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Endings month: Bill Knopf's two-part endings

Posted by jrjenks on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Endings Month

Bill Knopf - Hot Licks and Fiddle Tunes

In his 1976 book Hot Licks & Fiddle Tunes for the Bluegrass Banjo Player Bill Knopf dedicates two chapters to endings — Chapter 1: 30 Ways to End a Solo Break and Chapter 4: Endings.

Today I'll cover Chapter 4 but it's worth noting that Knopf says many of the licks from Chapter 1 can serve as the endings of songs as well.

Knopf's ending licks are a two-part pair of licks that are appended to a song. You play through the song, usually returning to the tonic (that is, the chord that the song is written in), then you play a two-measure preparatory lick and a two-measure ending lick.

For example, if you're finishing a song that's written in the key of G you can play the last verse of the song then add this preparatory lick...

...and follow it with this finishing lick:

Knopf provides six preparatory licks and twelve ending licks, all following that same G-|DG|G-|DG pattern.

Cross-posted at J.R. Jenks' blog


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