Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lesson #116, Cumberland Gap IV

Hi All,

Lets move up the fretboard to play another variation on Cumberland Gap. Since we've been working on the pentatonic scale and relative minors, lets take a look at the G chord using the second string position at the eighth fret, and also lets look at the E minor chord using the third string position at the ninth fret. Those are the chord positions we will think about in this video.

If you look at the E minor triad in this video, we are freeing our pinky to do a little fret work around this position. This section is a very close version to the playing of Earl. I believe that when Earl played this portion, he was straying from the melody and working around the relative minor with a bit of chromatics. Remember from previous lessons that playing something chromatically is playing in half steps, so the notes of A and A# throughout this section would be considered chromatic. I'll be explaining more about the use of chromatics in future lessons.

The roll patterns and licks in this section can be used in many tunes and songs in the Scruggs style, and if you listen to much Bluegrass banjo, you will probably hear many variants from these licks that earl used in Cumberland Gap.

Try to come up with your own variations in and around this relative minor position. There are many possibilities.


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