Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Where do I start?

I just got a mandolin and have never played. Where should I begin?


I am not the expert, but I bet you are itching to go. Until someone who knows what they are doing with a mando chimes in, I would think a good place to start would be the rhythm series: … hm-series/

Or if you prefer to play a melody, pick one you like from the basic jump page:

Have fun!

Thanks Mike, and how did it go Troy? I am considering starting with a mandolin for fun. I have guitar experience, for over 40 years and enjoy picking and watching and improving mostly with Ben’s videos and I have a tenor banjo and it is tuned GDAE, like a mandolin, obviously a much longer neck though. I am really a beginner with the mandolin, haven’t even decided yet with type to buy.

Regards and keep pickin’


Hi Carl,
I had played with mando just a bit for years, but I just ordered a new one, so I am about to start into it with a bit of intent. A while back, a question came up about a lesson plan. Here’s a link to that thread:

I would suggest that in addition to the rhythm lesson and one of the fiddle tunes, start with the two octave scale lesson. They are good finger exercises and warm ups, besides you will have to know your scales when you start jamming eventually anyway. (especially since capo’s are very controversial in the mandolin community)

Great suggestion verneq. I haven’t worked that series, but I have watched it and it looks great. I do something similar with guitar and it’s very helpful both in playing and composing breaks.

Not sure if I am allowed to do this or not so moderator if this is prohibited please delete this, there will be no hard feelings. I would suggest buying the Book “Mandolin For Dummies” it is available on EBAY and is a GREAT learning tool. I have been playing for a long time and after seeing it bought it just a few months ago, Great information in it for not only the begginer but the expierienced musician. I used it last night to help me build a break for a song. Use that and Banjo Bens lessons and you are sure to pick it up . I use both to help me develop as a player. Bens lessons have helped me a lot also and are a lot of fun to follow. Best of luck !!!

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Not sure if I am allowed to do this

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I was kind of expecting something offensive :slight_smile: Nah, plug what is good. Nothing wrong with that!