Lesson #068, Playing the Melody and Improvising with Rolls Around the Melody VI

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lesson #068, Playing the Melody and Improvising with Rolls Around the Melody VI

Hi Everyone,

I've decided not to put any tablature with this series of Bile em Cabbage Down. I would like you to just come up with a simple version of the chorus and verse.

I did Improvise over both chorus and verse in this video, I said I was just using the chorus, but I played through a verse as well. Remember the chorus is the very first lines I played and sang in the beginning of this series. So come up with a simple version of the chorus first, even if its just using pinches.

If you have to start out with all wholes notes ....Thats fine! Play a very simple version at first..... as long as its your version! If it sounds good to you.......it is good! After you feel comfortable playing your own version, hopefully it will lead itself into some improvisations...... maybe a different roll in spots........ or breaking up a measure with different notes.

I wish you the best in your first arrangements of Bile em Cabbage Down, and I also hope your first improvisations soon follow. Please let me know how you are making out with your own arrangements and Improvistations, I would love to hear how you are doing and what your thoughts are on this series.

Thanks All,


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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.