in no particular order.
Mule Skinner Blues
Six White Horses
Uncle Pen
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
I’ll go Stepping Too
Honorable Mention: Solder’s Joy

My list would probably include:
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Cripple Creek
Cumberland Gap
Wildwood Flower
Honorable Mention: Working on a Building


Excellent Maggie! Much appreciated.

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More than helpful…Thanks Mark.

Also, go buy the Bluegrass Album Band albums to get an education, as well as Flatt & Scruggs, of course.


Thank you Ben…I’ll do it.

Hey Ben, neat pumpkin avatar logo there. I have a request; when you go back to a regular one, instead of that buck toothed mullet top overall wearin hick, how about a nice Ben Clark face with a big smile? :grinning: Just for a while at least…

I bet your wife would agree with me.

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I would probably add Flint Hill Special , Earl’s Breakdown and Remingtons Ride.

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Hi Jack

I think the term is loosely associated with Flatt & Scruggs Mercury Recordings but pretty much any of the tunes played by the first and second generation of bluegrass musicians would qualify. So that rules out newgrass.

Hey @Maggie I am sure Hannah loves him any way he dresses. He did all this crazy stuff before they got hitched so she knew exactly what she was signing up for.

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Hey @Archie I’m sure Hannah loves him despite the way he dresses. I’m just saying I’d like to see the smiling Ben face there for a little while.

Hey it’s been a while Archie, I hope you’re well. :grinning:

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Thanks @Maggie, my leg is much improved after visiting the specialist. I have an appointment with the Doc on the 14th, results from a chest x-ray and blood sample. Determine my shortness of breath. Although I feel quite well


Praying all is well Archie.:pray:

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Thank you Jack much appreciated