Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

When to move on?

Greetings all!
Been playing Banjo for about three months and before that I played guitar for 15 years. I have gotten really comfortable with chord structure and all that sort of stuff and between a few lessons and some books I have picked up a quite a few Rolls along the way and after watching a few of Bens videos on rolls I knew about half of them already and the ones I didn’t I got them down comfortably with a half hour. My question is this when do you say “Ok its time to move on?” Is it when you memorize every roll note for note? Is it when you are comfortable with it enough to make yourself dangerous? I honestly know perfection is not an option (its close lol) but i really want to lay the groundwork correctly because i don’t have the time to have to relearn stuff because I got ahead of myself.
In the same question when do you guys suggest going from Basic to intermediate videos? Can you pick and chose as you get comfortable? Or is it more of a learn 4 or 5 basic songs then hop over to the intermediate ones?

Any input would be helpful!!

The best way to find out if you are ready for a higher level of playing is to try it.

many of Ben’s lesson are set up where the first time through the song is not as difficult as the next time through. I switch back and forth between beginner, intermediate and advanced depending on how much I want to be challenged that day. Some times I just want to learn something new but don’t want to spend a month getting it down so I go with the basic. Other times I hear something I just have to add to my playing so I will work on it until I get it if it take a month or a year.

It is really up to you. I’d say try listening to a few of the intermediate videos and choose a tab of something you are fairly familiar with (if there is one). Then try running slowly through the tab (repeating a measure at a time) to see what is involved in playing it and how well you might be able to adapt to the particular licks in that song.

It won’t be wasted time if you pick up one or two new licks from running through a more difficult tab that you can’t actually pull off in its entirety right away. I’ve increase my “bag-o-licks” greatly by dong just this.

Good luck and have fun!


If I could play a song slow, I always wanted to play it faster (but never perfect). So I moved on, because as Murphy says “speed is NOT important when you’re learning to play the banjo”. I personally would through all of the Murphy Method DVDs and they really helped, the song list is already complied and all i had to do was listen and play.

Before that I had struggled for a couple years learning from tabs, it took forever, and I like you didn’t know when to advance to ‘ludicrous speed’.

He said… “ludicrous speed”…Fantastic! I love that movie