A Book Of Five Strings - online tutorial

Strategies for mastering the art of old time banjo.

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Southern Aristocracy
If you look at the G and C versions of "Southern Aristocracy" side by side you will notice that the melody and the structure of the song is the same, but there are some differences in how I phrased a couple of the measures.
The thing you have to keep in mind is that you have an almost endless number of options as to how any given song can be played. Yo u don't have to play the melody note-for-note. If you are following the chord progression and rhythm of the song you can be creative when it comes to deciding how much or how little of the melody to mix in.
The really cool thing about frailing is that the strum weaving behind the song let's you imply parts of the melody. If you experiment with this a little bit you will find that if you give your listeners just enough melody to start humming along they will start to "fill in the blanks" on their own. As you get better at this you will find yourself playing fairly simple melody lines over the frailing strum but phrasing them in a way that convinces people you are playing something complicated.
In other words, you'll be having a greater impact with less effort.
Once you can play the A part of "Southern Aristocracy" in G and C go ahead and work out the B part of