Forum - Banjo Ben Clark


Hello banjo ben forum!

I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions/ techniques/ tips for becoming better at accenting notes. I play some songs that the melody is clear and strong all the way through, and some where the melody fades in and out, or can only be distinguished if you know what to listen for. I have found that the more I familiarize myself with the song itself, the more I can “make” the melody stronger throughout. But it seems like it’s hit or miss for me. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks banjo community!


Well, as you mentioned, the more familiar you are with the melody, the stronger it will be. Mainly just practice slowly (and quickly) playing rolls and accenting a single note, and try playing just the melody of a song, the same way as usual, but don’t play the rolls, or ghost note them. Try to put as big a dynamic difference as possible between the melody and non melody notes, and then it’ll be easier to move toward the middle.
Lastly, just play the song slowly, and think about making the melody louder


Hi Kevin @kydrovo welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum

I agree with @Dragonslayer and would add that unless your gifted it can take a bit of time and a lot of practice.

Knowing the melody is key but you already know this. I would encourage you to find a tune you know well. Use that as your practice vehicle. Pick out the melody notes just a little harder. The more you become familiar with the process the easier it gets on less familiar tunes. Keep the melody singing in your head. I use headphones when I practice with the melody going in my right ear and the rhythm going in the left ear. It’s just the way my brain is wired

Melodic banjo as the name suggests brings out the melody. Scruggs Style however is built on Signature Licks with just a suggestion of the tune and therefore harder to define the melody. If you listen to the Flatt & Scruggs Mercury Recordings you will soon hear those Signature Licks popping up in several tunes knowing where to place those licks is key to playing Scruggs Style.