Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

You Don't Know My Mind: Help!

Pretty sweet licks in this tune. I’ve only been playin’ with it for about a week, but I can’t get the ending down at all. Anybody out there pick this one? Any tips on that ending?

Here’s a good video of Tony playin’ it.


The Tab I’m going off of. Last tab, first section.

My struggle. Every time I listen to Tony play it, I see something else I’m doing wrong.


That’s a great break. I like the descending chords in the 16th and 17th measures. Getting those syncopated and smooth like Mr. Rice is a nice project in itself. I don’t have any tips, but it looks like you’ve got all the pieces going. Thanks for sharing it.

That part is killin’ me Mike (16th and 17th measure). I can’t figure out the best fingering for it. Not too great at barring with my pinky like Tony. The tab is showing harmonics at the twelfth fret and Tony looks like he’s fretting the notes, I don’t know. It’s actually easier to play the harmonics. I want that lick in the bag, NOW! :laughing:

Hey Shawn , great picking there…Jerry

Thanks Jerry! It’s coming along but still needs some work.

Very cool man! Your playing is nice man, you’ve come a long way over the last year or so! Gonna surpass all of us pretty soon.

I’ve never worked on this break but like it, I hear a lot of standard “Tony Licks” in this but I can’t help you on the measure you refer to…have you ever thought about trying to do it with just double stops?

Some of Tony’s stuff is pretty tough, I still fight his lead intro in “Old Train”…I can get it up to speed but just can’t get the same phrasing as him…doesn’t mean I ain’t trying like a MOFO!

Thanks for referencing the site for the files…I had never found this site and am about to go look through all the files and download them!

Will work on this (YDKMN) and get back with you with what I figure out. Looks like he is just making your standard barre chord shapes of the “A” shape and Minor shape but leaving off the bar. Which goes chords A, G, Fmin, D#minor, D, and C. On the G when you transition to the Fmin you have to make that A shape G chord with 3 fingers (some learn an A chord like this, I use from 1 to 3 fingers on an A chord shape) and have the flatted note waiting to slide.

I’d say to remain true to your standard barre chords in your head even though you are not playing a complete barre chord but only the triad in the middle and see if you can’t wrap your head around it then.


Thanks Oldhat!

I have tried using double stops. It’s eaisier like that, but I haven’t given up on how Tony plays it, yet. I’m probably only hitting two strings on those chords most of the time anyway.

By phrasing, do you mean playing the same notes, and it still doesn’t sound like Tony? Yes, I have that problem, too. :smiley:

You hooked me up on that site man! That’s where “Blue Railroad Train” is from the favorite lick thread. There are some sweet tabs in that site. “When You Go Walking” is next on my list from that site.

Curious to see what ya come up with.

Another thing that might help on 16th and 17th measures is using upstrokes on upbeats. I know Sir Rice may not do that, but I’d still stick to upstrokes to keep my hand from getting confused as I exited the phrase. I didn’t get a real technical look, but the tef looks pretty accurate on the timing. I’d just slow it way down in Tabledit playback and keep listening to measures 15 through 19 until it was stuck in my head. Then I’d play along real slow and start picking it up. Keep at it. You’ll get it.

Haha, I guess I did reference that site…figured it out myself when I went to download all the files and they were already on my laptop!

I personally think that when you see Tony Rice walk those chords down the neck it is all based off of his Jazz experience. You ever watch those jazz guys move those chords…man they do it blazing fast. I am not one to say that jazz lead guitar is all that impressive, but damn do they impress me on how quickly they can get in and out of chords and I think that is where Tony got his speed in moving chords and adding them into bluegrass.

So TnTaylor you may have to go take a few years of jazz classes to be able to complete that break! :laughing:

I also want to make note of how JD Crowe sets up this song so nicely with his banjo playing…damn good stuff considering it’s a banjo! But seeing Dawg on mando is always a pleasure, between him and Bush I am sure there were enough illegal drugs done to offset the stiffness of most banjo players! :mrgreen:

And to note: My chord references above were relating to Tony being capo’d 2 and playing out of A, not at you playing it out of G.

Round 2. 'Bout got her whooped.


I can play along with the video, it kinda hides where I’m not that clean yet. I could probably get by with it in a group.


Mike, been messin’ with the up and down strokes and the first time i tried I played it pretty clean and got a good sound. I need to smooth it out some though. Thanks for the idea!

Good enough for me Shawn. Now in another month in playing around with it you will wonder why it was ever so hard to learn!

May I ask how many hours you think you have logged into this break at this point? I’d say for me to start today and pretty much focus only on that break it would see me maybe logging in 12-14 hours to get it that far…then another 15 hours of playing it “here and there” to “nail it”. I can only nail a break when I get to the point of where I do not have to think about it and my subconscious takes over and just does it.

