Roll syncopation on the slow speeds on the CD

Roll syncopation on the slow speeds on the CD

Subject" Roll syncopation on the slow speeds on the CD?


I recently purchased the Banjo Encyclopedia and I have a question.

I was working on the Alternating Thumb Roll (p. 15) and playing the eighth notes in a strict fashion according to the instruction in the first bullet on page 14, which says to "ensure that there is an equal space between the eighth notes". But, when I listen to the way that
the Alternating Thumb Roll is played on the CD, the eighth notes are not played with equal spacing. They're played as dotted eighth and sixteenth note combinations.

This is also the case for the next roll, the Forward Roll. But, on the third roll, the Reverse Roll, the eighth notes are played accurately.
What is the reason for this?

Answer from Ross Nickerson

It's ok to bounce or syncopate them when playing slowly, it sounds more musical at that speed, that is the reason I chose to play it that way. Students get easily bored with slow straight time so I probably elected to demonstrate them that way to help keep the student's interest.

When you learn them you should be sure to space them evenly, and then you can interpret them musically by ear from the way I played it on the cd if you want. When the rolls are played at bluegrass tempo, there is no place to syncopate the notes and they are spaced evenly.

The primary purpose I had for pointing out spacing the notes evenly comes from watching many students play the notes rather randomly and so far from even that I felt it important to point out that they are the same distance apart.

What you are talking about is a finer point that you can employ once you as a students are clear that you don't play the notes in the rolls randomly with no sense of time.

As far as the way it's demonstrated on the CD, you can play it with or without a bounce its up to you.

Hope that helps,

Thanks again,
Ross Nickerson
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