A student just called with a question.
His question; I cant tell where the melody is when I play the rolls?
His question was a good one or common one but the way he pictured how this all comes together needed better understanding. It comes from every one learning banjo rolls first. Learning the rolls or the “picking patterns” first is helpful and probably the best way to get started but its basically an exercise to develop picking skill and timing. Its not the way the three finger style was created or developed. It’s a way for us to get our fingers moving, learn rhythm and get the skills needed to play a song. The picking patterns that are used in a song are dependent on which pattern puts the melody not where we want it.
Here is my answer:
Practice the picking patterns emphasizing the bolded and italicized letters. First, read the article, then try it. The article doesn’t address this specifically but you will need some more understanding before you start practicing it this way. thanks again, Ross Nickerson
Article Beginner Banjo Rolls
|Alternating Thumb Roll Pattern||T I T M T I T M|
|Forward Roll Pattern 1||T M T I M T I M|
|Forward Roll Pattern 2||T I M T I M T M|
|Forward-Reverse Roll Picking Pattern||T I M T M I T M|
|Forward-Backward Roll Picking Pattern||T M T I M I T M|
|Foggy Mountain Roll Picking Pattern||I M T M T I M T|
|Backward-Forward Roll Picking Pattern||M I T M T I M T|
|Dillard Roll Picking Pattern||M I M T M I M T|