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Earl Scruggs Banjo Instruction CD

Posted by pawoodwkr on Monday, February 27, 2012

Well it finally got here. The companion CD to the old book Earl Scruggs and the 5 String Banjo from 1968. I ordered it from Scruggs Music Supplies on January 17th. Scruggs' website says allow 2-3 weeks for U.S. delivery and when that came and went it prompted me to send a follow up letter. It was still another 2 weeks after that before it got here. The original book I bought off in October for $6.99. When I learned they put out an updated version of the 33 1/3 rpm vinyl instruction album, I had to get it. (Especially  since who the heck has a turntable anymore to play it on).

There are 60 tracks on it, all narrated by Earl; from the Introduction to tuning, basic rhytms, forward rolls, hammer ons & pull offs, vamping, boogie woogie patterns, back-up licks and chokes. It follows the book, but there's no reference from one to the other: i.e Track #13 is Hammering On, which corresponds to Exercise IV on page 50. That would be nice to know. As it is on an audio CD, it is much easier to repeat a track if you didn't quite get it the first time than picking up an arm and dropping the needle back in the right groove.

He stresses the importance of repetition, performing each measure till it is smooth and becomes second nature. Or, as he describes in the book, "over and over and over until after a while, you will be doing them while thinking about something else." [p 25] Some lessons are even marked with 100 or 1000, meaning the number of times he suggests that you do them. It is much more helpful hearing each exercise played aloud for you than trying to get it right by yourself. Plus having the maestro himself coaching, it is more inspiring, I found.

I welcome any comments to those that may have already mastered Mr. Scruggs' book and CD.







2 comments on “Earl Scruggs Banjo Instruction CD”

Mississippi Mike Says:
Thursday, March 1, 2012 @10:14:01 AM

'Bout darn time, huh? Glad to hear you got it after all. Now you work can begin! I'm sure you're gonna make a lot, but a LOT of progress with that book, with Scruggs as your teacher. I have not used the book myself, but it's on my eBay watch list. Anything from Scruggs can only improve your playing. I agree with his philosophy, "over and over and over until after a while", repetition until it becomes second nature is the way to go. That's how we learn how to speak a language, and it's the same principle learning an instrument, which is like learning a new language with your hands. Good luck, and when I get the book myself, we might could exchange ideas and help each other.

pawoodwkr Says:
Thursday, March 1, 2012 @5:27:50 PM

Learning a language with your hands! My, what a novel way of putting it, Mike! It is just that! Each note a letter, each measure a phrase, till you're talking! Wonderful! I'm still making goo-goo sounds, but you can sure speak fluently!Let me say I look forward to any exchange with you on banjo philosophy!

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