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Single String Chromatic Exercises

February 3rd, 2007

This video demonstrates single string style picking using the standard three finger Scruggs approach on the five string banjo. The fundamental right hand pattern starts with the thumb and alternates with the index finger to simulate the up and down stroke of a flatpick. Some people use their middle finger instead of the index. Either way works so use whichever feels more natural.

The first exercise is a G chromatic scale starting at the fifth fret of the forth string. The notes of the scale are: G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G.

The second exercise involves playing a forward roll (T-I-M-T) on one string while walking into the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees of the G scale (G, B, D, G). In this case it’s demonstrated on the first string but can be played on any string in any key. Greg Cahill uses this lick to great effect.

Both of these exercises are played in a closed position and use no open strings so they can easily be moved into any key.

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