1. Learn at least ten Earls Scruggs' classics correctly.
2. Use one song as an example and alter each measure slightly. Start with small changes.
3. Learn how to transpose down the neck solos to up the neck solos.
4. Learn the chords in each different position on the neck. Next, learn where the notes are in each chord. In particular the root notes of the chord.
5. Practice altering your rolls by keeping the roll pattern the same but changing the strings you pick.
6. Memorize as many solid technique Scruggs' licks as you can and play without tablature.7. Improvise around the chord positions and the melody. That is what Earl did often.
8. Build a solid foundation of technique in both your right and left hand.
9. Learn backup licks and then begin to alter them slightly in both the right and left hand. Be sure to double check that your technique is staying solid.
10. Using a metronome, play one and two measure phrases or parts of songs and begin making small changes. Then try not to play each phrase the same way twice.
Check out this sound byte of Foggy Mountain Breakdown as played by Ross Nickerson
SCRUGGS' STYLE INSTRUCTION FOR 5 STRING BANJO
by Ross Nickerson Book and two CD's 19.95 details
Songs Included: Lonesome Road Blues, Little Darlin' Pal of Mine, Fireball Mail, Groundspeed, Sally Goodwin, and Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
Includes up the neck solos and breaks for Foggy Mountain Breakdown, Little Darlin' Pal of Mine, Fireball Mail, a solid low break for Lonesome Road Blues, and some other tasteful innovations in solid bluegrass Scruggs Style. Hear soundbytes, get more information and testmonials