Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Banjo Square Roll Study

Let’s learn the square roll on the banjo, also known as the mixed or alternating thumb roll! This is one of the most important banjo skills to have!

Yep! I’m working on that now. I thought I was a pretty good roller until I went through the lesson and discovered I’ve got some holes in my rolls. Hey, that rhymes! I worked through the videos and printed out the tabs. Now I’m just grinding through trying to smooth out the hesitations, missed strings, etc. I’m hoping to get them down to second nature. I’ve already seen improvement in the last couple of weeks. Throw a few chords in there and it is more interesting. I’m planning to keep the tabs handy and continue to reinforce the techniques.

Reading this makes me happy, @The_Mole Keep pickin’.

I made the mistake of skipping this lesson. Boy, am I glad I went back and worked my way through it! Basic, but so vital to later success.

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Good to hear!

Great course! Bar 42… any reason why you use your 3rd finger on the 4th fret (G) note? As it follows bar 41 that uses first 3 frets I thought it would make sense to use 4th finger on the G note. Please let me know what you think about this so I don’t learn bad habits :slight_smile:

You have the prerogative there! Thanks!

The square roll study is so much fun. For some reason this came easy to me but struggled with reverse roll study. I still need a lot of practice but having fun.


Thats hear! Don’t ever lose that joy in the process. Sure, it’s a blast to have a song down and rip off a break, but the joy found in the learning process is in a league of its own.

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I was just going through those lessons myself. I had a harder time than I thought I would with the reverse rolls. Showed me that I have a long way to go before I can consider myself proficient. Hang in there!

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Looking again at this lesson. @BanjoBen was there a TAB for I’ll Fly Away as played in the Intro ?

I don’t have it, I’m sorry.

No worries, I just sounded pretty need and would have been a great way to summarize the lesson.

I think I’ll fly away is still copyrighted, shocking as that is

Good evening.
Loving going back to basics. I have been self taught for last 12 plus years but have not progressed so am making a concerted effort with Gold Pick… FINALLY!
I was practicing my rolls and finding my fingers, particularly my thumb is touching strings which results in a resonating sound. Any suggestions?
Thanks again for all your resources, totally loving it.

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Hi Pete Welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum. Glad to hear you FINALLY joined as a Gold Pick Member. I can say with hand on heart this is by far the best place on the internet to learn to play banjo, guitar & mandolin.

It’s hard to give advice without actually seeing the problem.

We have an area on the site reserved for Gold Pick Members Only where you can if your able to post a video, this allows Ben to review your problem and to respond personally sometimes with a personalised video. Other Gold Pick members will often offer up advice.

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Honored to have you! Try posting a video so we can hear/see what you’re talking about. Thanks!