Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Bill Evans:- Up The Neck Scruggs-Style Backup

Message from Bill Evans

In thinking about how I can help during this health crisis, with so many of us in isolation, I thought it’d be great to bring as many folks together to talk and pick banjo. I hope you’ll join me for the second of several upcoming workshops, offered via Facebook Live on my Facebook page (see link below). The video should be archived for a while on this same Facebook page, if you can’t make the session live.

This is a FREE Up The Neck Scruggs-Style Banjo Backup Workshop Live on Facebook this Saturday, April 11, noon to 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time

Bill writes: Some of the most exciting elements of bluegrass banjo are the fancy, up-the-neck techniques and licks pioneered by Earl Scruggs, J. D. Crowe and Sonny Osborne that banjo players use to support the lead singer and provide a contrasting point of interest in the band sound. In this “hands-on and let’s pick” style of workshop that’s ideal for all levels of players, we’ll cover practical and easy to learn techniques that you can put to immediate use as well as devote time to some of Earl’s more complicated backup maneuvers. Topics to be discussed include movable chord shapes and vamping, up-the-neck backup patterns using the F and D chord shapes, the “In The Mood” roll, the “Six White Horses,” “Salty Dog Blues” and “Jump Up” backup licks and much more. Tab examples will be presented for everything that will be covered in the session but it’s not necessary to read tab well to get a lot out of this workshop.

Players should be familiar with Scruggs-style roll patterns and left-hand embellishment techniques (slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs) and have attempted to play some of Earl’s best-known songs, like “Cripple Creek,” “Cumberland Gap,” and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” It will be very helpful to know the three basic major chord shapes (the barre, F- and D-shape positions) and be able to locate G, C and D chords all up and down the neck. We’ll be covering some of the basics (like the “In The Mood” lick and some starter D-shaped licks) but also more advanced licks and topics, including all of those great Earl back-up licks you hear on your favourite classic recordings.

If you are not familiar with Bill Evans this will give you a great opportunity to see how his teaching style differs from @BanjoBen 's style.

On a personal note I think both teachers are great, But if I had to choose one over the other. My first choice would be @BanjoBen