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Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Step 3: The First Two Measures

Here we go! This is the very first part of Foggy Mountain Breakdown as played by Earl Scruggs.

This is a fairly challenging lick but is one that you'll encounter in so many songs. It's a great lick to keep in your back pocket for improvising and once you actually learn Foggy Mountain Breakdown, you'll find that there's a different version of the lick towards the end of the song over a D chord. The trickiest part of this phrase is the 3-2 pull-off on the third string. Watch the lesson below or keep reading underneath the video to learn how to play it.

Foggy Mountain Breakdown

For the first part of this phrase, you'll play two FMB rolls as you've learned them in the previous lessons. For the third one, your forward roll pattern will include the 3rd string instead of the 2nd string and on that 3rd string you'll play a 3-2 pull-off. When practicing this, isolate the roll pattern without the pull-off first to get it down smoothly, then isolate your pull-off, then put them together and practice to get it in time.

This is actually a fairly difficult figure to play so be patient with yourself and practice it daily so you can consistently get two distinct notes with your pull off.