Miniseries #001, Beginner Backup I

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Miniseries #001, Beginner Backup I

Hi Everybody,

In this next video series we are going to talk a little bit about beginning backup on the five string. Playing backup is a very important part of playing with other musicians......The Jam Session!. There are many different ways to approach backup, and we are going to start with a simple forward roll pattern, then use the same pattern over several chords. By using a simple pattern, we are not actually playing any melody notes on any given song you may be jamming on, but instead we are creating a droning effect, sort of like strumming a guitar, but on the banjo we will be using roll patterns to create that effect. I would also like to say that a lot of times, the simplest backup will sound the best. This is the time to compliment the other musicians around you. Try to keep the best timing you can for whatever instrument, or whoever singer may be soloing.


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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 His video hosting site was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, 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.