Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Out With The Old

I didn’t need them, but I put new strings on my banjo anyway. It’s always an exercise in “things go wrong.”
I bought a set of Banjo Ben’s medium gauge to try, and they are just fine, but it was time to go to a light gauge anyway.
I had a set of Huber’s in my collection, so I thought I would put them on since they came packed in paper rather than an air-tight plastic bag.
When I got to the 5th string, I found the packet was empty. That jogged my memory to two string changes ago when I broke a new one & used one of the Huber’s as a replacement. Since the 5th string is always the last one I change, I just left the old one on rather than break into a new set. I figure, “Hey, a 10’s a 10.”
So I’m starting the New Year with mostly new strings, but keeping a bit of “tradition” with me.

My old eyes have a hard time getting the winding right, but practice makes perfect. At least I’m no longer wrapping them around the post in the wrong direction anymore!

And I’ve also learned a valuable practice insight. “Start with the easy stuff first.”
I’ve been working on getting smoother with the F chord shape and not muting strings with my ring finger. This requires rolling the wrist a bit beyond my comfort level. That means I need more practice to stretch out my tendenodians. After doing this for a while, my wrist is so sore I cannot play anything!

So I am happy to report I am making progress, I’m a better banjo player now than I was last New Year’s and
I’m looking forward to advancing beyond the Beginner’s learning track this year! Whoo-hoo!


I’ve really got to get around to changing strings one of these years. The other day I noticed some sort of crusty deposit on my strings. I thought, “What the heck is that?” (It is possible that it might have been some sort of food residue.) Anyway, it wiped right off and hasn’t come back. I also need to polish up the metal on my banjo. I saw of picture of my banjo when it was new and the difference was noticeable. It is a little embarrassing being such a slob with crusty strings, tarnished metal, and residual food stains on the head. I have extra strings and polish, I just don’t get around to using them.

Maybe cleaning up my banjo should be one of my New Year’s resolutions, but it gets in the way of practicing. Part of it is the corona virus’s fault - I’m stuck at home; if I don’t need to shave, I certainly don’t need to dress up my banjo. I also blame @BanjoBen, he keeps dropping new lessons and I keep getting farther behind. By the time I’m a good picker I hate to think of what condition my banjo will be in.


Brother, do I share that feeling! I want my muscle memory to start memorizing a lot faster, but it won’t.
My brain knows what I want to do, but my fingers don’t.
I listen to interviews with really good pickers & I know what they are talking about, but I can’t do it.
When you are as wonderful as I am, it’s hard to be humble, but the banjo takes care of that in short order!

However, I am still the best banjo player on my street! :sunglasses:

1 Like

@BanJoe Are you trying to tell us the left hand don’t know what the right hand is going to do LOL
That’s my trouble also

@The_Mole those crusty things I just consider them to be Character ornaments thought they were supposed to be there


…and he lives next door to me. :dizzy_face:


Liar, Liar Pants on fire! :grin:


I’m impressed. I change my guitar strings without a problem but somehow this banjo is menacing. I may have to drive to the General Store.