I am gonna start on this break and log maybe 2 hours on it tonight to get it all mapped out and figure out my transition points. I will try to post up a recording of it by this weekend and compare some notes Shawn.

Not to change the subject but I’ve logged in about 20 hours on this version of “Arkansas Traveler” and am really liking this version. I guess it’s the most disciplined song I have learned when it comes to making the correct pick strokes and I really like this version because of the descending lick in part B…I get it up to 170bpm and it’s flying off the face of the earth.

If there are any lurkers or others out there that want to force some discipline upon themselves and go after a good tune that requires the proper alternate picking approach then this is the tune learn (see attachment)

Hard to say how many hours I have in it so far. Quite a few times I’ve sat down for an hour and played nothing but this song. I probably have every bit of 10 focused hours on it. I need to sit there with the ending and just play that over and over, but I can’t stop playing the first because it’s so fun. Every time I play through it I figure something else out like holding a note longer or even holding a chord while playing open strings seems to change the sound. I agree on not thinking about it to be able nail it. If I’m thinking about what my fingers are doing, I’ll stumble. When I get it in my muscle memory, I can just focus on what it’s supposed to sound like, and usually nail it.

Yes! Would love to see/hear a recording of it Jesse!

Couple tips:

In measure 6, two hammer-on’s into a pull-off while holding a C chord. Tony looks like he plays the 3 to 2 pull-off with a slide. It sounds better with a slide, but is a tough stretch holding the C chord.

Measure 12 into 13. Right when you do the pull-off at the end of measure 12, I hold a C chord to start measure 13. It completly changes the sound of the open G string in the middle of measure 13.

Hope that’s not too confusing.

I like that Arkansas Traveler tab. I notice every tab I look at now I’m thinking pick stroke direction. Ben has me convinced, it makes a big difference!

Every time I see you guys playing something cool, I’m tempted to immediately drop what I’m working on and try to figure it out.

I’ve invested about 5 hours into Django’s Minor Swing this week, so I’m trying my best to resist YDNMM. I do like hearing you guys pick, though.

I like hearing you fellers pick too. Wish y’all would post more videos.

Thought about starting up a contest in the gimme a break forum. Whoever calls out a song/starts the thread puts up something like a $5 prize (pics or strings or whatever). Little extra motivation to learn a song maybe. Could be video or audio. I just hate judging though, that would be tough.

Just thinking out loud.

I like the idea of a contest, but I know what you mean about judging. Instead, maybe we could do a random drawing among everyone who posts a video. That way we would still have the incentive to post videos, without the pressure of judging.


Ok, I have worked through this dude and have not gotten it up to speed yet, so I am not gonna throw up a recording. I am heading to Texas tomorrow and gonna head down into Mexico for a few days also gonna be a 10 day-14 day deal so I am gonna be putting the guitar down for awhile.

About the song: Outside of the speed of measures 16 and 17 I really fight getting the last part (from pull off) in Measure 4 and the first part of measure 5 to sound right/go together. Is odd something so simple “looking” and standard is kicking my butt in getting it to sound right/getting it up to speed.

Pretty fun break…I’d rank it right up there with Blue Railroad Train as far as enjoyment level for me.


You know it’s just amazing in the lack of hand movement and the amount of thumb flex that Tony has in his pick hand. He never gets outside of the 1st and 6th string and flailing all over the place like I do! :laughing:

10-4 man, enjoy ya trip. I was down in El Paso not too long ago. Always liked it down there. Just different than East TN.

I’m still trying alot of different fingerings on measure 16 and 17, just gonna take time on that one. I really like that lick going from measure 4 into 5. Takes a little bit to get it sounding right though. Definately fun to play.

I have noticed that about Tony’s hand movement. Kenny Smith does that a lot too. They just reach for the strings with their fingers not moving their hand. He does that a lot in Chuch Street Blues. He doesn’t even move his arm on big strums, just a snap of the wrist.

I noticed my right hand is all over the place on the last few vids I posted. Way to much jumping around and going out away from the strings. I’ll have to fix that.

I’m amazed by how much pick drive Tony gets with his thumb, too. Very economical picking.

Shawn I finally got all this up to speed and really enjoy it…however I gave up on trying to get measures 16 and 17 like Tony. Those moving chords are to tough for me. Instead I do a walk down of just notes for the first 4 then do another patented rice lick to finish her off.

Did you ever get it?

Good deal man. That slide in there is tough to do for me. I can pull it off every now and then but it’s not solid, no matter how much I practice it. I mainly concentrate on getting the notes on the D and G string clean and it sounds ok. Sure is fun to play with though.