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  2. Learning Paths
  3. The Pinch and Slurs on the Banjo
  4. The Slide

The Slide

Your First Left Hand Slur

The slide is the first of three left hand slurs you'll be learning in this learning path. Here's how you play the slide:

Take your middle finger and place it behind the 2nd fret, 3rd string. With your right hand thumb, pluck the third string and after you do that move your middle finger up to the 3rd fret on the 3rd string. That is a slide. There are a lot of different articulations that you can make but right now we're focusing on a simple 2-3 slide on the third string. What is unique about slurs on the banjo is that you will play them inside roll patterns. And this means the timing can be a little tricky. Make sure you watch the video below to get an idea of what the timing should be like before trying it out on your instrument.

How to Play the Slide

Tab is a great learning tool, but it has it's limitations. Because slurs on the banjo are so nuanced, we are unable to accurately portray what this slide should sound like with the alternating thumb roll as it notated below. Watch the lesson video and use your ears to practice the rhythm and once you feel good about it, then practice along with the backing tracks below.