Lesson #065, Playing the Melody and Improvising with Rolls Around the Melody III

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lesson #065, Playing the Melody and Improvising with Rolls Around the Melody III

Hi Everyone,

The melody notes I am using in this version of Bile em cabbage down are.....B...C...B....A....B....C...B...A...G...... Again these notes are coming from scales and I will explain further in future lessons.

We can also place these melody notes on different spots on the fingerboard of the Banjo. In the example in the video we can play these series of notes on the third string only. This is where your knowledge of the fingerboard is starting to come into play. It is very important to know where the notes on the fingerboard occur. If you don't quite remember what they are and how to go about it , you can always go back to the NAMING NOTES ON THE FINGERBOARD lessons I did awhile back.

In the example in this video of using the third string only... we can use the same forward roll pattern as in the previous....... the only thing we are going to do now is start the pattern with our index finger on the third string as opposed to the second string. Its very important to read the text! since these videos are mostly improvised I find little verbage mistakes here and there sometimes, and I just want to keep these lessons as clear as I can for you all.

We can also use different rolls with the melody anywhere we can find the melody notes on the fingerboard. You should experiment with different rolls with the melody notes and be aware of how they sound to you as you are experimenting. Always be conscious of your timing! Don't be afraid to experiment...... we are all scientists of the Banjo!


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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.