Frailing Banjo Backup Patterns and Licks

A workshop on creating interesting backup patterns and licks for frailing banjo.
I wrote this back in 2004.

Have fun!
-Patrick

Frailing Banjo Backup Patterns and Licks

The basic backup pattern I use the most is just a banjo version of the alternating bass run used by guitar players. It’s the basic frailing strum played of the third and fourth strings:

D------0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0------|-|
B------0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0-----*|-|
G------0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0---0-0-----*|-|
D---0------------|-0-----------|-0-----------|-0--------------|-|
G--------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0----|-|

The tab above is showing the fourth and third string but you can mix up the pattern anyway you want like starting off on the third string:

D------0-----0---|---0-----0---|
B------0-----0---|---0-----0---|
G---0--0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|
D----------0-----|-------0-----|
G--------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|

If you want to start using licks to emphasize phrases in songs or tunes it’s a good idea to get really used to playing a run like this because it gives you something to play between the licks that wont interfere with the singer or whoever is taking a break- and the back and forth between the third and fourth strings has a nifty way of creating the illusion of motion. The folks listening “feel” the song moving- which is why this sort of thing has been used so effectively in blues and country guitar.

Here is a simple version Banks of the Ohio using this pattern. It’s just the basic bump dit-ty strum but I’ve spaced out a couple of the measure to fit the lyrics into the flow of the song.

Banks of the Ohio

           G                               D7                                                            
D-------|----0-----0---|---0---------0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|
B-------|*---0-----0---|---0---------0---|---1-----1---|---1-----1---|
G-------|*-0-0-----0---|-0-0---------0---|-2-2-----2---|-2-2-----2---|
D-------|----0---0-0---|---0-------0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|
G-------|------0-----0-|-----0---------0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|
Darling  say                  you'll be   mine                in our

   D7                               G 
D-----0-----0---|---0----------0---|---0-----0---|---0--------0---|
B-----1-----1---|---1----------1---|---0-----0---|---0--------0---|
G---2-2-----2---|-2-2----------2---|-0-0-----0---|-0-0--------0---|
D-----0---0-0---|---0--------0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0------0-0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0----------0-|-----0-----0-|-----0--------0-|
   home               we'll happy    be                  down be-

   G                                    C 
D-----0-----0---|---0-------------0---|---2-----2---|---2---------2---|
B-----0-----0---|---0-------------0---|---1-----1---|---1---------1---|
G---0-0-----0---|-0-0-------------0---|-0-0-----0---|-0-0---------0---|
D-----0---0-0---|---0-----------0-0---|---2---2-2---|---2-------2-2---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-------------0-|-----0-----0-|-----0---------0-|
  side              where  the waters  flow               down on the

G               D7             G
D-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0----|-|
B-----0-----0---|---1-----1---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---*|-|
G---0-0-----0---|-2-2-----2---|-0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---*|-|
D-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0---0-0----|-|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0--|-|
  banks          of the  Ohi-   o               

It’s a really good idea to get used to playing this pattern before you start getting fancy with it. Pick up a good songbook and spend some time just playing and singing folk songs. I think one of the main reasons old time banjo is such a mess today is that everybody jumps into fiddle tunes right away without giving themselves time to build up the basic right and left hand skills.

This also has a neat way to expanding your repertoire without trying to remember a whole lot of individual notes. If you can play even the simplest backup technique and sing people will think you are the greatest thing since frozen orange juice because our ears have a weird way of “completing” what we hear. While you might just hear yourself singing along with a bump dit-ty strum people listening will think you are doing sixteen different things at once.

Once you are comfortable with the basic pattern throw in a hammer-on. In this example we’re playing the fourth string at the second fret.

Simple G run

e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e       
D-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|-----0-----0---|-----0-----0------|-|
B-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|-----0-----0---|-----0-----0-----*|-|
G----h--0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0-----*|-|
D---0^2-----------|-0^2-----------|-0^2-----------|-0^2--------------|-|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|-------0-----0----|-|

e=eighth note q=quarter note +=any eighth note combination

Try this run out of a C chord:


Simple C run

e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e       
D-------2-----2---|-----2-----2---|-----2-----2---|-----2-----2------|-|
B-------1-----1---|-----1-----1---|-----1-----1---|-----1-----1-----*|-|
G----h--0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0-----*|-|
D---0^2-----------|-0^2-----------|-0^2-----------|-0^2--------------|-|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|-------0-----0----|-|

Then mess with the idea. You might get something like:

