Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: Using Scale to Create Chord Walks

Hey Stephen, I would think that that really depends on who you want to play like. Jake Workman has some extremely cool fast pace driving bluegrass guitar rythym that sounds real nice. So if that is what you want, listen to a player that does that and you will begin to play like him. If you like more tastful, driving, groovy backup, try Tony Wray. It really depends what you want. I think everyone would have to agree that the more you are with someone the more you are like them, so i would think that the more you listen to someone, the more you play like them. It’s true for me at least. Not sure if that is what you were looking for…??


I cannot download the Tabs for the Lessons or Exercises. I get a page with an XML error message.

Working now!


@gratefulcheese I’m way late to the party here, but I believe it also has to do with keeping the root (first note) of the chord in the bass (lowest-sounding tone) when you play the chord.

For example, for an A-major chord, the preference might be to have the lowest-sounding note be the root note (A), in which case you wouldn’t play the low E string, because if you did, your bass/lowest note would be an E, not an A. But since E is actually IN an A-major chord (which consists of A, C#, and E), it still sounds perfectly fine if you do play it!

Same with the other example, D-major. If you skip the first two strings, you’ll then be strumming the chord with the lowest tone being the root (D). If you DON’T mute the A string, that’s okay too, because the note A is in a D chord (D-F#-A). But there’s definitely NOT an E in a D-major chord, so don’t play that string! But your ear will tell you that. :slight_smile:

Now, what the actual technique/strategy is behind keeping the root in the bass when strumming, I do not know. Maybe someone can answer that… is it a matter of clarity or something? Or perhaps it’s just to reinforce which note is the root in your brain, for when you’re alternately picking and strumming… or walking up or down to a root note, like in this lesson?


Something about labeling the measure before a chord change as a “transition measure” made something click in my brain! Just having a name for it was a big help. I can’t wait to try this on banjo, too.


Nice, @Shad!