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Banjo Lessons: Mixed Rolls: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”

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[MUSIC]
So
far we've been doing tunes that just have
one roll throughout the whole tune.
Now we're gonna start getting a little
more sophisticated with it and putting
a number of different roll, different
rolls in a particular tune in this case.
We'll do Boil them Cabbage Down again.
And we'll build up till we have three or
four different rolls in it.
And we're gonna start really beginning to
sound like real bluegrass here.
So, let's play Boil them Cabbage Do, Down.
Again, just G, C, D7, those three chords,
[MUSIC]
G, G, C, C, G, G, D7th, G, G, C,
C, G, D7th, G.
Then we'll just do the alternating thumb
roll throughout without switching strings.
Just
[MUSIC]
Third, second, fifth, first.
Just those three fingers.
Thumb index thumb middle.
And we'll do it through out the entire
thing.
Through all the chords.
So it will be, two of these on G, two on
C.
[MUSIC]
Two on G.
[MUSIC]
Two on D7.
[MUSIC]
Two on G.
[MUSIC]
Two on C.
[MUSIC]
Now, for the end, it'll be one on G.
[MUSIC]
One on D seventh.
[MUSIC]
And two more.
[MUSIC]
So the whole thing will sound like this.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
And that's fine.
It gets a little boring when you just have
one roll through the whole thing,
as I was saying.
So now let's try a forward backward roll.
The forward backward rolls takes the
forward roll,
in this case it will be the third.
[MUSIC]
Second.
[MUSIC]
And first strings.
[MUSIC]
And
of course the backward roll as you might
guess is first.
[MUSIC]
Second.
[MUSIC]
Third.
[MUSIC]
Now rather than just going.
[MUSIC]
We're gonna turn this into an eight note
roll finger pattern.
Do the forward roll.
[MUSIC]
Three, two, one.
Hit that fifth string up on top, that
short string.
[MUSIC]
Then do the backward roll.
[MUSIC]
And end on the first string.
[MUSIC]
So you have the forward backward rolls,
do the forward.
[MUSIC]
The fifth string is your pivot point.
[MUSIC]
Which
let's you get back to the backward roll.
[MUSIC]
And
then you just add the first string to fill
out the eight notes.
[MUSIC]
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight.
Now we're gonna use this roll for Boil
them Cabbage Down.
Rather than having two alternating thumb
rolls for
each chord, we'll have and those are four
note sequences.
We're gonna have one forward,
backward roll per chord because it's an
eight note sequence.
So you'll have one on G, one forward
backward roll on G.
[MUSIC]
One on C.
[MUSIC]
One on G.
[MUSIC]
One on D7th.
[MUSIC]
One on G.
[MUSIC]
One on C.
[MUSIC]
And you will split it between the G and
D7th.
One on G.
to the fifth string, and then,you put the
D seventh down.
Do your backward roll.
And then.
[MUSIC]
The last note G.
The last note G.
[MUSIC]
Now just to add a little
something to the end of it rather
than just on the end of a third
string or some more rolls.
Let's try this, just to expand things a
little bit.
[MUSIC]
Hit the third string with the thumb.
[MUSIC]
And then pinch the outside strings.
The first and fifth strings.
[MUSIC]
Actually let's go to
the fourth string next.
[MUSIC]
And then the pinch again.
[MUSIC]
On the outside two strings.
So it'll end with.
[SOUND]
So you've got.
[MUSIC]
That really has kind of a bluegrass sound.
A little stark, edgy quality.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Now, to make this a little more
interesting, rather than just doing all
alternating thumb rolls, or all forward
backward rolls.
Let's split them, and for
the G chord we'll do the alternating thumb
roll every time.
And for the C and D seventh chords, we'll
do the forward backward roll.
Now we're gonna start, it's gonna start
sounding a little more interesting now.
So here's what it's gonna sound like.
You'll have the two alternating thumbs on
the G.
[SOUND]
And when we get to the C chord.
And again, if you're having trouble
fingering the C chord,
don't worry about the fourth string, you
can just lift your middle finger up and
fret the first two strings of the ring,
and index.
And we'll do a forward backward roll.
[MUSIC]
Back to G with the alternating thumb.
[MUSIC]
And the D7 of the forward backward roll.
[MUSIC]
Back to the alternating thumb for G.
[MUSIC]
The forward backward roll for C.
[MUSIC]
And then split the G and
the D7 with one alternating thumb on G.
One on D7.
Then this new ending with a third pinch
fourth pinch.
So the whole thing slowly is.
[MUSIC]
Two alternating thumbs.
Forward backward roll on C.
Alternating thumb on G
[MUSIC]
Forward, backward, roll on D seventh.
[MUSIC]
Alternating thumb on G.
[MUSIC]
Forward backward roll on C.
[MUSIC]
Alternating thumb on G.
Alternating thumb on D seventh.
And a little more up to tempo.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Now, let's take it one step further.
When we get to the C chord, rather than
doing a forward backward roll.
Fret your C chord.
Bring your thumb over to the second string
which may seem a little odd but
Earl Scruggs does this on Foggy Mountain
Breakdown.
And it's a little more powerful.
And then you'll do two forward rolls.
The thing is this is gonna be.
[SOUND] A quarter note.
Which means it's gonna be twice as long as
all these other notes.
We haven't gotten into the theory of this
and
I'm not gonna get into the theory right
now.
But all of these notes.
[MUSIC]
Are considered.
[MUSIC]
To be eighth notes.
This is a quarter note so it just means
you're gonna be putting a pause in it and
not an, an exact pause but it'll last as
long as two eighth notes.
And right now all you need to know you
just feel it and listen to it and
you'll know what I'm talking about, so
it's gong to be.
[MUSIC]
Quarter note, and the two forward rolls.
This is on the C chord.
Fifth second first, fifth second first.
So it's one two three four five six seven
eight.
[MUSIC]
Just play that a few times through.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So now we put this together with the other
elements.
You have the two alternating thumb rolls
on G, forward,
I'm sorry, the quarter note and two
forward rolls on C.
[MUSIC]
Two alternating on G,
forward backward roll on D seventh, and
the two alternating on G.
So here we go, it sounds like this.
[MUSIC]
So here it is put together.
One, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
And up the tempo.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So,
it's starting to sound really interesting.
[MUSIC]