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Banjo Lessons: Advanced Improvisation

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[MUSIC]
This
is a technique I came up with many years
ago.
And I'll use it in the middle of Little
Maggie just so you can hear it first,
then I'll break it down.
[MUSIC]
That's the sound of it.
And basically what the technique entails
in terms of the open strings is.
[MUSIC]
Sorry.
[MUSIC]
It's not single string style.
But you're using just the thumb and index.
[MUSIC]
And then in this case I'm going across
the strings from the first string over to
the fourth string.
Now the index goes, thumb goes to the
third string,
thumb goes to the fourth, and the index
follows it as it goes along.
[MUSIC]
And
this is the beginning of the Little Maggie
thing that I did.
[MUSIC]
Just using the 12 fret,
and I'm just using the ring and middle in
the left hand.
Open up the first string, shift over.
Middle and ring on the 12th fret of the
third and second strings.
Let go of the index, go over one more time
to the third and fourth strings,
open up the third string with the index
finger, with the ring finger.
And then.
And that gives you all sorts of
possibilities just
moving across the strings.
[MUSIC]
Because then I just moved across this way.
[MUSIC]
But
in addition to going across the strings,
you can go down the strings.
You can do something like this.
[MUSIC]
Again, just using the thumb and index.
[MUSIC].
The way I started with all this, this
technique is by.
[MUSIC]
I was at the seventh fret, and
I was just noodling around.
[MUSIC]
I thought, that sounds kinda nice,
with the ring and middle here.
[MUSIC]
At the seventh fret I opened up the first
string.
So, I have the open first string.
[MUSIC]
Moved it down two frets, so one and two.
And then, I thought what would happen if I
move over a string.
And again, but just going seven and five,
seven, five, seven, five.
[MUSIC]
Notice how to play.
Just change this around a little bit.
I'll get a little more of a melodic flavor
to it.
[MUSIC]
Right here.
By going up to the ninth fret of the third
string with the ring.
Index on the seventh fret of the second.
[MUSIC]
To the fifth fret to the seventh fret.
[MUSIC]
And
rather than just being on the fifth fret.
[MUSIC]
I have the index on the fourth fret of
the fourth string.
[MUSIC]
Going after the seventh fret of the fourth
string with the pinky.
And you get a very nice little D lick.
[MUSIC]
If you inten, if you emphasize the first
string.
[MUSIC]
Or the first note of each group.
[MUSIC]
Sorry.
[MUSIC]
Instead of just playing it flat.
[MUSIC]
Gives a little more shape to the lick.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay, let's get a little fancier with it,
and we'll expand out with a bunch of
different chords here in Salty Dog.
Which has G, E, A, and D as the chords.
So we're gonna start going across.
[MUSIC]
And then across again for the E.
Now we're up on A.
This time we're just gonna go down and
then across.
[MUSIC]
And then for the D, to D seventh.
[MUSIC]
Sorry.
[MUSIC]
That's good.
Here's Salty Dog at tempo.
[MUSIC]
But you can just take this stuff and move
it all over the neck.
You could do it stuff like.
[MUSIC]
Just jump around.
[MUSIC]
So just experiment.
See what your fingers do.
And if you wanna send a video, if you have
something you're pretty happy with,
send it along.
We'll take a look at it.
[MUSIC]