Earl Scruggs used a lot of signature licks in his style of playing. If you’ve listened to a lot of Earl you’ll know what I am talking about, these licks stand out from the melody.
@BanjoBen has over the years created many Bag o’ Lick lessons make sure you take the time to study these. These lessons not only contain Scruggs Licks but also many Single String and Melodic Licks, Kick Off & Endings.
Learning licks in isolation is the key to helping you build knowledge and skills which when you come to work on a tune makes the task so much easier.
When I began learning to play the banjo I used to have a ton of train wrecks. I could rarely get to the end of a tune without messing up and I’d have to start over and over and over, it was so frustrating. Then one day the penny dropped I realised I was crashing at the same lick time and time again. So I learned to isolate the lick and work on it over and over till I had it nailed. Only then did I start to see my progress change and finally got to the end of the tune.
So if your really want to see progress in your playing don’t skip the Bag o’ Lick Lessons.