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Bill Keith’s “Santa Claus”

This lesson is part of the course Bluegrass Banjo with Bill Evans.
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Learn to make your banjo drive the band or play sweet melodies, with solos to well-known songs and tunes, backup techniques, and more.
 
 
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Blue Ridge Cabin Home
 
In this lesson, you’ll start adding roll patterns to the melody of “Blue Ridge Cabin Home.” Every melody has a rhythm and when Earl Scruggs was working out his breaks, he tried to keep the melody’s rhythm intact as he added the roll patterns, letting the melody dictate what kind of roll to use. Bill shows you some ideas for choosing rolls. For example, if you have a melody note that’s held out for a long time you can try a forward roll, and when the melody notes are closer together you can try an alternating thumb roll or a forward reverse roll. Bill walks you through an entire solo here, with embellishments and fill-in licks.
 
 
 
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Bill Keith – Santa Claus  
 
Bill Keith – Santa Claus  
 
Bill Keith’s “Santa Claus”
Bill Keith’s “Santa Claus”
 
The great melodic banjo pioneer Bill Keith recorded his tune “Santa Claus” with Bill Monroe in 1963. The chord progressions bears some resemblance to the song “I Don’t Love Nobody,” but it’s definitely its own tune. It’s not as challenging as some of Bill Keith’s melodic tunes, with a lot of Scruggs-oriented rolls as well as some of Keith’s signature melodic licks. Bill plays the whole tune through at a medium tempo and then takes apart some of the tune’s most distinctive phrases, showing you the melodic passages and some of the cool chord voicings Keith uses. He finishes by playing it through with guitar backup so you can really hear the chord changes. Keith passed away recently. Read Bill Evans's remembrance of him here.

  "Santa Claus" (Available to subscribers)
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
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    ● Instructors
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    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
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    ● Repertoire
 
 
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