Miniseries #002, Playing By Ear IV

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Miniseries #002, Playing By Ear IV

Hi All,
Once you have the melody notes in your head, and you are able to hum those notes, then try to find them on the banjo fretboard. You can usually find the melody notes to alot of songs within the first five frets. Knowing the chords is important too. If you know the basic scales that go along with the basic chords, it will make it easier to find the melody notes, because usually, you can narrow them down to notes within the particular scale.
Once you have the melody notes on the banjo, then you can apply the rolls around them. Try different rolls and pinches to complement the melody notes. You can think about the rolls as being like "strums" of a guitar. Its a filler sound, only instead of strumming, you are rolling or pinching.

Keep it going,

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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.