Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Tom Marrone from Oswego, NY!

How long have you been playing and what’s your motivation to play?
I’ve been playing banjo for around 3 years now. I’ve had a guitar for many years but have just started taking it a little more seriously starting about a year ago. My motivation comes from my desire to be able to play bluegrass with my kids, and to teach them I have to figure it out first! Also, I find it just to be a ton of fun to pick with someone or a small group.

What’s your favorite lesson on Ben’s site and how has it helped you improve?
My favorite lesson was the first one I ever learned on the site - Jesus Loves Me (fingerstyle guitar). It was a lot of fun for me to learn this one because my kids knew it, and loved to sing along with it. I have a video of that I’ll put on the forum here sometime soon. When things are fun to learn I’ve found that provides a lot of motivation to continue learning.

What’s your goal when playing?
My goal is to continue to try to improve, trying to avoid the temptation to stick with the songs/skills I can do well - which I’ve found to be difficult!

Are there any other instruments or genres of music that you enjoy playing?
I grew up playing classical piano, which I did enjoy. I also did some of my time in college as a music education major and got to experience several instruments/styles which really opened my eyes to instruments I never really considered playing - like guitar, and eventually that led me to banjo.

How long have you been a Gold Pick member?
I’m not positive, but it’s been many years… and a year or two prior to that of trying to convince my wife that it was a good idea (and it certainly has been).

If you could play in anyone’s band, who would it be and why?
Spillwater Drive. Great musicians, great people.

What type of gear or accessories have you found that work best for you?
I like cheap picks a lot because I lose them… a lot.

If money was no object, what would be your dream instrument(s)?
I’d love to get ahold of one of Ben’s Gold Tone Twangers someday.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m very thankful that I got this membership years ago. It’s been so much more than getting access to some tabs like I though it would be. The great people I’ve met through the site and camps have truly had an impact on me. Ben - I love what you’ve done with all this. I’m grateful to have been able to be a part of some of it.

How did you find out about Banjo Ben?
YouTube! I was looking up some bluegrass type guitar song that I had no business trying to play… and I got distracted by one of Ben’s videos… I could be wrong but I think it might have been a version of Foggy Mountain Breakdown on guitar. I think that might have been even before there was a site (or if there was I didn’t know about it). Anyways I started looking up more and more of Ben’s videos from then on. Amazing player, but also the best teacher I have seen.

Thanks for letting us feature you Tom!


Congratulations Tom on GPOTW! Such a valuable point you made about pushing the boundaries in your practice routine. Also, I’ll be watching for your video in BB Clark’s Forum. :wink:


gif Tom on being selected as this weeks Gold Pick Member

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Congratulations Tom! Great story.

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Nice meeting you Tom!

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Congrats to a participant in lake effect snow! There’s nothing quite like picking while it piles up!


Congrats on being the GPOTW to a July 4th 2020 Cabin Camp band mate! Fun reading your interview responses, and all the best in your musical adventures!


Congrats on becoming the GPOTW!

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Congrats Tom on being the GPoTW!

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Congratulations! I really enjoyed playing with you last camp.


Wow!! This is one of the guitar players from the great bluegrass band “I can’ tell you”, also formerly know as band #2. I love this guy!!


Congrats! I have enjoyed getting to be in bands with you!