A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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Example One:
In this pattern we are playing a frailing strum on each string in succession. Hitting the first string is easy, but hitting the second, third and fourth strings with consistency will require some practice.
One thing that might make it easier is to remember that your wrist isn't moving to hit the inside strings. To find those strings just roll your forearm until the string you want to play is right under your middle fingernail. Remember to keep your thumb on the fifth string. You will notice that the webbing between your thumb and index finger opens and closes as your hand moves over the strings.
Once you get this one down cold try reversing the pattern so that you start on the fourth and end at the first.
Example Two:
This is basically the same idea as the first pattern, but this time we are focusing on alternating from the first to the fourth string.
Spend some time with this one because you will be using this pattern quite a bit later on.
Example Three:
Here we are working on alternating between the inside and outside strings.
Example Four:
This is, without a doubt, the single most important practice run in this chapter. Maybe even in the entire book.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III