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Banjo Lessons: The Diggy Diggy

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[MUSIC]
Right,
that's a little bit of Train 45 up the
neck.
And featuring.
What we like to call the diggy diggy.
[MUSIC]
This is something that Ralph Stanley does
a lot of, or used to do when he was still
playing.
He'd be closer to the bridge.
[MUSIC]
That kinda sound.
And some woman came up to Ralph one time
and said, Ralph,
let me hear you do that diggy diggy.
Cuz it's kinda one of his trademarks to do
that, it's a really cool sound.
And re, and Earl Scruggs does it, does it
on the original bluegrass breakdown,
Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
It's something I'm sure Earl came up with.
And it features the Foggy Mountain
Breakdown roll, which again is the quarter
note on the second string then you bring
the thumb across to the second string.
First, fifth, second, first, fifth.
We've done this before.
Or you can go in Foggy Mountain Breakdown
zone and
just beef up on it if you need to.
[MUSIC]
But instead of going.
[MUSIC].
Instead of doing that you're gonna take
the tenth fret with the middle finger.
[MUSIC].
And.
[MUSIC]
I hear a lot of people do this.
And they hardly bend the note at all.
Maybe do that.
But you wanna actually do it enough that,
at least in my opinion,
that as you're bending that note you're
pushing the index.
I'm sorry.
Pushing the middle against the third
string.
And pushing almost to the fourth string.
So it's.
[MUSIC]
And what you wanna do is kind of go up
a half step so the note you're achieving
is almost that 11th fret of second string,
which is a B flat note, but just with a
bend.
Now if you have trouble doing that, it may
be that your string,
your second string is a little too.
The diamond is a little too wide.
[SOUND] You, instead of a 12, you might
have a 12 gauge on the second string.
And if that's the case, try an 11 on the
second string.
[MUSIC]
Cuz that will be a lighter string
and'll enable you to bend that note more
easily so.
[SOUND] The way I do it, I use the middle
finger.
So I've seen people use index, I've seen
them use ring.
I use the, the middle finger, I think Earl
uses the middle finger.
And I sometimes have the index sitting
behind it.
Resting on the string just to give,
to give me a little more power pushing
that note.
[MUSIC]
So second string with the index then is,
is a, kind of a quarter note.
[SOUND] And then the thumb comes across.
[MUSIC]
Like that.
[MUSIC]
And then the third time.
[MUSIC]
And
then we're gonna do, we're gonna do Train
45 at this point.
So you do three of those.
[MUSIC]
And
so once you do that and you get to this
eighth fret of the second string,
you're basically in the Sally Goodin
position.
Index on the eighth fret of the second.
And then a forward roll.
Fifth, second and
then the first string where your ring is
at the ninth fret of the first string.
[MUSIC]
To the fifth string.
And then pinch on the first two strings,
quarter note.
And then take the index and ring and.
[MUSIC]
And.
[SOUND] It's the Foggy Mountain breakdown
roll once again.
Hit the second string where you're at the
eighth fret.
Slide it all the way up to the fifteenth
fret.
[SOUND] And then bring the thumb across.
[SOUND] To the second string.
So it's index.
[SOUND] Thumb.
[SOUND] Thumb.
And the middle on the first, and your ring
is on the 17th fret of the first string.
[SOUND] This is the top part of the
G-chord.
[SOUND] Which is down here by the.
[SOUND] Up here, an octave higher.
[MUSIC]
And then, bri,
bring the index and ring down so the index
is at the 11th fret of the second and
ring at the 12th fret of the first.
[MUSIC]
And
the Foggy Mountain Breakdown roll again.
[MUSIC]
[SOUND] And
then the index back down here at the
eighth fret of the second.
And you're basically going into the Sally
Goodin position again with the index at
the eighth fret of the second, ring at the
ninth fret of the first.
[SOUND] So you hit the second string.
[SOUND] Quarter note.
And at, excuse me.
And then a forward roll.
[MUSIC]
And
the pinky goes to the 11th fret of the
second string.
[MUSIC]
In the, in the forward roll.
So quarter note on the second string, hit
that with your index finger.
Forward roll.
Pinky on the eleventh fret of the second.
So second string, quarter note, forward
roll.
Fifth, second, first, back to the second
string with the in,
with the pinky taken off, so the index is
there.
Then the third string.
[MUSIC]
So it's kind of a forward, backward.
And to get to the third string at the
ninth fret where the middle is sitting.
And as you hit that.
[MUSIC].
You just slide that middle all the way
down to some indeterminate
point around the third or, fourth, third,
or second fret.
[MUSIC]
And
then hit the first string, open the third.
So.
[MUSIC]
And then third string quarter
note with the thumb pinch.
And then thumb or index on the second
string quarter note pinch.
So the whole thing would sound like this.
[MUSIC]
Just a little tip.
When you're doing this choke.
[MUSIC]
Just push it up each time.
Push it up.
And then release, release it.
You kind of let go.
You stay on the string, but you get off
the fret.
You don't want to hear [NOISE] each time
you hit it.
Hit it.
Kind of let the pressure of the string
lift you just off the finger board so
you can come back to the starting point.
[MUSIC]
Where it's not bent.
Cuz if you, if you just keep it on the
string you're gonna hear.
[MUSIC].
You're gonna hear it come back.
And you wanna not do that.
This a real finessfull, subtle little
thing about this lick.
[MUSIC]
You
wanna start from the starting position
each time.
You don't wanna just be up there and then.
You wanna start over each time you're
gonna choke it.
Now the third time you choke it, instead
of going up each time,
instead of up, up, up, the third time you
can go up, up, hold it.
And the.
As you hit it the third time,
you can release it like one, two, hold it
up, release.
Earl does that on the original Foggy
Mountain Breakdown.
I think the first two times he goes up.
[MUSIC]
Once again.
[MUSIC]
It kinda boings it down,
releases that choke.
[MUSIC]
And now, another thing you can do is,
a subtle Earl trick is.
[MUSIC]
At least on the second string,
get, instead of just sliding with the pad
of your index finger here.
[MUSIC]
Get on the fingernail.
[SOUND]
Of your index finger.
And slide up on your fingernail, it'll
give it a slightly smoother sound.
[MUSIC]
And
Earl does this and this sort of a thing
and he calls it, going up on his nails.
And it just gives you a little more
clarity up the neck.
[MUSIC]
It's a little more
muted when you use the pad of the finger.
[MUSIC]
Instead of.
the Fingernail.
My
index fingernail is a little bit longer
there.
So I can do that easily.
But it's, it's something to experiment
with.
Especially if you're going up to this high
G position.
[MUSIC]
I go up on the fingernail of my index and
middle finger there too.
So it's just another little thing to do.
Kind of a cool little Earl trick.
So.
[MUSIC]
Thank you.