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Level 1: Beginner
Level 2: Intermediate
Level 3: Advanced
Old Time Fingerpicking
Classic Style Banjo
Celtic Tunes
30 Day Challenge
Playing Backup
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Banjo Lessons: “Michael Row the Boat Ashore”

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do a little bit more with the Osborne roll
right now.
And, we'll do an old folk hit from the
early folk scare of the 60s.
And, this one's called Michael Row the
Boat Ashore.
And, will, it'll be primarily the Osborne
Roll but, at the end, just, again,
to keep it interesting, we'll add some
alternating thumb, including a slide,
one of the alternating slides that we used
in, in Boiling Cabbage Down.
So, let me play it for you first and then
we'll break it down.
I just wanna point out something that I
did while I was playing.
Just something for you to think about
before we get into the tune itself.
You might have noticed, or if you look
that I moved my hand just a little bit
away from the bridge.
Cuz as, as I was playing it I thought, it
sounds a little too hard edged.
Because when you're close to the bridge,
you have that hard edged sound as I
mentioned earlier.
if you move away from the bridge you get a
more mellow sound, over here.
And sometimes, just moving a quarter or
an eighth of an inch-
can mellow out the sound nicely.
And, this is a slightly sweeter song so
I felt like I should move away from the
It's something you can think about.
You can make mid-course corrections.
Don't feel like,
once you're locked into a place on the
head, you just have to stay there.
I want to thank Danny Barnes for
bringing that up in an interview I did
with him.
A wonderful banjo player from out in
Washington State.
So, Michael Row the Boat Ashore.
Now, a lot of the melody is gonna
be on the first string, because that's why
we're using this,
this roll, is to bring out the melody on
the first string.
Now, we're on the thumb, melody on the
third string.
So, as soon as the melody shifted
from the first string to the third string,
we went from the Osborne roll,
which starts on the first string,
And, kind of features the first string to
the alternating thumb roll, which is more
prevalent on the fourth and third strings.
In this case I'm using it mostly for the
third string.
So, once again.
Now, I'm adding the index to the second
fret of the first string.
C chord,
again you only need to fret the first two
Unless you want to add the middle on
the fourth string.
Back to G.
Index, index, middle.
Index, index.
Alternating, alternating.
And then, you just start again.