Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Shenandoah Breakdown - first lesson in a year

Over the past year, work has been relentless. My family was missing me. My dog was missing me. So you know, my Twanger has been missing me.

I guess if there’s a silver lining to COVID, it’s that things are starting to slow down, which allows me to actually play. @Michael_Mark inspired me a couple of days ago with his post of this song. I doubt I’ll ever be able to play it at MM’s speed, I did manage to get it up to Ben’s backing track speed, which is good enough for me.

Hoping this is the first of many new lessons under my belt.

By the way, all of you banjo players out there should try this one. I think the ONLY reason it’s in the Advanced section is because it’s so fast. It’s still fun to play at 50% speed, and it’s not difficult at all. I was surprised at how fast my brain took to it.


Great job, Mark!! Glad I could inspire you!


Wow!!! That is really fast… played fantastic! I think this is to fast for me…:hot_face: great!! :clap:t2:


The picking and fretting patterns are way easier than I thought they’d be. I bet you’d be surprised how quickly you get it playing fast.


OK, first…nice banjo face! Remind me not to play poker with you.

Second, that was very well played.

Third, you might be right about any banjo player taking a run at it. I’ve reached the point where I can actually recognize what you are doing (and how precisely you are doing it.,) so I can see there are not any horrible parts in it that makes my fingers cramp at night when I’m asleep.

Finally, If I got busy for a year doing something else, do you think I could play that well?


Thanks Joe!

Dude, on the scale of complicated songs I’ve learned, I’d give this one a 3 out of 10. There’s really not much to it. I’d say most of the licks in it I already knew from other songs. It was like building Frankenstein’s Monster out of song parts. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how quickly the rust is getting knocked off now that I’ve started practicing daily again. I just hope the urge doesn’t subside and work continues to allow for it.


Awesome picking! And even a smile! Enjoyed it!


That was really good! You have tempted me to definitely check that out. I am hoping to play at least half as good as some of you very fine pickers someday. I know…Keep Practicing!!! :sunglasses:


I know I wear this meme out, but…


Just a little encouragement (from fine player’s such as yourself) and a swift kick in the seat is all I need!!! I’m practicing and there is improvement. I’ll start posting when I get a little bit better. Thanks for the support. :sunglasses:


Looks like this made today’s email. Congratulations! Is “forum news” a new feature of the Monday email?


It was new today and it might be here next week. I should probably plan these things out better, haha.