Lesson #020, The Alternating Thumb Roll

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #020, The Alternating Thumb Roll

Hi All,

This roll is called the alternating thumb roll, or the thumb1 thumb2 roll. 1 and 2 being the index and middle fingers of your right hand respectively. This roll starts with the thumb, then the index then back to the thumb ( hence the name alternating thumb roll) then the middle. Practice this roll on different strings as well. So the foundational rolls of the right hand in the three finger style are...... The forward roll ( forward motion of the right hand). The backward roll ( backward motion). The forward/backward roll ( forward and backward motion ) The backward/forward roll (backward and forward motion) . The alternating thumb roll ( alternating motion with special consideration to the thumb. Practice all these rolls well everyone for they are the meat and potatoes of the whole style!

You say potato..... I say potatoe.......

Rock On,


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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.