Posted by pcfive on Saturday, October 29, 2016
I have heard that the most important thing in Scruggs style is the forward roll, and I now believe it. I used to think the forward roll was very simple, but I don't think that any more. The forward roll is still almost a mystery to me, although I feel that somehow or other I have managed to learn it.
I am not absolutely sure how I do it, but I have tried to become more conscious. I record myself a lot. I decided that counting "one and two and three and four and" can be very helpful, at those times when I just can't seem to get it.
The forward roll used to work magically for me sometimes, and other times I could not get it to save my life. Why did it happen sometimes and not other times? I needed to find out, and I think I have gotten closer to understanding.
One of the great mysteries of banjo life, the forward roll. Why can it be so elusive?
The forward roll, in my opinion, is the essence of backup playing.You should vary it so as not to sound boring. But it's still mainly forward roll. That is what I prefer, anyway.
I can hardly express how much I love how it can sound. I think what has really helped most of all is those thousands of hours of repetition.
If I knew how hard it would be for me to learn such a simple thing, would I have done it? Probably not. So I guess I'm glad I didn't know.
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