Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

What are y'all up to?

Well, this is a topic where you can just come and tell us all what you’ve been doing without having to start one. I’ve been “very busy” (watching YouTube…) I finished learning March 32nd (a tune from mandolin Mondays) yesterday, then today after watching YouTube I taught myself dear old Dixie (a tune I’ve liked for a while) and then I just wrote an Irish jig. I did my whole workout yesterday… so that’s what I’ve been doing, what about y’all?


Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.
Found my way down stairs and grabbed a cup and looking up, I noticed I was late.


…Found my coat and grabbed my hat, Made the bus in seconds flat…


I bet you grabbed your coat and hat next, didn’t ya?


Just having some lazy time. Don’t feel motivated to do very much


I spent all day Saturday learning Touch of Grey…fun song in the key of B. As with most GD songs, it has it’s weird parts!

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You sure know how to keep yourself busy!

For me, I’ve spent the last week of free time immersed in Lonesome Road Blues. I’m currently playing it at 115% speed, as per @Mike_R’s suggestion way back when. It’s amazing how cleanly I can play it at 100% speed when I’ve been practicing it 15% faster.

My goal was to nail that song so it would be the first song I play on my new Twanger when it arrives. I think I got it. :slight_smile:


OK here is what I did, what a friend we have in Jesus, maybe about 65% speed, with many mistakes of course. If I have to wait to get a clean version, probably I never will post. So here is my version so far…


I’m glad it is listenable to Mark who is in a different tier altogether!! Result of my close to 1 year of picking after joining BanjoBen’s site. I know for some 6 months or more in the middle I hardly touched the guitar. I should be able to improve a little bit on speed and cleanness with this song when I practice a bit more. :slight_smile:

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You’ll get it! I think most of us here have the same story of diving in and then losing focus for a while. Heck, after I joined in August of 2016, I had put down the banjo by October when my son was born and didn’t pick it back up until the following April when Ben had a contest. I’m so grateful for Ben for having those contests to keep people interested in learning.

We need to do what we can to encourage each other to keep at it. That’s one of my favorite things about this forum. Everyone here is so eager to help others.


I agree Mark.

I think looking back the first month after joining was the toughest in the sense I needed to pick up the beginning level skills on coordination between picking and catching a string and also on techniques and speed . And doubts came up on whether I will be able to come up to a decent level. After 1st month or so, practicing/playing was more enjoyable instead work. People like you sharing videos always provides hope that the skills are attainable in a relatively short time frame. Also when you find less perfect videos, it makes you think you’re not alone. This forum is really helping that way. And Ben’s arrangements are always great and still easy for the advanced level of music (I had a fingerstyle song book but always found it hard to learn or complete) that it provides satisfaction when you learn a song.


I like it. And it may just be me, but I think that song works well at slower speeds as well.

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Thanks Mike, yeah it does! :slight_smile:

Excellent! Keep up the great work! And the great audios. I’m going to be taking this one on next week while RV’ing in my beloved upstate NY. Having a monster clambake also. :yum:


Thanks Treble! Cool… It should not be too hard to tackle if you are used to open chords and had practiced similar Ben’s songs with hammer-ons, pull-offs etc. I think all notes fall within the first 4 frets. hmm upstate NY? lived there for a while about 10 years ago.

…Found my way upstairs and had a smoke, and somebody spoke, and I grabbed my gun because…Happiness is a warm gun, mama!

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Just for a moment I thought the whole world was in pursuit of happiness… then I stopped thinking… lol

I couldn’t understand why the baseball was getting closer and closer…“Then it hit me”.

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That was great! I’m gonna tackle this one next, but first I’ve gotta learn Ashokan farewell on fiddle…

I think that is great. And the more you play it, the better it gets.!! I really like this version.