Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Lesson Sequence? Help!

Love the site and the instruction. Videos seem to be placed in alphabetical sequence, though. What is the recommended sequence for going through the lessons?

I am not a banjo player, but a good start might be (on the basic video tab) Banjo 101 through Banjo 107. After that, see what interests you (on the basic video tab) and have at it.

Here’s a similar discussion:

Makes sense! Thanks! I’m also learning Mandolin. I was wondering about the songs themselves - which ones are the most easy to the most difficult in each skill category?

I played guitar before playing banjo so that I only did the Right Hand Rolls 103 lesson, the Cripple Creek lesson and the Rocky Top lesson and then went to the Intermediate lessons after that.

Now when Ben does a new lesson, I always take a look at it, even the Beginner ones. The ‘build a break’ lessons have easy parts and then more difficult parts to them so they are a bit more difficult than the other straight beginner lessons. His ‘Bile Dem Cabbage’ lessons (I think he has two of them) are really easy. The Worried Man blues lesson is also pretty easy.

I have found that there is a basic but very large ‘vocabulary’ that you need to know before you can really start making banjo music. For instance, you need to be comfortable with a forward roll but not just the one motion. You need to be comfortable starting with any finger on any string and then playing different strings in sequence. So you really need to learn dozens of Forward Rolls, not just one.

When you play a song from Ben’s lesson, his intention is not really just to teach you a tune you can play to your friends but he is presenting fun to play exercises that, if you repeat them over and over and over again, will get your fingers familiar with the banjo vocabulary.

So you can’t go wrong with any of his lessons (though I find the Licks lessons more informative than practical as I find it really boring just to play short little licks over and over and over again. And all of the licks are also incorporated into his song lessons).

I would start with Banjo 103, maybe some of the other numbered lessons (though they didn’t exist for me when I first started) and then play a few songs. If you find they are not challenging enough, move onto the Intermediate lessons (The Old Home Place is really easy to start).

Good luck with the journey.

Thanks, that was really helpful.

Welcome aboard Krish!

I agree with Bluenote23 and would just add each player has individual needs and may be challenged on differing levels. I’ve played banjo & guitar for a long time but joined Ben’s site to be stretched in a new way. Because I came with ‘experience’, I also came with bad habits which I am un-learning.

How long have you been playing?