Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Knowing your banjo rolls

I wanted to share an experience I’ve had in the last few weeks with memorizing tab and learning a new song. When I realized banjo playing wasn’t going to happen overnight, I got out the metronome and went to work. There were times the metronome was set so slow I could take a bite of my sandwich in between notes. When I watched Ben’s videos I would hear him in the background saying “now we have a forward roll” etc. as he broke down the song. I didn’t pay a lot of attention as there were a lot of things going on.
I find now, that when I’m studying a song, knowing a certain roll will get me 4,5,6,7 notes in between a bite of my sandwich. I don’t believe a person has to make a major study out of this but just take a look at the roll being called out in the videos as it relates to the pdf. I can’t tell you how many times my memory was saved by me saying “I gotta do a forward reverse here”.
If nothing else, think of it as a weight loss program.:grinning:


I am working mostly on practicing the box or alternative roll. It’s coming along nicely but I still need the muscle memory. The forward and reverse rolls are no issue. I still stumble from time to time on the box roll but I know it’s just a matter of time. I feel your pain but now I want a sandwich…