How to play a banjo roll with a bounce

How to play a banjo roll with a bounce

Question, concerning how to play a banjo roll with a bounce and put a bounce in your banjo playing.
To bounce or not to bounce, that is the question.

Dear Ross,

I always am interested in opinions on whether one should try to pick with even spacing (time) between notes or a slightly different spacing resulting in a “bouncy” rhythm. I have noticed listening to your monthly songs that on most you seem to have an even spacing between notes even at the slow speed resulting in the so called “machine gun” sound. I recently purchased your back-up tapes and noticed that on all of the songs that you play them with a bouncy rhythm. Would you explain why you did this and what you recommend for the beginner or beginner/intermediate.

Answer from Ross N

Hi, it can be explained very simply.

When the tempos are slower, it adds to the tune to play it with a bounce of syncopation. It just sounds better with a bounce.

When you are playing fast, there really isn't much time to bounce,... and it isn't necessary to bounce it make the song sound good.

If I played those slow versions completely straight time, they can sound pretty darn dull in my opinion. That is the only reason I bounce them really, cause it makes them sound more interesting, and consequently I think more interesting and attainable for students. Students can cut me some slack too, for a guy who can play these songs fast, I'm doing the best I can to enjoy the song slowly, let me bounce it for heavens sake! :) My recording engineer will thank you too!

Hope that helps,

Thanks again,
Ross Nickerson
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Posted by Ross Nickerson Home, Learning Banjo, "Ask The BanjoTeacher"... 0

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