Lesson #018, The Pinch

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #018, The Pinch

Hey Everyone,

In this segment I talk about a very important technique called the Pinch, or Pinching the strings. Also I'm going to introduce you to the forward/backward roll sometimes called the reverse roll.

Pinching the strings consists of playing two or three strings at the same time. You can use any of the three fingers of the right hand to play the two or three string pinch. These pinches are used in soloing and in backup as well. Practice pinches using different open strings for now, always being conscious of how the different strings you are using sound as you play them.

The forward/backward roll consists of playing the forward roll that you've learned together with the backward roll that you've learned. In this example in the video I've used the fifth string played open with the thumb to use as a connecting note for the two rolls. The fifth string can be thought of as forward or backward. For instance, the first four notes in the example on the video can be viewed as having forward motion. Also the four last notes can be viewed as having backward motion. It all depends on how you would like to perceive the use of the fifth string in this example. I should also say that the forward/backward roll doesnt necessarily need the fifth string added. The forward roll can be played T M I M T as well.


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In 2009, at the age of 60, I decided to learn to play the 5-string banjo. I searched the internet for lessons and struck gold when I found David Cavage's free banjo lessons at Musicmoose.org. His video hosting site revver.com was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. Revver.com stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, Musicmoose.org is no more. I contacted David early 2020 and he told me he no longer had the original master videos and feared they may have been lost forever. This amazing course of free banjo lessons, from absolute beginner to advanced player, is too good to be forgotten, so this is my attempt to get David's work back out there again so that he can teach, inspire and spread the joy of banjo pickin' to more generations of budding musicians, just like he did with me. I've rounded up all the Moose stuff I could find and put it here, so start pickin' and enjoy!-------MooseHerder.