I just want to say again that you did a great job with the workshop—it was very well presented and the flow of it was super. You started with the easy stuff and moved into the harder stuff. It takes a lot to pull a good workshop off and I’m so appreciative (plus my brain is so full!)” - Margie Joy


- a pre-workshop tune and song (tab and video) to learn 
- access to video of the Zoom workshop as it went down live on October 4/2020
- an 11 page written overview of the topic (including tab examples)
- Video examples of everything that is tabbed out 
- Guitar "Playalong" tracks at 2 speeds 

Workshop Description  - Understanding Roll Patterns for Clawhammer Banjo

In this workshop, we’ll be exploring the wonderful world of Clawhammer Rolls! Clawhammer rolls are double-thumbing and drop-thumbing combinations that allow you to emulate fingerstyle banjo, at the same time opening up some interesting melodic possibilities.  

Rolls are a big part of my playing. I didn’t invent them or anything like that, in fact, I imagine most players have moments in their playing where they are doing rolls. What I’ve done  is refine them a little, and make them a technique in their own right. Rolls give me a lot more variety in my backup playing as well as making my melodic playing more “open” sounding and full.

I first was exposed to rolls when I met Reed Martin when I was in my early 20s. He was nice enough to show me a version of “Little Birdie” that had a different feel to it than anything I’d ever played before. It was melodic, but not as “linear” as what I was used to. It was big sounding and full. I took note and tried to put more of that into my playing. Over the years, mostly organically while I was busking, I incorporated a number of specific rolls into my playing, until it eventually became an instinctual part of my style. A wise person once said "talking about music is like dancing to architecture", so here’s a video to give you some examples of what I’m talking about here - <strong style="font-weight:bold; box-sizing:border-box">Click here to watch video</strong>

I’m looking forward to sharing this aspect of my playing with you. I am going to show you some specific roll patterns, but more importantly, break them down so you understand how they work. I want you to be able to develop your own patterns and apply them to your music.

As I unpack this subject, here are some specific things I’ll be touching on

- Building Roll Patterns

- Waltz (3/4 time) applications

- song and tune backup

- up the neck applications

- How using rolls can change your melodic playing

- applying rolls to a pre-assigned tune

- how some of my original tunes incorporate rolls (I will provide tablature)

- some examples of how to apply rolls to traditional tune.


 If you sign up for this workshop...

There is a "homework" package for you to look at before the you take the workshop. There are some chords (you may already know them). There is also a simple tune that I hope you'll learn so I can show you how you might apply rolls to both your chordal backup and melodic arrangments. It's recomended that you at least look at this before doing the workshop as I refer to this material a lot when giving examples of what I'm teaching. 


A word about level

I would say this workshop is Intermediate to Advanced. There is a chance that by the end of the workshop a “lower intermediate” player might get left in the dust a bit, but they’ll be provided with all the resources they’ll need to catch up at their own speed in the future.  Generally, I think level is less important in these online workshops as I’m designing them to be more like a course that you’ll work on in the year ahead, revisit and grow into.