Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited IV

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited IV

Hello Everyone,

There are quite a few things I'd like to mention about this video. The first is types of learning. I think most everyone has a different way of learning, so what I try to do is give different approaches to perhaps the same outcome. I'll take Licks for example. You can learn a Lick by memorizing it, then you will have it in your memory banks any time you'd like to play it. You can also learn where the Licks are coming from. Now, this is a little more complex, because, I believe that being individuals, we see things, or conceptualize them in our own ways. Being these are my lessons, I can only give you my ideas on ways to learn, or more importantly, to improvise. I have to say that my ways of thinking about the fingerboard are almost in constant change, trying to visualize and execute sounds at the same time, without really thinking about it. That is something I'm always striving for, sometimes I succeed, sometimes not, so keep that in mind.

I'd like to keep with the 4th String Position for right now. Some of these licks have a very Crowe style sound to them, and if you have ever listened to Jimmy Martin, you can readily hear some of those Licks within this series. A lot of those licks had a very bluesy sound about them, so thats what I'd like to talk about.........the Blues.

Do you have to be down and out to play the Blues? ............ Nah, I dont believe so, but we've all gone through our share of things to relate to playing with that "feeling", of the Blues , if we want to really get into the down and dirty. But I'll leave that for another day. Right now I'd like to relate the Blues to the Minor Pentatonic Scale. If you haven't gone over my previous lessons on Relative Minors/Pentatonic scales, you may want to visit those lessons before reading on.

Since we are basing these Blues licks in G, one way to approach blues improvisation, and where these licks maybe coming from, is to think about the G Minor Pentatonic scale and its modes and harmonizations.

I'll give you two ways I think about the G Minor Pentatonic scale for the time being. I think about it as its own scale..........G Bb C D F or I think about it as being the Relative Minor to Bb.

What I'd like you to do, if you wish, is to Play the Bb major Pentatonic scale and its five modes. The fifth mode,will be the G Minor Pentatonic scale. Also remember, that the "chord" of Gm, is the relative minor to Bb. When playing the Blues,when in the key or chord of G, like all these licks are based, we can use the Pentatonic Modes of Bb for "a" way to think about blues improvisations, and where these licks are coming from.


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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.