A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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A phantom effect is when you play a string with your picking hand while playing another string with your fretting hand.
Example One
In this example we are playing the "bump" of the basic frailing strum on the first string and at the same time hammering on the third string at the second fret.
The timing here is 1& 2& 3& 4&, 1& 2& 3& 4&.
This is tricky to tab out because as far as your right hand is concerned you are playing a quarter note and two eighth note frailing strum, but because of the hammer-on being added by your fretting hand it sounds like you are playing a string of eighth notes.
Example Two
In this example the picking hand is playing a "root-five" pattern in G. The fretting hand is hammering-on and pulling-off the first string at the fifth fret. In order to get a smooth rhythm here just play the frailing strum while alternating between the third and fourth strings. Then add in the phantom effect on the first string.
The count is 1 2& 3 4&, 1 2& 3 4& but it sounds like 1& 2& 3& 4&, 1& 2& 3& 4&.
Example Three
Here is a lick similar to Example Two, but this time we are pulling-off on the first string.
Listen to the playing of the great Buell Kazee on www.archive.org for examples of this lick in use.
The count is 1 2& 3 4&, 1 2& 3 4& but it sounds like 1& 2& 3& 4&, 1& 2& 3& 4&.






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