Lesson #067, Playing the Melody and Improvising with Rolls Around the Melody V

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lesson #067, Playing the Melody and Improvising with Rolls Around the Melody V

Hey Everybody,

There are many things we can do when we are working on and trying to improvise with a basic melody. We can play it as basic as we like, or we can expand on the basics to interpret the song or tune however we like. I do think it sounds best to stick close to the melody on more traditional tunes or songs, although even with tradition we can express our own individulism and personalities within the tune or song.

In this song I talked a little bit about what I call inflections added to the melody. Just like a singer can add his or her own style to a vocal interpretation, so can we as instrumentalists. By adding these "inflectons" we are taking liberties with the basic melody, we are adding our own personality or style to the melody. There are many things that we can do to add interest to ours solos if we wish, and what we just went over are a few of them. We can even add interest by taking things out of our soloing, and even out of the melody.

When we get into more progressive sounds we will take our improvisations as far as we can, we will try to push our imaginations and reach out beyond something that maybe you thought you couldnt reach. Anything is attainable, and you can take your playing as far as you wish, Its really up to you!
Its all cool, whether you want to learn a few tunes or take it further.....its all cool and fun!

Have Fun Everyone,


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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.