Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Randall Mayhew from Sharpsburg, Georgia

What was it that first got you interested in playing the guitar, mandolin or banjo?
Probably the movie "Bonnie and Clyde" with Flatt & Scruggs.

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
About three years. I was given the banjo several years ago, but didn’t do much with it because it needed some work. I had to have new frets and the rim replaced.
As for motivation, I just enjoy the sound of the banjo and want to learn to play with others.

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
The build-a-break lessons are my favorites. I like old church hymns so with the build-a-break lessons I can apply those teachings to other hymns and have my own breaks.

What’s your goal when playing?
Two goals, one is just to enjoy the music and the other is to get where I can play with others. I guess you would call me a closet picker. I don’t know of any jams in my area, so I am kind of limited playing with others.

Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I have an inexpensive acoustic guitar that I bought for my daughter. I thought she may start playing with me, but that didn't turn out like I had hoped. I pick that up sometime, but I have enough trouble finding time to practice the banjo!

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I would like to travel out west and take a trip to Costa Rica.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
Not quite three years.

Do you have a favorite technique? What is it?
Scruggs style picking.

What artist(s) most inspire you and who are your favorite pickin’ heroes (bluegrass and country artists)?
Earl Scruggs, Charlie Cushman. I like the older pickers. Scruggs, Crowe, etc.

What do you do for a living?
I have a small company that test underground gas tanks at convenient stores for leaks.


Congrats on the gpotw, Randall! I’d imagine being in Georgia you could find some other pickers without too much difficulty. Hope to see you on the forum!

Good to get to know you!

Thanks Mike and Dragonslayer.


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Congrats on being gpotw! Thanks for sharing your story, and it’s good to see a fellow Georgian on here. Actually I live in SC now (near Savannah, GA), but was born and raised and lived most of my life in GA. Glad to see you posting on the forum, and hope to see you on here again. There are lots of great folks on here, and every once in a while if I’m not careful, I might just learn something! All the best in your banjo adventures.

Mark C

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Thanks Mark. I look at the forum every day, but I am not sure I could contribute much to the conversations.


Oh, you can definitely contribute, even if it’s just the same two cents everybody else added, it’s still two more cents. And everyone knows the old saying, “how do you buy a vintage prewar Gibson mastertone banjo? Two cents at a time.”

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