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Banjo Lessons: Shelton Roll 1: “Boil Them Cabbage Down”

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[MUSIC]
That's a tune called the Danny Thomas.
Which I wrote a few years ago for my
electric band that I had back then.
And a lot of what I'm playing there is
based on something I call
the Shelton Roll because Alan Shelton who
I've mentioned before is a great banjo
player who used to play with Jim and
Jesse.
As far as I know he was the first per,
person to use this roll.
[MUSIC]
And he would do this sort of thing where
he'd hit the first string and then do a
forward roll.
[MUSIC]
You can start with the middle finger and
then a forward roll.
Thumb, index, middle, and then you repeat
it.
[MUSIC]
Over and over again,
that's the whole thing, it's four notes.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
The only thing is in the middle of it,
if you keep using the middle finger on the
first string.
[MUSIC]
First, first, if you keep using the middle
finger you're gonna be doubling the middle
finger and that will slow you down.
It'll make it hard to play at fast tempos.
[MUSIC]
So the trick is, what Alan Shelton did.
He ends on the middle and then when he
starts the next sequence,
he brings the index over to the first
string.
[MUSIC]
So it's index, forward roll.
Index, thumb, index, middle, index, thumb,
index, middle, index,
thumb, index, middle, index, and so forth.
This is a great tool for improvising.
[MUSIC]
I'll give you an example.
Let's take a little bit of Boil Them
Cabbage Down, once again.
[MUSIC]
I'm just taking the chord progression.
I'm using it as a jumping off point but.
G, C, G, D and so forth.
[MUSIC]
Try that one more time,
a little more cleanly.
[MUSIC]
There it is.
So you have, you start with the F position
G.
[MUSIC]
D position G.
C, next inversion of C.
G.
[MUSIC]
This is the barre position,
you'll be using your pinky ring and
middle.
Pinky you kinda stay on the first string
here, here, here, here, here, here.
[MUSIC]
This is kind of a D ninth where your ten,
ten, and nine, pinky, ring and index.
D seventh G, G, C, the barre position but
again with individual fingers.
Pinky, ring and middle.
[MUSIC]
There's a C seventh.
[MUSIC]
G, D seventh which is five,
seven and seven.
[MUSIC]
Here's D, down to the flatted seventh.
[MUSIC]
So again it's.
[MUSIC]
It may not
be absolutely clean on that first string
[MUSIC]
Cuz you're jumping around a lot
[MUSIC]
Just try to be as articulate as you can.
[MUSIC]
So
you can do all sorts of improvising doing
this.
[MUSIC]