Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited V

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited V

Hey all you Blue Mooses,

Lets talk a bit about harmonizations of the Pentatonic scale. Remember, if this term (harmonization) is unfamiliar , you can simply go back to the previous lessons I've done on this subject.

Remember we can harmonize any scale we want. We can take a scale.........pick out any notes we want.............number them.........and proceed to form chords with all of the modes, up and down the neck.

Lets harmonize the Bb major pentatonic scale, or the Gm pentatonic scale. Remember they will be the same notes, since they are related (Gm is the relative minor to Bb). You can look to the tablature for this harmonization. Remember, this is only one way to harmonize this scale, and I chose this harmonization because of the first position you see and hear in this video. 1st string open, 2nd string 1st fret, 3rd string 3rd fret.

This is a very common position/formation in Bluegrass Banjo. It has a very bluesy sound to it. Many things can be done in and around those three notes.

Next, we can start harmonizing up the fretboard. You can see the second harmonization in this video, and all the harmonizations in the tablature. Now with this second harmonization, you can hear and see exactly where some of these Crowe/Bluesy type of Licks are coming from. Experiment on you own, and see how many Licks you can come up with.

Remember, you can memorize these positions/harmonization for use in blues improv. Try different harmonizations as well, with 2 or more notes if you like.

Rock On,


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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.