Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks I

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks I

Hi Everyone,

This is the introduction to a "Licks" section here on the Moose. Mark, Ryan, and myself are going to catalog many different licks in many different styles for the Banjo. I'm going to start off with the basic breakdown of a couple Scruggs style licks so you have an opportunity to see how a basic lick is constructed and the possibilities that can follow. We are going to be doing all kinds of licks, from Scruggs , Reno, Stanely,, Fleck and really any style type licks associated with any player. There will be Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues and just about any other Licks you may want to pursue.

Remember that Lick is a short musical phrase. Learning some of your favorite licks can help you in the improvisational process, especially in bluegrass banjo. It can give you an opportunity to "change up" different licks in different spots. A lot of these licks are interchangeable so you will have opportunity to hear how they can be interchanged and also strung together. We will also have different licks for different chords.

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT SENTENCE!!...........although we will be using licks to help in our improvisations...............IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LEARN BASIC FOUNDATIONS OF THEORY that we have gone over so far and will continue to go over in the future. When you KNOW the notes of the fingerboard, when you KNOW how chords and scales are constructed, you will know where these Licks are coming from. Knowing the basics will also help you construct your own licks and eventually you wont be playing will be just PLAYING.

Rock On 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 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.