I have heard amazing grace played in such a way that it was like rolls, but with the melody being heard.
if you just chord amazing graze and do rolls, it may sound good along with other instruments, but personally I don't like that sound as a solo deal. when solo, I like for the melody to be brought out with the rolls . what is this style called? is it a form of the earl scruggs style, or is it a mixture of this with another style?
isn't it Scruggs style as it should be played. I think when I listen to Earl I can hear both rolls and melody. In the melodic style you usually have just some kind of elaborated melody and no rolls. I have heard some threefinger pickers that can make excellent rolls, forward rolls, backward rolls, upside down rolls, square rolls, circle rolls, triangle rolls and all of that, but they cannot get out the melody.
There is also a "style" or rather "philosophy" of playing called classic banjo which involves a more sophisticated pattern. Often melody and some kind of accompaniment are played at the same time. It may be some classic banjo arrangement you have heard.
Good question jonolov. I know that most of the players I've heard that play scruggs style, concentrate so much on speed that the melody gets lost somewhere in all of the rolls etc.. And eventhough you can hear some melody, most of the melody is heard thru the accompaning instruments. I've never really heard Melodic or Classic style to be able to tell for sure, but I do believe that if you play a banjo or any instrument by itself, the audience should be able to tell you what tune your playing because they can hear the melody loud and clear, and the rolls are in the background, as filler for the empty spots.