Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Playing up the neck and other beginner questions

Howdy. Guitar questions here…

I’ve been practicing seriously for 15 months. Started working on the Beginner Guitar checklist on Banjo Ben for the last 8 -9 months. I have worked my way down to the G-chord exercise. So I’m trying to master things before moving on for the most part.**

When will I learn about chords south of the fifth fret?

How long would you expect an average player to be able to work through the beginner checklist? ***

If I can play the Basic Guitar Rhythm where or when can I use it?


** not so much for the hammer on and pull off exercises
*** I know it depends on the person, so just looking for a ball-park guestimate?


Great questions!

I think this mainly comes in with barred/closed chords, especially when we’re looking for a more percussive sound or need to play something like a diminished chord. This kind of rhythm is a lot of fun, so don’t be afraid to check out the swing chord lessons!

I would say when you understand most or maybe all of the theory lessons, can play a decent amount of the songs in the checklist, and have the common major, minor, and seventh chords under your fingers, you’re probably ready to move to the intermediate section. I’m not sure how long that would take the average person, but if you do maybe two lessons a week, it may take you just over 7 months or so (62 lessons in the checklist ÷ 2 lessons a week = 31 weeks ≈ 7 months). But of course, there are more variables at play.

Any song that uses the chords and time signatures you know, so pick your favorite songs and try to track along!


Welcome, @Bhive! It would be tough for me to improve on Michael’s answers below. I really advise you to go to the intermediate level and begin playing rhythm along with the songs I teach there, and do NOT be afraid to start diving into those lessons as well. This journey is not completely linear.