Genre: Bluegrass Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Key: G Tuning: Standard Open G (gDGBD) Difficulty: Expert
Posted by corcoran, updated: 8/15/2013
Notes: There are already 237 versions of Groundspeed on BHO. Why add another? Well, this one has some interesting features. For one, the B part in the first break is to my ears (but what do I know) perhaps more faithful to Scruggs’s recording on the Foggy Mountain Banjo album than most other versions, all due to the difference made by one note, the second string B rather than the first string D. In other words, following the Flint Hill Flash's lead, I hear Scruggs's first pinch as involving the open second (B) string and the third string at the second fret, rather than the open first (D) string and the third string at the second fret. For another, the second break starts out high but is mostly down the neck, in melodic style (hah, take that, Flint Hill Flash!). It’s a tasteful version, if I do say so myself. The third break has some ideas you may find useful, and the ending is of general interest and utility. It’s an ending lick I first heard J. D. Crowe play.
Jack Baker Says:
Thursday, January 21, 2010 @7:27:33 AM
Well, give that song another listen. Or better yet, find a you tube of Earl playing that D6 chord as you call it. Earl himself showed me the song many years ago in Richmond Va. Also, I doubt that either Flint Hill Flash or Bill Keith would both get that passage wrong....Check it out...Jack Baker NYC
Thursday, January 21, 2010 @10:30:25 AM
Jack, I am not sure the Flash would agree with you. In Banjo Newsletter years ago, he argued for the D6 position. I have heard Earl Scruggs play it the other way as well, but the version on the Foggy Mountain Banjo album sounds like the D6 (i.e., the open B note). Come to think of it, that may be the only recording wherein he plays that particular configuration of the D position.
Jack Baker Says:
Thursday, January 21, 2010 @11:04:12 AM
Earl himself showed it to me at a drive in movie back in the very early 60s when I was a kid and I promise he did it the way I mentioned. I don't think you'll find any professional banjo player play it your way if he's imitating Earl's version which goes for Sonny Osborne etc. etc... It is a more difficult move to make with your right hand suggestion which is why Earl chose to let the thumb, index and middle fingers play it as I've suggested--middle finger playing the open D on the 1st. string. It is also extremely hard for me to believe that Bill Keith would tab out that part in Earl's book incorrectly. But hey, this is bluegrass and people hear what they believe is true--including me :-))...Thanks for the comment though
Jack Baker Says:
Thursday, January 21, 2010 @11:07:47 AM
Oh I forgot to mention that I'm only talking about the version on the Foggy Mt. Banjo LP. I've also heard Earl later in life and he seemed to not vary that particular D6 fingering when I saw him play...Jack
Thursday, June 20, 2013 @7:35:50 PM
Hi, I hear the notes in question on Foggy Mountain Banjo as shown in this tab. Earl plays a pinch on the open 2nd string with the 3rd string 2nd fret followed by a pinch on the open 1st and 2nd strings. It's so easy to both hear it and then start playing it the other way (playing the open first string both times) - I learned it the wrong way (wrong as in I was trying to match what was on that record) - it was years before I heard what was really on the recording. For me, what gives the lick that cool bounce - that sound of going low-high, low-high - is the fact that the open first string only happens on every other pinch. If you play it where you're hitting the open 1st string on both pinches, you don't get that same bouncy melodic line, and it doesn't match the FMB record.
Friday, January 10, 2014 @10:56:21 PM
Take Me Back to Tulsa has that D6 lick
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