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May 20, 2024 - 11:56:28 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

72107 posts since 10/5/2013

The Osborne/Dillard roll…. Who put it on a recorded album first? Did either of them say they were the one to come up with it? I was looking through Sonny’s instruction book from the mid-1960’s and noticed 2 instances of him using it in the tunes section.




Edited by - chuckv97 on 05/20/2024 23:57:09

May 21, 2024 - 5:20:17 AM
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heavy5

USA

3080 posts since 11/3/2016

Chuck --if it helps , I don't care, really !

Edited by - heavy5 on 05/21/2024 05:26:36

May 21, 2024 - 5:59:04 AM
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KCJones

USA

3060 posts since 8/30/2012

Recorded album is one thing but I can say that I was doing it before I ever listened to a single Osborne or Dillard recording.

When I started playing in bands, I switched to 3-finger but all my knowledge was clawhammer. To me, the pattern in question was the most logical/intuitive way to achieve the drop-thumb rhythm using 3finger style. And you can replace the 2nd note with a rest and you've got a standard "bum-ditty". I first did it with the B part of  Bill Cheatham, going up the neck, and then the A part of Wildwood Flower, going down the neck. 

I'm sure there's been thousands of people that independently reached the same conclusion.

Edited by - KCJones on 05/21/2024 06:03:33

May 21, 2024 - 6:27:31 AM
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heavy5

USA

3080 posts since 11/3/2016

Isn't this like leading w/ your m finger on the 1st string such as D Dillard did in some of his instrumentals ? It's from those tunes I taught myself how to do that .

May 21, 2024 - 7:12:59 AM

RB3

USA

2025 posts since 4/12/2004

chuckv97,

I also have a copy of a Sonny Osborne Mel Bay instruction book that I purchased in the late Sixties when I had just started. Mine has a copyright date of 1964, but the tablature is different from the images you include in your initial post. For all of the songs in my book, there's both tablature and standard notation, and the note time values are provided by the standard notation, not the tablature. It's similar to the way it was done in the original Scruggs instruction book.

In the book I have, there's only one song that includes the roll. That song is titled "Hammering". The roll is however also included in an exercise section in the front of the book. I wonder if you might have a subsequent copyright edition of the same instruction book.

May 21, 2024 - 8:02:04 AM
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Players Union Member

corcoran

Canada

560 posts since 8/3/2004

I have always associated the middle-finger lead with Doug Dillard. Back in the day I spent hours figuring out what his right hand was doing. And the pattern of the first 4 notes is essentially a double thumb, a picking pattern many of us learned from Pete Seeger's wonderful book, although his employed the index alternating with the thumb. So did it originate with Pete Seeger, Doug Dillard, or Sonny Osborne? We banjo nerds need to know!

Michael

May 21, 2024 - 8:24:03 AM
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15255 posts since 6/2/2008

I would *guess* Sonny played and recorded the pattern first, but I have to admit I don't recall hearing his use of it. I'm not very familiar with Sonny's work. On the other hand, I'm very familiar with Doug's extensive use of 1-2-1-5 in ascending and descending runs, some as high as the 10th or 12th frets.

I think Doug made the pattern so characteristic of the Dillards' sound that Herb Pedersen and Billy Ray Latham used it on recordings and in live performances during their stints as the Dillards' banjo player. "Ebo Walker' (Pedersen) and "Redbone Hound" (Billy Ray) come to mind.

I have to assume that such a knowledgeable student and teacher of banjo as Tony Trischka is fully aware of Doug Dillard's discography with use of this pattern and so would have good reason to teach it as "Osborne Roll."

Doug Dillard was 7 months older than Sonny Osborne. But Sonny was playing banjo professionally years before Doug -- including with Bill Monroe on the Grand Ole Opry from 1951 to 1953. I  don't know whether Sonny was using the Osborne Roll that early, but if he was I can imagine Doug hearing it on the radio and incorporating it in his own playing.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

KCJones raises a good point about inventing picking patterns. There are only so many 4-pluck (half-measure?) string sequences. Add in the requirement they be movable and easily repeatable and maybe it's fewer. So there's nothing inherently "inventive" about picking strings 1-2-1-5. I'm sure plenty of people pick that sequence for no other reason than it fits a musical need at the moment. I find it hard to believe that either Sonny or Doug "invented" it.

