Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Netgrass: Hard Times

I couldn’t wait to try out the new section of the forum!

We’re trying to get Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More” (key of C) off the ground. So far we’ve got DianneP for lead vocals, and mreiz and myself to fill in where needed. Any other takers?

Okay, ya’ll aren’t exactly lining up to get in on this project, are you? :smiley:

Here’s a video embed for those who aren’t familiar with the song.


I’ve been messing around with the lead break today, but I’m kind of confused. When he starts the break (about the 1:40 mark) do you think he is muting the open G string in those chord forms?

I think so. Either that or he is using his third hand to detune it :slight_smile:

Take all this with a grain of salt, but it looks like chord form 1 might be something like
E - 3
B - 5
G - X (probably muted by the second finger)
D - 5

Then he slides down a half step and then picks up the 5 fret on the E with his pinky

That’s what I think is happening, too. I tried playing it with the G note ringing and it was pretty dissonant, but I thought maybe with a rhythm section it might sound okay.

Um missed this section until today!

Sign me up!

Sucks that I just found this today, as Momma had to come to Ky to work at a hospital for a few days, I been staying at a lodge (Buckhorn Lodge) and banging on the guitar nearly all hours of the day on my balcony over-looking the lake while she’s in Jackson working all day…Since I am few miles from “Hazard KY” I been working on a break for 9lb Hammer…thought it fitting since “… it’s a long way to Hazard just to get a little brew…” ANYWAY, I could have been working on this!

Mike, you are a KY boy right? Are you familiar with this area and Buckhorn State Park/Lodge?

…just da good ol boys


Hey Jesse,
Glad to hear you’ll be playing on this one. I grew up in Danville, KY. I have been around Hazard quite a bit. I did some flying for a guy out of Hazard. It’s been over 20 years since I have been there, but I still go east of there around Prestonsburg. My wife’s parents live in that area. I think I went to Buckhorn a time or two to eat, but I don’t think I camped there. If I remember correctly, it’s pretty park.

Love the Dukes plug. Yep, I used to watch it. When I was about in middle high school a guy from a neighboring town had a early 70’s challenger painted pretty much spot on to the General Lee. I was jealous.

Hey oldhat, I wondered where you were.

We’re not locked into any one arrangement on this song. I just embedded the video for reference.

Toss us up some lyrics fellas…anyone have the original lyrics or how you want to structure it? We going dissonant on “Weary”? (they are adding in a minor on the word “weary right”?

Never tried playing this one before so I don’t know the standard.

Larry you the composer on this go-round?

You’ve been lost in Kentucky too long, oldhat. Mike and I started discussing the song structure over on a completely unrelated thread before we got this section up and running.

It starts toward the bottom of the page.

Here’s how I’ve been practicing it.


Ok, went to the other thread, read it and am all caught up now! Funny I mentioned the “weary” deal and where we go with it and you guys had discussed that!

Thanks for the chord charts. I will work something out over the next few days and see what i get, if Mike wants geeeetar parts then I am fine with that and can wait on the next project. Dianne gonna sing…cool.


We can easily work in two guitars, I think. Or maybe Mike wants to test out his mando chops.

The Claire Lynch version splits the break into 3 parts (kind of like we did with I Know You Rider). That might work well for us. I like the G postion guitar work, too.

Jesse, have at the guitar to your heart’s content. I will be out of pocket next week, and I am happy to fill in however/whenever if at all. If I don’t get anything in on this one, that’s perfectly fine. I’ve probably got a few too many balls in the air as it is.

It may only be of interest to me, but I attempted to tab the little mandolin break from the Claire Lynch video.

[attachment=0]Hard Times mandolin.tef[/attachment]

It sure it difficult to get a realistic tremolo with Tabledit.

I like it. That’s a nice break. That is an interesting effect on the tremolo in Tabledit. I don’t think I can recreate that on an instrument :slight_smile:

Yeah, the tremolo effect is a little too robotic with Tabledit, especially since it is played really softly on the original. I didn’t even notice it until I listened with headphones, but on Tabledit it is overpowering.

You probably noticed I already transposed it to our project’s key, too.

And, on a slightly unrelated topic, I played mandolin for over an hour this morning with no cramping. I may actually learn how to play this thing now that I can practice more than 15 minutes at a time.

Good deal on the lack of cramping!

Larry how are we structuring this dude? Reason I ask is I will try and get a scratch track of rhythm guitar put down. You started a project for it on Kompoz yet?

I have attached a .doc (MS Word) file that is of the chord progression and the lyrics. There are 4 verses are we going to use them all?

Please take a look at it and let me know what you guys think…as in is the “Break” spot I put in there a good spot? Are we splitting the break in 1/3rds? Do we wanna do an intro/outro? Do we want to keep all verses? Do we want to leave out one verse and put another break in?


I have no preconceived notions about how we structure the song. The way you have it looks good to me. I think that is pretty much the way Claire Lynch does it, too.

As far as the verses, I’d think we should do them all, but I guess we should get Dianne’s input on that. I sent her a message today, just to make sure she’s still interested in doing the project (before we lock into the key of C).

I believe one break is probably enough since we don’t have too many participants on this project. And if we decide we need an extra break later, i can probably manage to loop in another section.

I haven’t worked on an intro or outro, so however you decide to do it is okay with me. I’ve been primarily listening to the Claire Lynch version and I like the little guitar intro (or I could do something similar with the mandolin or dobro), but that’s just an idea.

I haven’t started a project on Kompoz, yet, so have at it.