A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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Here is the same lick with the count and the fingering laid out beneath it. All we are doing is following the two single notes with the thumb on the fifth string. If we left out the thumb the tab would go right back to the initial example where we were playing quarter notes.
A good way to build up an understanding of when to use double thumbing might be to look at how a flatpicking guitarist plays a solo. Part of the speed in flatpicking comes from the ability to pick up and down on a string to play eighth notes. In frailing we are only working with a down stroke, but we can create the illusion of that up and down motion by doubling single notes with the fifth string.
Example Two
In this example we are playing a double thumb on each string from the first to the fourth in the first measure and from the fourth to the first in the second.
The count is 1& 2& 3& 4&, 1& 2& 3& 4&.
Example Three
In this example we are weaving the double thumb across all four strings. This a good practice pattern for your picking hand.
The count is 1& 2& 3& 4&, 1& 2& 3& 4&.