Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

When do you think I'll start to move up the learning ladder?

When you stop asking questions and start answering them.


I would say the other way. Just the opposite of what you just said. You don’t ask (or have) questions, you’re stagnant.


Interesting response. I have to admit I see both of your points.


I played for many years without learning much of anything new so I think that it is easy to be stagnant.

(for me) Learning is the easy part -mastering is the hard part- and that only comes with a lot of time spent doing. But I am not really into the technical aspects of music. I prefer to play by feel.


I totally disagree with your statement.
I believe you can never ask to many questions and when you think there are no more questions to be ask you can always find another question to ask
At 61 years old I still have a lot of questions about a lot of things and my mind is always working and thinking and the way I was taught is the only stupid question is the one you do not ask.


@Don_Smith @C-Stewart @JohnM

Morning All ,
Well is for me !

Some good stuff started getting rattled around on this thread.

Mostly from me -Excuse the modesty LOL:wink:


@David-Gear, Bring it on! :wink:

As for motivation, be sure to be with the motivators around and that should motivate you. Say @Dragonslayer /@Simone posts videos on regular basis, you get motivated to go more, don’t you??


When ready will do so. Moved on dramatically personally in last year or so now walking properly so everything in fullness of time!

Happy to post on intrinsic and extrinsic motivators as well and how to use them!

Dweck , Keller, Malone and using Engineering activities such as Deming /Shewart Cycle can all be used as can just goofing around!

Tell you what will put it together and post after Xmas!


@JohnM Oh forgot yes have seen lots of the videos not sure that they all motivate me but was really impressed by Rich doing Wayfaring Stranger! That was due to its earnestness-Sort of fell off me chair!


Asking and answering questions are equally important to progression. If you stop asking questions, it is a sign of a mindset shift out of learning mode. And answering questions helps to solidify what you’ve learned.
You need both to get the most out of your discipline


I remember Rich’s video, arrangement/rendering was beautiful, and it was just one video but was very motivating too!

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As pledged will put up a lot of insight and study into motivation post Xmas , what motivates me what doesn’t and the like and importantly what I do on the nights I am lacking in motivation.

Impressed by all Video posts for varying reasons but not all motivate me.


I don’t think @Archie was in any way saying he doesn’t ask questions, he was saying you have to stop sitting around and start doing something. If i know him, he isn’t a proud man that doesn’t believe in asking questions. in fact, I’ve seen him ask COUNTLESS questions. you just can’t sit around doing nothing and simply asking questions. you have to start doing something and then you’ll progress.


The purpose of this post is intended as a self examination of how far you as an individual have come as a student.

We all have questions we need answered, we all seek advice to find answers to solve problems and it is important that we do. It’s about looking in a virtual mirror and trying to make out what the reflection represents.

If you find yourself giving out advice rather than seeking it. it means your knowledge and skill level has improved. If your constantly asking questions / seeking advice then you may still have a ways to go. Or it might just mean you need to approach a situation differently.

Or do you never ask questions? Many people are afraid to ask questions. They will sit on a problem for years waiting on someone else ask the question for them. Cast your mind back to your school days and I am sure you’ll recall at least three people in your class who never asked questions.

I am a firm believer that you should ask questions no matter what level of knowledge & skill you have, it’s all part of the learning process. But before ya’ll rush to post a query think first about what it is your asking. That way those who are able to respond have a better understanding of nature of the problem and better able to help find a solution.

Asking questions also helps others find answers - Like those people from your school days who never asked questions. They are the folks who will be grateful you asked a question for them.


Well @Archie I kinda have to apologize to you as I took your beginning post all wrong so I hope you accept my apology I agree 100% with your last post.

I was one of those students that never asked questions and now I probably ask to many at times but I have learned through the years the only way most of the time that I am going to learn something is to ask questions.


No need to apologise Don. The purpose of the thread was to inspire and motive the thought process in all that come here to read it and pass comment.


For me figuring out what to ask is a problem.
(The -you don’t know what you don’t know problem)


Hi Chris what don’t you know?

LOL ;^)

Well I don’t know how to play better than I do.

My guitar player friend says he only plays the pentatonic scale but when the song goes to a 4 chord he switches to that scale and the same for the five chord -playing the 1, 4 and 5 pentatonic makes all the notes of the major scale so he is basically playing the major scale but just dividing it up in a different way.

I would have never thought of asking if it is better to play in pentatonic. After trying it I can see it makes a slightly different combination of sounds not necessarily better but adds a bit of variation.


Hi Chris, I have never been able to get my head round the pentatonic scale. Despite watching a ton of lessons and reading a couple of books on the topic. I struggle to understand any kind of scale. But as Alan Munde says in his Banjo Geography Lesson it’s just knowing where to put your fingers that makes all the difference.

From my own experience as a banjo player ( I knew nothing to begin with ) working through the Fundamentals has helped me a lot. Each lesson @BanjoBen has taught me has built on that foundation. It has been a slow process for me. You just have to chip away at it before you begin to see progress

I am not a guitar player but I guess the process is pretty much the same.