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  3. Up the Neck Backup
  4. Overview and Pentatonic Riff

Overview and Pentatonic Riff

Standard Vocabulary

Throughout this unit you'll be introduced to some standard Bluegrass riffs. It is assumed that you know how to do basic rolls and vamp. If you do not check out Getting Started with Bluegrass Banjo and Vamping and Closed Position Chords. The links for those courses are belkow. This Up the Neck backup course goes quite a bit past that. After working through the beginner courses you'll need to get a few basic Backup tunes under your belt before taking this Up the Neck course on.

We'll start by learning some basic vocabulary. Then we'll put those licks into practice and learn up the neck backup for "Some Old Day". By studying the different song sections, we will learn some cool leading lines that take our backup from one chord to the next. WE will also learn up the neck "teardrop" style backup. We'll be using the recording of The Osborne Brothers as our vehicle to study the song. Sonny Osborne was the banjo player for the Osborne brothers. He is revered as one of the all time greats. He was a student of the tradition and an innovator of as well.

Make sure to listen to the recording of this tune: obsessively. Repetitive listening is like playing a lick 100 times. It trains our ears, and helps us memorize the sounds. Here, we will help you learn how and where to play those sounds you hear. If you have listened a lot you will know the way the backup is supposed to sound, and the rhythmic "feel" as well. You will start to pick up on some of those intangible things that make music come alive. This is simply done. Sit down, and listen to the music. Absorb it.

For starters, we'll take a look at a backup lick you will hear very often in Bluegrass music. This one is used as a fill, and in general backup. This is a great lick to have in your vocabulary.

Backup Lick

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