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Sep 15, 2021 - 12:04:25 PM
59 posts since 1/16/2011

Hello,

I've recently purchased the Earl Scruggs Banjo Songbook. I'm only going to be playing the songs solo. When I get to a section which say Guitar [-------], dobro, fiddle, etc. Can I just skip that section and continue into the next section? Will it sound ok?

Thank you,

Cal

Sep 15, 2021 - 12:40:29 PM
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2 posts since 8/20/2021

That's what I do, and I think it sounds fine. I've also seen videos of people playing solo on Youtube and they tend to skip those "filler parts".

Sep 15, 2021 - 1:36:55 PM
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818 posts since 10/4/2018

They work best if you can keep the roll going and put in some pick-up notes or a lead-in where appropriate. Some of the tunes will flow if you just play from one solo to the next, others require you to adjust the last measure of one solo and the first measure of the next one. For example, in Cripple Creek, the last measures on pages 54 and the first on page 55 will have to be merged together. Instead of playing the last slide from the 2nd fret to the 5th fret on the 4th string before the fiddle solo, just jump to the 2/0 pinch on the first string 2nd fret and the open 5th string and you will stay in time and it will flow naturally. I could go over more, but since they didn't number the measures it will get difficult to talk about. Hopefully you can see what I am talking about and use this example to help on other tunes. Good luck.

Edited by - Good Buddy on 09/15/2021 13:39:39

Sep 15, 2021 - 1:42:25 PM

CanadianCal

Canada

59 posts since 1/16/2011

Thanks guys!

Sep 16, 2021 - 6:58:35 AM
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15330 posts since 12/2/2005

I would say it depends upon your goals. If you fully expect to play by yourself for the rest of your life, sure - no harm done. But if your goal is ultimately to play with others - and Scruggs-style five-string banjo IS an ensemble instrument - consider developing your backup skills at the same time (ergo, play backup during the sections denoted for other instruments).

We play lead breaks maybe 1/4 to 1/5 of the time; the rest of the time, we're playing backup. Great backup is every bit as challenging as great lead breaks - and arguably even more important.

Edited by - eagleisland on 09/16/2021 06:59:43

Sep 16, 2021 - 7:09:29 AM

6304 posts since 6/30/2020

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland

I would say it depends upon your goals. If you fully expect to play by yourself for the rest of your life, sure - no harm done. But if your goal is ultimately to play with others - and Scruggs-style five-string banjo IS an ensemble instrument - consider developing your backup skills at the same time (ergo, play backup during the sections denoted for other instruments).

We play lead breaks maybe 1/4 to 1/5 of the time; the rest of the time, we're playing backup. Great backup is every bit as challenging as great lead breaks - and arguably even more important.


Well said! 

Back up playing does not have to be boringly mundane. Learn to play rolling backup and eventually add licks where appropriate. 
Here's some great info on rolling backup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up4tDmYRKu8
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGPGg4Jk55c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlLrtS4yDW8

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