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 Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Styles

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cmksk - Posted - 02/06/2007:  15:20:58

I've been taking banjo lessons for about 1.5 years. I've learned some licks, some cords and some songs. I've been asked to jam with some people but I don't think I know enough to do that. What is the minimum I need to know to jam? Do I just take on one roll and change cords as per the guitars? What do I really need to know?

I appreciate your input.

patientpicker - Posted - 02/06/2007:  15:25:08

Hi Charlie. Welcome to the Hangout. You are in the right place for getting incredible guidance on all aspects of the banjo. As for jams, I'm about 2.5 years into the banjo, and I say the sooner you get started, the better. IMHO, if you can change chords fast enough to keep up, the go for it. One roll is great. It's my impression that many banjo players launched their careers after mastering just the forward roll. I'd say even if you have to vamp or pluck the long as you can keep up with the're ready! Have fun!

"There is no such thing as failure, only failure to try"

seanray - Posted - 02/06/2007:  15:59:05

I started jamming after playing for three months although I cheated a bit since I had already been playing guitar for five years which certainly helped. I think you'll find that it's easier than you think when you're put on the spot.

My advice, assuming you have G, C & D down, would be to get comfortable with getting your capo on and off and just jump in. You will be amazed at how much your playing will improve in a relatively short amount of time. Oh and don't play too loud. Other than that the golden rule is, when in doubt play G.

Canuck Picker - Posted - 02/06/2007:  16:33:34

Hey Charlie: I went to my 1st Jam after playing for 2 months and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. At the time I knew G,C and D chords and how to use a capo to play in A and B etc. The only difficult part is knowing what chord to play next: if you have a Guitar background just watch the guitar player's left hand to see the chord changes; if not, then learn those 3 guitar chords from whoever or whatever. That's it; you can do it; Go for it!!!!!

Canuck Picker

BanjoCam - Posted - 02/06/2007:  17:58:43

For an interesting article on jamming by Pete Wernick Click Here

"Humans are from Saturn. Dogs are from Pluto." - Cesar Millan

wrentree - Posted - 02/06/2007:  20:08:27

Hey BanjoCam, That article is a college education as far as I'm concerned. That should be required reading for any novice. I bookmarked it and I will come back again and again for a brush up.

Dad always told me"If you want to have friends, you have to be friendly." Harold

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