Earl Scruggs is without question the most influential five-string banjo player in the history of the instrument and a thorough understanding of his style is essential to playing bluegrass banjo well. Earl Scruggs: A Player’s Guide picks up where Earl’s renowned instruction book Earl Scruggs and the Five-String Banjo leaves off, teaching tunes and techniques to enable each student to become a more complete Scruggs-style player.
Among the topics to be covered are:
Easy Earl: straightforward tunes and solos (“Shortening Bread”)
Early Earl: Earl with Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys
Fiddle tune and slow song (teardrop) back-up (“Fiddle and Banjo,” “I’ll Just Pretend”)
Solos to Flatt and Scruggs vocal tunes (“Head over Heels,” “Doin’ My Time”)
Up-the-neck solos & discussion of fingering (“Why Did You Wander?”)
Boogie-Woogie Earl, licks and solos (“Six White Horses”)
Drop-C tuning (“Farewell Blues,” “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow”)
Earl’s most awesome licks for leads and back-up
Bill has also invited 1996 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Charlie Cushman to join him as a very special guest for one workshop session. Charlie plays banjo and Earl Scruggs–style guitar in the Earls of Leicester, the Flatt and Scruggs tribute band led by dobro legend Jerry Douglas. He will discuss some of the most important aspects of Earl’s playing that move beyond tablature, including Earl’s fingering choices, right-hand rhythm and note spacing, and much more.
For those of you taking Bill’s courses on Peghead Nation, note that there will be no repetition of Scruggs content with the lessons on the Beginning Banjo and Bluegrass Banjo courses. Please join us for this special eight-session live workshop!
Bill talks about what he’ll be covering in his workshop and gives recommended reading and listening ideas.
Bill starts Earl Scruggs: A Player’s Guide by talking about Earl Scruggs’s early years and then he looks at his playing with Bill Monroe from 1946 to 1947, with tab for “Cripple Creek,” “Molly and Tenbrooks,” “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me,” and “Blue Grass Breakdown.”
Bill talks about Flatt and Scruggs’s groundbreaking Mercury Sessions, in particular Earl’s playing on the songs “Down the Road,” “No Mother or Dad,” “Why Don’t You Tell Me So,” and the iconic banjo instrumental “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”