Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Help for Banjo Players!

No, it's not counselling!!!  I'm talking about Monday's instructional jam.  We had a very good session with our more advanced of the two Monday night groups.  I thought I'd post about what we did so that everyone would have something to think about and remember to practice.

One of the best ways to go from backup to lead picking on a banjo is to incorporate the G Lick right before your lead break starts (if you are playing a song that is out of the "G" position).  The best place to put it is right after the final D chord, if that applies.  For instance, let's say you are playing I'll Fly Away.  The chords for the last line of the song are:  G G D D G G G G.  You would play the through the D chords, then instead of returning to the G chords, you would play a G lick followed by several forward rolls.  This takes you right into your lead break with no holes.  So you would have:  G G D D (G Lick) (two forward rolls). 

We also talked about incorporating licks from other songs into your "fake" breaks.  Your fake breaks are any time you are playing a song you've either not played before or you haven't had a chance to work out yet.  If you know the backup chords to the songs that you currently play lead on, you will know what licks work with what chords.  For instance, the slides in Cripple Creek that are on the 3rd string from the 2nd to the 3rd fret, all happen over a G chord (or G chord position if you are capoed to the 2nd fret).  This means that any time you are taking a break and there is a G chord being played, you can play that particular slide there and it will work.  If you think about the end of Foggy Mountain Breakdown where the hammer-ons occur on the 2nd string, you would be playing a D chord at that time going into a G chord.  Same thing with Old Joe Clark.  That means that either one of these ending licks (right before the G lick) would work over a G or a D chord.

Now, I realize that if you weren't in attendance at our instructional jam, this might be too much to understand without seeing and hearing it.  I am mainly hoping that those in attendance will be able to review what I've written here and put it to good use in practicing.  And if it helps you and you weren't here, good for you!  I would love that even more!

No comments: