Lesson #050, Fitting Different Rolls in 4/4 Time II

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #050, Fitting Different Rolls in 4/4 Time II

Hi Everyone,

We are going to put the backward roll into the eight measures in this lesson. The backward roll is one of my favorite rolls. I use this roll alot in Bluegrass and in other types of music that I play as well. I like the different grooves that It can create as opposed to the forward roll. The forward roll is used a lot in the playing styles of Ralph Stanely and quite a lot with Earl Scruggs and Don Reno and many others that followed. The backward roll is used a lot in the playing of Bela Fleck. I think Bela studied the forward roll of Earl to great extent and then really developed the backward roll in contrast to what was being done with the forward roll. The subtleties in ALL of these rolls leaves much to be explored, and we are going to explore them indepth as we get into more advanced playing and learning techniques. I know that using the backward roll in different contexts can bring out some awesome contrasts in 4/4 time, sometimes creating different ryhthmic sounds over the straightness of 4/4 time. You can hear a little example of this in the Bluegrass Guitar series where I play Improvisations throughout the tune Sally Goodin. If you listen closely you can hear that backward roll in spots creating some different feels throughout.

For those of you who have gone over the ryhthm and counting lessons( I hope you have! Its a very important thing to understand to take the banjo as far as we can!) after you learn all of the rolls and start to use them and listen to them, you won't be counting at all, you'll be tapping your foot along to whatever you are playing and just be playing! Its a cool thing.

Rock and Roll On Buddy


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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.