Inventiveness comes into play when someone discovers what more can be done with a pattern, realizes it's movable, and creates a clear melodic effect when used to ascend or descend through two-note partial chord shapes on the first and second strings.

Again: I have never heard Sonny's recorded use of this, but I wonder if perhaps he only used it moving up and down within the first five frets and Doug heard it, expanded on it, and used it a lot.

And I could be wrong.

May 21, 2024 - 8:35:14 AM

chuckv97

Canada

72107 posts since 10/5/2013

quote:
Originally posted by RB3

chuckv97,

I also have a copy of a Sonny Osborne Mel Bay instruction book that I purchased in the late Sixties when I had just started. Mine has a copyright date of 1964, but the tablature is different from the images you include in your initial post. For all of the songs in my book, there's both tablature and standard notation, and the note time values are provided by the standard notation, not the tablature. It's similar to the way it was done in the original Scruggs instruction book.

In the book I have, there's only one song that includes the roll. That song is titled "Hammering". The roll is however also included in an exercise section in the front of the book. I wonder if you might have a subsequent copyright edition of the same instruction book.


Hi Wayne,, those examples are from his tabs for Red Wing and Sonny's Breakdown. I had the original book years ago ( maybe in 1968?,, my second banjo book after Seeger's)) I lost it, so I bought the newer edition edited by Neil Griffin just for nostalgic sake. On Sonny's "Chief" thread a few years ago I had a short interchange with him about how he played Red Wing.  Anyway, I do remember the original edition having Red Wing, Old Joe Clark, and some of the others. I don't think Neil changed any of the tune list, but I could be wrong.  btw, I don't recall Earl ever using it. Funny thing, I play Old Joe Clark with that roll, but Sonny in his book didn't. 
 

(after reading Michael and Ken's posts, now I'm wondering if Johnny Whisnant or Carroll Best used it,,, lol)

Edited by - chuckv97 on 05/21/2024 08:44:55

May 21, 2024 - 9:07:55 AM
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heavy5

USA

3080 posts since 11/3/2016

Same here w/ Old Joe Clark
Also the 1st notes w/ Ground Speed --- right or wrong , I don't care , it sounds right w/ me . Middle finger lead on 1st string (:0)

Also there is an ending lick I like w/ a double hit on the 1st string w/ m & index at the 5th fret dropping down to a backward slide to an open on the 3td .  I've heard others use it but not often .  I used to teach 60 yrs ago but have forgotten the correct nomanclature referring to tabs & it has changed since the internet so just read between the lines . ;0}  

Edited by - heavy5 on 05/21/2024 09:18:51

May 21, 2024 - 9:16:34 AM

5031 posts since 9/12/2016

the dillard lick being discussed includes the passing tones of half step double stops--bill emerson did similar things with a forward roll--I forget the name of that song he was known for---Sonny yes him and Doug were the top tier --right next to the roof

May 21, 2024 - 9:21:16 AM

5031 posts since 9/12/2016

as far as the roll--so many started 2 finger --so I tend think many ---would know it's uses

May 21, 2024 - 9:26:48 AM

heavy5

USA

3080 posts since 11/3/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Tractor1

the dillard lick being discussed includes the passing tones of half step double stops--bill emerson did similar things with a forward roll--I forget the name of that song he was known for---Sonny yes him and Doug were the top tier --right next to the roof


I think Emerson was not far from that top rung smiley  

May 21, 2024 - 12:32:41 PM

chuckv97

Canada

72107 posts since 10/5/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Tractor1

the dillard lick being discussed includes the passing tones of half step double stops--bill emerson did similar things with a forward roll--I forget the name of that song he was known for---Sonny yes him and Doug were the top tier --right next to the roof


Theme Time ?

at 49:00  https://youtu.be/zzI8z5Zz0nY?si=R71OM4uhgTfbEFRc

Edited by - chuckv97 on 05/21/2024 12:34:22

May 21, 2024 - 3:05:28 PM
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heavy5

USA

3080 posts since 11/3/2016

Not sure about that Theme Time , but here's another . (if u don't mind Chuck) ?

youtube.com/watch?v=huNjQ5tGF2M

May 21, 2024 - 3:13:54 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

72107 posts since 10/5/2013

Bill was always one of my favourites

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