Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Under The Double Eagle

Hey folks, is anyone else working on this tune? Wondering if it’s just me, I am having a hard time with this one. When Ben plays it sounds great, but I am having one heck of a time getting the melody out of this one. Working on it one measure at a time a long and daunting task indeed. Usually I get them fairly quickly but not this one. Hope it’s not me and just tough………Jerry :cry:

I am not working on that one, but I played through it a few times. It’s a sneaky hard crosspicking song. It reminds me of “Wildwood Flower” or “Where the soul of man never dies.” My problem on songs like that is getting the dynamics of the accents and the fill notes. It’s a different feel than playing a bunch of 8th notes with roughly equal volume. I find that if I play something like that real slow a whole bunch of times while really focusing on the accented melody, it eventually works out for me. I try to just tickle the fill notes… if I miss one, that’s ok. In short, in my opinion, it is not as easy a song as it seems and it probably just takes time to get it sounding good. I do find songs like this to be the most rewarding… I really like playing them once I get it.

Hey no one working on this one??? :question: Man this thing has me befuddled, Ben finally finished me off with this tune…. :frowning:

How’s it coming along Jerry? Any progress?

NO!!! :cry: :confused: :mrgreen: Me don’t Get it…………I burned the tab…….stomped on it…………gave up…………Not really but man I am having one tough time with this one. Can’t stand to watch Ben play it anymore makes me feel like an idiot! :laughing: :blush:

I think a tab burning might be therapeutic… you can always print another one :smiley:

Since nobody else has offered suggestions, I’ll throw one out there. Strip it down to just the melody notes. Get to where you can play them strong and even. Then try adding the fill notes back in, working on one phrase at a time. If you miss the fill notes, it will still carry the melody. In a band situation, no one would even notice. When I play similar tunes, it’s not an exact duplicate every time I play it, and that’s ok as long as the melody jumps out and is covered well.

There are no guarantees it will help, but you gotta admit… the price for the advice is tough to beat.

True enough Mike, I know no one can really help but usually I grasp this stuff pretty quick,Just frustration on my part…Jerry

Re: Under The Double Eagle

Postby Jerry M » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:46 pm
NO!!! :cry: :confused: :mrgreen: Me don’t Get it…………I burned the tab…….stomped on it…………gave up…………Not really but man I am having one tough time with this one. Can’t stand to watch Ben play it anymore makes me feel like an idiot! :laughing: :blush:

Jerry M

Posts: 105
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:04 pm

Relax and play it the way you feel it, it is all about making things different and when we find out we are not Ben but we are who we are . Sure we have many that emulate someone but it is not them playing you might as well have the original . so what I am saying is be your self to thy own self be true play it the way you feel it and just maybe someone will notice you are different . Music and different ways of playing is what makes it so interesting and entertaining. It makes and breaks and in anything we try we will not be successful to the degree we expect of our selves . But if that is what you want go for it and lean it note for note there is nothing wrong with that either. because not every one knows or listens to Ben and no disrespect for Ben he is an accomplished musician and some day when somebody tells they have enjoyed playing with a real musician you can say you have made a difference in the music field,. Most all enjoy it while you can .

I hear you Welder, been falling into some serious slumps of late hopefully short ones……Jerry

Take a break it helps me . sometimes we get to consumed with something i it is disparaging . Take a few days or even a week or two find something else and come back refreshed and ready to learn . and there is nothing wrong with playing it note for note I just like to hear different people play because it is different .

I know this is late but try and look at this tune as nothing more than alternating bass notes but played all the way into some treble notes. all he is doing is adding strumming to the tune and using alternating notes to get the what I call the oomph ! feel to the tune. If that makes any sense to you it may not . I play the tune in A as well the bar chorded A and cheat by not playing the bottom string. it has an alternating bass sound to it .

Thanks Welder for the advise, I put this on aside for a while as I got frustrated with it. I will go back to it later working on some others right now. I know this song and the melody for me gets lost in this interpretation but will give it another go someday. Jerry :mrgreen:

Jerry M,
I have looked at Under the Double Eagle and filed it for later. I wish I could offer sound advice but I am looking for my own and don’t even know how to ask. My case is Foggy Mountain Breakdown for guitar and as is commonly seen, Banjo Ben makes it seem easy and doable. Six months later and it still looks doable but for me it isn’t easy. I can’t even keep up with Tefview at 12% and that is slow. At this point I think it is just me.

On the up side I have picked up/learned a lot of useful riffs/licks that I find myself adapting else where so It isn’t like I am getting nothing out of it As I browse this forum I am seeking approaches to learning those impressive sounding solos that at this point I only dream of doing.

I know exactly how you feel Jim, when I first started on this site about 2 yrs ago I started on Grand Pa’s Clock and worked and worked on it, gave up went back, tried now and then , and on and on , then one day I worked on it for hours and hours and still couldn’t get it down smooth…now, I play it every couple of days and it seems easy,it’s weird how this stuff goes, I am now in the same boat with I am a Pilgrim, the CW version, finding it very difficult but notice some improvement every few days. I find if I get away from them for a while when I come back a day or two later it’s better…
I have not gone back to Under the DE as yet, to busy with others but will in the future. I took on Beaumont Rag right away and found it easy to learn although I am pretty much stuck at 160bpm for now but it to is getting better. I practice almost all my tunes at about 200 bpm which I find a good medium tempo but still lacking for most BG fiddle tunes. But then I clearly remember playing the same tunes at 60bpm only about a year ago so it’s better. In the winter time I put in long practice days of at least 6 to 8 hours and start at 6am when I’m feeling good. I find I learn faster and do better starting very early before anyone is up and the day has not had a chance to cause disruptions as yet…Jerry