Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Question(s) Regarding Gold Pick Memberships - For Ben hopefully

Hi there. I hope this will reach @BanjoBen I was looking for a way to contact him privately, but my inquiry is too long for the contact us part of the web site. So I’ll do it through here (although it does expose me a little). Hope that’s ok.

A little about myself…
In April and July of 2015, I had two strokes. The fortunate side of this was that the effect on my cognitive and mobility abilities were minimal.
Unfortunately, the strokes took the majority of my vision. I was diagnosed with Non-Arteritic, Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. I am considered legally blind but I am, thankfully, not completely blind. My vision is like looking through two large straws. Unfortunately, even that vision is rather blurry and there appears to be a haze over everything. I can’t drive and stuff so I’m permanently and totally disabled.
They say that losing one’s vision is akin to losing a loved one. At least from the perspective of dealing with the loss. I can attest that this is very true. After losing my vision, I became very depressed. I rarely left the house, literally, for months and months.
It has been a REALLY long road of recovery and over-coming depression. The doctors have told me that I needed to find a hobby; find something to do. My wife said so too. Well, as a boy, I played guitar (enough to strum and play rhythm). I started playing piano around the age of 18 and that has been my primary instrument since then. I played in Southern Gospel groups and church. I’m 45 years old.

So after a year or so of consideration, I’ve decided to take back up the guitar. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’m interested mainly in flatpicking guitar. I’m committed to the task… (so much so, my wife bought me a brand new, shiny Martin D-28(2017).)

Well, I’m looking for a place to call home for learning and re-learning. I almost pulled the trigger on Bryan Sutton’s stuff over on that other site. Then I stumbled across your YouTube page. I’ve watched a LOT of your videos on there. I have to be honest… I have been drawn to your site by your profession of your faith, your commitment to flatpicking guitar and the fact that a LOT of your videos are songs we do in our little country church every Sunday.

Now, I have a couple of questions I think. Mainly, do you think the lessons provided by your site will be beneficial to someone like me? Will a Gold Pick membership allow me to ask questions that may come up from time to time? I guess I’m asking are you available from time to time, maybe by email or something to answer a question or two?
Lastly, I won’t be able to use tablature much (unless I blow up on the screen really large but it’s really hard work for my eyes even at that)… So, do you think that the format of your lessons will still be beneficial to me? I’ll be doing a lot of listening and emulating I suppose. Of course, that’s how I learned piano too… So nothing new for me.

I’m committed to doing the work, putting in the practice (heck, I don’t have much else to do). Do you think this is a place I can call home and learn flatpicking?

I apologize for this being so long. I simply didn’t know another way to reach out and ask these questions. I hope to hear from you soon.

Warmest Regards,
Tom (DimEyeGuitarGuy)

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Howdy @DimEyeGuitarGuy, thanks for your questions. I am sure sorry to hear about your struggles! I just can’t imagine. I have someone close to me going through a similar journey and it has been so, so difficult.

Yes, this is what I do. Though I have a lot of students, I answer every single question asked by them to the best of my ability. Often I will request that the student post their question to the forum if I feel it will benefit others, but I’m here to be your teacher to the best of my ability.

My instructional lessons center around explaining the tab segments that are on the screen. However, there are also chunks of each lesson that focus on approach and technique. Though it may take some customization, I encourage you to use the .tef tab files I offer for each lesson. They allow your computer or device to play the tab for you while you control the tempo, or even loop various parts of the song. That is a wonderful aid!

I recommend you try it for a month, ask me any questions you need, and see how it works for you. You can cancel anytime. In fact, if it’s not a good fit, let me know before the first month is up and I’ll refund your initial payment. Nothing to lose! I’ll be honored to have you on board.


@DimEyeGuitarGuy I think everyone on here will agree that there is not a better place to be for learning bluegrass guitar (or Mando or banjo) After a month you’ll be hooked! Also this forum has a lot of great folks ready to help and always encouraging.


Thank you @BanjoBen. I’m looking forward to giving it a go. I’m currently out of town until either tomorrow night or Wednesday. I’ll get it fired up then!

Tom (DEGG)

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@Bcaves Thank you! Thats really good to hear. I’m looking forward to it.

Tom (DEGG)