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 Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Descending Melodic Lines

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Eddie Collins - Posted - 06/19/2023:  05:59:49

The word "melodic" here means "melody," not the Keith style of banjo playing. It is very common in classical music to have the accompanying bass note descend either chromatically or diatonically down a scale as the melody is played above it. Pop music has picked up on this and is the reason songs like "Stairway to Heaven" and Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle" sound somewhat classical. As banjo players, you'll be asking your left hand to form shapes that you may not be used to. The right hand is usually not all that difficult, along with such tunes usually being performed at slower tempos. I just posted a video of how to play "Time in a Bottle."

BTW, Don Reno picked up on this concept in his tune "Banjo Signal."

banjoy - Posted - 06/19/2023:  06:53:32

Very cool. I worked this tune up about 20 years ago and have several YouTube videos up, it's been one of the more popular videos on my tiny channel ... I've noticed a lot of activity on these videos lately. My approach is slightly different than yours but still very much Scruggs oriented. I also posted free TablEdit tab here on BHO for anyone who wants the check out the variation. It's funny you posted this; I pulled this out at a late-night jam session last Friday and even all these old blugrassers knew the words. It's a beautiful tune to play. Not covered in your demonstration is the bridge and ending.

Nice video. Thanks for posting.

Edited by - banjoy on 06/19/2023 06:56:41

Eddie Collins - Posted - 06/19/2023:  09:23:53

Frank, thanks for sharing that. Always good to know there are others who "think outside the box." And yes, even the bluegrass diehards know the words. Looking forward to checking out your video.

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