Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Forward roll

I am wondering on boil them cabbage down if you could start with the thumb on the second or third string to start the roll and then move it to the fifth string.


Welcome Marc! I wouldn’t see why not. You’re in a good place.:+1:


It is quite possible to stumble onto something you’ve never heard before and that no one has taught you that you can call your own. Allow yourself that freedom, forsure. There are countless ways to experiment with the simple basics. It increases your growth and fun factor.

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Hi Marc Welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum.

First let me say from what I have been taught you can start a forward roll on any string using the thumb index or middle finger so long as the roll pattern continues on in the forward direction.

As regards your more specific question of starting the roll pattern in Boil em Cabbage Down using the thumb. I would suggest Ben has chosen to use the index finger to begin this tune because, as the name of the lesson suggests A Study of the Forward Roll, is because he wants you to start with the index finger and follow the roll pattern as he has laid out in the TAB because he want you to practice what he taught in his lesson.

Am I right in thinking you have learned this tune from a different teacher where you start off with the thumb playing a quarter note then reaching up to catch the 5th string and play a different forward roll pattern?

As you work your way through Ben’s Beginner Learning Track you will soon begin to see that there is a purpose behind everything he teaches.

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Are you talking about playing the thumb twice in a row? If so, this is hard to do fast unles one of the notes is a quarter note like Archie said below. However, don’t let that stop you from being creative.

Welcome to the forum. Enjoy your time here. :+1:

Welcome to forum Mark :grinning:

Hi Marc! Good to see you here!

Welcome Mark. I would practice it the way Ben has written it first and then experiment after you can do it the way he suggests.

As @Archie said, the purpose is to get you using the index in that capacity, though later down the road I would elect to use the thumb as well. Welcome to the forum, @m11!