Let’s put those newly-learned slides to practice with a fun version of Cripple Creek!
Should we try to play this perfectly before moving on to the next lesson and what speed should we try to achieve?
I’d rather have it slow and perfect. There is no particular target speed. More importantly, be able to play through it with no hesitations or big stumbles and begin to feel like you “own” it.
Joe, that is one of the best lessons for learning banjo basics, it introduces you to slides, hammer on’s, pull/push offs, pinches and some great roll patterns which you will use again and again as your experience grows…
Cripple creek is the first song I learned how to play. However, I learned it from YouTube lessons and not Tab and not with a Metronome. So, although I can play all the notes, it sounds different than others that learned to play it in correct timing. So, even though I know how to do slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, I am going to go through these lessons slowly until I can play them in correct time and flawlessly.
Hey Ben, 64 year old total banjo newbie here. Already appreciating the great lessons! Thanks.! Sure I’ll be upgrading soon. One curiosity/academic question. Why are the main slides (3rd string) in Cripple Creek shown as 2nd to 3rd fret in some versions, and 2nd to 4th fret in others. Earl’s book shows 2 to 4, but I swear it looks like 2 to 3 in videos I’ve seen of him. Maybe it’s so fast I can’t really tell. But, in any case, is one “right”, “preferred”? Thanks again.
Hey @sbreed! Welcome to the forum!
When doing slides in Cripple Creek (or any other song) Earl and most professionals will actually slide from 2-3 and then bend the string upward to reach closer to the B note. I find this video from Russ Carson (banjo player for Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder) helpful at explaining it:
Awesome! Got it. Thanks very much.
Hi @sbreed Steve Welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum This is a topic that has been debated by countless banjo players over time. Both slides are good I prefer to play the 2-4 on the Cripple Creek lick I just think it sounds better and that’s the key to most things we do on the banjo. If it sounds good it must be GOOD.
I should add that Earl did not use TAB. Bill Keith wrote the TAB in the Original Edition of the Book I don’t know who wrote the TABs for the second edition. What I can tell you is there are typographical errors in both sets of TABs. So if your working from Earls book keep that in mind when learning a tune and learn to adapt and make changes in order to make it sound good.
Now for the good news, all of @BanjoBen 's TAB are 100% accurate but Ben won’t mind if you change things round, in fact he actively encourages his students to mix things up a little once they have a firm grasp of the fundamentals.
Thanks, Archie!, for all the great background and history. Sorry if this is a repeat post. Must say I like the sound of 2->4 better as well. Just takes me a millisecond longer right now. ;^)
Hi Steve, Not so much a repeat post here, but it is a topic that banjo players frequently ask over on the Banjo Hangout and Banjo Holler. It’s great that you ask questions that’s how we all learn. So don’t be afraid to ask. We are a friendly crowd here and always happy to help when we can.