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The Forward Roll

The Ultimate Bluegrass Roll

In this lesson you're going to learn one of the most essential roll patterns for playing Scruggs style melodies and backup - The Forward Roll.

This example uses strings 1, 3, and 5 but forward rolls can use any string combination. The only rule is that your motion is forward, which means your right hand fingers are playing downwards, towards the floor. There are many possibilities of forward rolls and we'll go over a few more examples in future lessons. Remember that when you're picking a string with your fingers you want to come up under the strings and when you play with your thumb you are plucking down.

The Forward Roll Video Tutorial

Play along with this tab to get more comfortable with this roll pattern. If you think it's too fast for you, feel free to slow it down and then build it up from that tempo.