Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Who does the contest really benefit?

Banjo Ben here, and I ask that you allow me to be honest and a bit vulnerable. I’m just blown away by all the entries–young, old, pretty, ugly, everyone showed up! :joy: Seriously, I’m humbled and honored that so many people would take the time to enter. I’m also thankful for all your kind words of gratitude, but the truth is that the contests do benefit me the most.

I make videos for a living. That means I sit in front of a camera and try to imagine all of y’all watching and learning. I know that it happens, but I’m not personally able to witness you learning. I love the contests for the same reason I love my Cabin Camps…I get to see YOU! I get to see that all the time in front of a camera (and editing on my computer!) is part of others’ lives, and y’all are so good! You blow me away! Y’all are way better than my teaching deserves!

It’s been tough this last week here at the Cabin. All the uncertainty has caused folks to stop ordering for the most part. I get it…I’m uncertain, too. Needless to say, it’s counterintuitive to give something away right now in a contest. To be clear, these prizes come out of my pocket, not a sponsorship (yet). But, tonight I watch your videos and it’s all so worth it–your smiles (and your struggles!) are worth every penny! I wish you could all win! And you know what? We’re gonna do another one, and another one…as long as I have stuff to give away, we’re gonna keep going because y’all need this and I need y’all.

I love you all, and I’m thankful that our futures are not dependent on us. 1 Peter 5:6-7.


And I will enter in all the future contests! Thank you for a really fun time for everyone! Excited for the winner announcements.


Ben I don’t think I can express how much You mean to us. You are truly unmatched when it comes to guitar/banjo/mandolin lessons and you make us feel like were all part of a big family. I’m speaking for myself but I think many others feel the same way. THANK YOU for having this contest and providing us with this opportunity to get involved!


What Kevin said! Thanks so much for doing what you do, cuz we appreciate it!



We recognize the sacrifice and inspirational leadership you have provided in this, Ben. In fact, I have been sharing this with others beyond the site because at a time like this, you gave so many something to distract us… something to take the hours… and get is to have FUN - at least for awhile.

My sincerest “Thank you” for it… and there is no surprise that there were so many entries… not just because we want to win (let’s not fool ourselves, of course we want to WIN, right?) - but we do it also to make you proud and support your fantastic site.

God Bless us - one and all.


I think everyone involved has benefited.

I’m astounded at the number of new posters on the forum, and glad to see quite a few who have been here a while post their first video…

Congratulations all the way around! To Ben for providing such a great platform and on this successful contest, and to all the participants. It’s been a wonderful escape from the current upheaval of lives.

Best of luck to all the entrants in the drawing!


I totally agree with everything Dave, @Fiddle_wood said. Everyone benefits. @BanjoBen

What this contest has done has been to inspire young and old, many new and not so new members to reach out of their comfort zone and record themselves on video.

I don’t think winning the draw is the motivation to enter. The prize is for folks to share with you their personal achievements in what you have taught them. I have said it many times and I make no apology for repeating myself, I have studied with many, many teachers since taking up the banjo. None possess the gift you have for teaching. In short you are the Best of the best and I mean that sincerely.

We are living in uncertain times, no one can predict whats round the corner. But whilst this old fart is stuck indoors confined to quarters to keep me and others safe your website and this contest just brightens up my day. I don’t just mean today I mean everyday.This small community is full characters who share a common goal to learn to play a musical instrument. But you give us so much more of yourself. We may have a cloud hanging over us right now but the sun will shine again and the new General Store will be buzzing with customers. Thankyou for being you. God Bless you and your family.


We appreciate you Banjo Ben! This contest has been such a great activity over the weekend. Filled our household with a lot of music! The other evening almost every room in the house held someone practicing Will the Circle Be Unbroken! How fun! Praying for your family - and looking forward to seeing whoever the winners are! :grin:
“Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:3-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬


I agree with what everyone else here has said. Thank you so much Banjo Ben for doing this for all of us! We have had so much fun and will continue to enter in future ones :blush:


Thanks a ton for running this contest Ben, if you didn’t I would still be playing the same old boring easy breaks for Will the Circle. :wink: Can’t wait until the next contest.


Yes! Thanks Ben! Your website has really helped me cause I have no one else around here to learn from, I know a few guitar players, that’s about it. So I am very thankful for your lessons and this contest! I’m a lone musician in my family except for my brother who only cares about his piano.


The Contest is awesome!! And it has benefited me tremendously!! I really enjoy playing my instruments, so this has given me something to focus on while we’re enduring this thing, and a project to work towards. Also, I don’t really do video…BUT, my daughter does. So she showed me a simple way to do a little video and upload it and even opened me up a youtube account (I feel so cool now). So I played my instruments and my daughter shot the video and made fun of me the entire time. It was great. And I started developing an (evidently) important skill.
So, I’ll be entering the contests. And if I win something that’d be great, but the PROJECT is the motivation here. Keep 'em coming @BanjoBen! This has forced me to try something new and as Loyd Christmas says “I like it a lot”!


I really enjoyed watching the videos submitted. As a retired teacher, I love seeing the sense of accomplishment on students’ faces.


Thanks Ben :smiley:


I totally agree that everyone benefits from the sharing and interaction the contest brings. Performing is part of being a musician and to this end, the contest also serves to cultivate that purpose. The enjoyment on all of the participant’s faces was clearly on display and I pray that it might encourage each to continue their practice and perhaps inspire others.

On a minor note (no pun intended) and I hesitate to even mention it because I could be wrong. But I wonder if future contest prizes might be perhaps a BB Clark Store gift certificate (eg: $150, 100, 75 etc…) instead of an actual instrument? My thinking is, that an instrument is somewhat of a ‘custom’ choice by many and a gift card would give the winner a chance to choose or customize exactly what they want?

On another note (no pun intended) is it possible that I could help sponsor (by donation) a contest in the future? This is something I would consider.


Just this point alone was a significant VICTORY!


I echo what @Archie is saying here… as I tried to make this point!

These entries go way beyond trying to win… but it gave us something truly positive to focus on in these unprecedented (sorry to use that overstated but true description) times.

It was so evident how everyone was exchanging and encouraging others to post (in reality, reducing their individual chance to win).

THIS is why I am proud to be a Lifetime Gold Pick Member… and now another of the many who has posted their 1st performance video!


Yep, to echo the others, it’s not the contest prize that is sought after here, it’s the time spent here with this growing group of great people, the expert and compassionate instruction from a great teacher, and the friendships built, albeit over the internet. But the video posting adds a personal, more intimate touch to it. We get to see who we are chatting with, and with the camps, the opportunities to personally meet each other. All in all, i think it’s a great, wonderful and unmatched experience!


I enjoyed the contest video submissions. It gave some general idea to compare to be able to set goals for learning. Realized I can’t be in a shape to submit in couple of days practice. If I improve and play better, I will submit in the future contests. Any case, kudos to Ben for conceiving this idea for this time and conducting the contest!


Congrats to all the winners! And I want to say thank you to Banjo Ben for hosting this exciting and welcoming contest. Seeing all the submissions and posts was really neat it’s and it was fun getting together with fellow musicians all learning the same song!! Thanks again, I really enjoyed it! :smiley: