Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks II

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks II



Hi Everyone,

Lets start off this new section with a breakdown of a Scruggs style Lick. First we are going to make a roll pattern built from the rolls. We can create patterns from any of the rolls we have already gone over. For this first example we are going to create a pattern built from the forward/backward roll.

Once you feel comfortable with this roll pattern playing just the open strings, then we can add techniques of the left hand to create licks from the pattern. You can hear and see in this video that for our first lick we are only using one fretted note. The fourth string fretted at the second fret which is an E note. This E note comes out of a G scale..... the sixth note in the G major scale.

G A B C D E F# G

Dont be too concerned about where it is coming from right now, but you can see that the E note is there in the G major scale and we are working out of the Key of Gmaj right now in this example.

Lets talk about timing for a moment.... always remember that when working on these licks that the timing in your right hand DOES NOT CHANGE. The techniques of the left hand are not going to change the timing in the roll pattern. Thats very important to remember when working on these licks.

Learning some of these licks is going to help you understand the process of improvisation as you continue to work on these licks....especially in Bluegrass since a lot of songs and tunes in Bluegrass have a similar feel and similar chord progressions to them. Remember as well that even though we are working on these licks and eventually building up a resevoir of them, they are there to only HELP in the art of Improvisation....they are only one of many different tools to help us understand and create our Improvisations.

David

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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.