There are an almost infinite number of ways you can mix in some pull-off’s, hammer-on’s, slides and bends into a simple backup pattern. What makes this so cool is that you don’t really have to worry that much about playing the specific melody of a song. If you can frail a chord progression and keep the rhythm smooth while you sing a song people will be impressed. If you add in some licks people will think you’re doing something amazing. See, even if you can do a whole bunch of melodic stuff its really only going to work in the context of a banjo break or solo. The trick to backing up your voice or another instrument is to play simply so that the banjo sound effects don’t fight the voice or the instrument playing lead. When it comes to adding licks the big trick is to build up your ability to match the phrasing of a lick to the phrasing of the melody line. It’s not just a matter of inserting “lick A” into “measure B.” You want to be able to add emphasis and emotion to the phrase without changing the structure of the song. In order to do that you have to think of licks as little more than ideas that you reshape to fit into the song in question. For example, a lick like this third string slide is pretty easy and it can fit into a lot of situations:

Third String Slide (G chord)

e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e
D-------0-----0---|-----0-----0----|
B----s--0-----0---|-----0-----0----|
G---2^4-0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0----|
D-------0-----0---|-0^2------------|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0--|

(Once you get comfortable with this lick try it on the fourth string)

It’s cool- but sometimes you will need to change the emphasis of the lick. This can be accomplished by sliding on the fourth string at the second fret to the fourth fret- or even sliding the second string from the first to the third fret. That’s easy to do because the timing isn’t changing- but in some cases you might want the sound of the original lick but the timing has to be changed:

Third String Bend (G chord)

q  q  q e e  e+e e e q e e
D----0-------|-----0-----0-----|
B--b-----0---|-----0-----0-----|
G-2^---0-0---|-----0---0-0-----|
D------------|-0h2-------------|
G----------0-|-------0-----0---|

What we’re doing here is pretty close to the first lick, but by bending the string rather than playing a slide we can hold the note for a quarter note value and completely change the phrasing of the lick.

Other lick ideas can revolve around the idea of playing against open strings.

“Phantom” Hammer-on (G chord)

e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e
D----h--0-----0---|-----0-----0----|
B---0^--0-----0---|-----0-----0----|
G-----2-0---0-0---|--h--0---0-0----|
D-----------------|-0h2------------|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0--|

The trick here is to play the second string and while the string is still ringing hammer on the third string at the second fret.

Here’s another easy one:

G Tag (G chord)

D-5^0-0---2^0-0---|---------0----|
B-----0-------0---|-1^0^----0----|
G-----0-------0---|-----2-0-0----|
D-----------------|--------------|
G-------0-------0-|-----------0--|  

This is one of those really flexible licks. I do something different with it every time I use it, but this will at least give you something to work with. Try sliding into the first note.

C Chord Run (C chord)

D-----2-----2---|-----2-----2----|
B-----1-----1---|-----1-----1----|
G-----0---0-0---|-2^0-0-----0----|
D-2^3-----------|---------2-2----|
G-------0-----0-|-------0-----0--|

The only thing that might trip you up with this one is using your pinky. We don’t use our little fingers much and as a result they tend to be kind of weak. Make this lick part of your daily practice routine for a while and build up your hand strength a bit.

Licks are a lot of fun to mess around with- but you don’t want to rely on anybody else to come up with them for you. Part of finding your own voice on the banjo is going to revolve around just messing chords and playing with sounds.

A good way to get started on this is to take a basic song you already know and start experimenting with ways to spice things up.

Let’s take a look at Boil Them Cabbage Down in G and C with a basic frailing stroke.

Boil Them cabbage Down in C:

    C             F             C            G
D---2-2---2-2---|-3-3---3-3---|-2-2---2-2---|-0-0---0-0---|
B-----1-----1---|---1-----1---|---1-----1---|---0-----0---|
G-----0-----0---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|
D-----2-----2---|---3-----3---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|

    C             F             C     G      C
D---2-2---2-2---|-3-3---3-3---|-2-2---0-0---|---2-----2---|-|
B-----1-----1---|---1-----1---|---1-----0---|-1-1---1-1---|-|
G-----0-----0---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|-|
D-----2-----2---|---3-----3---|---2-----0---|---2-----2---|-|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-|

Boil Them cabbage Down in G:

    G             C             G            D7
D-----0-----0---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|
B---0-0---0-0---|-1-1---1-1---|-0-0---0-0---|---1-----1---|
G-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|-2-2---2-2---|
D-----0-----0---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|

   G             C             G     D7       G
D-----0-----0---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|-|
B---0-0---0-0---|-1-1---1-1---|-0-0-----1---|-0-0---0-0---|-|
G-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0---2-2---|---0-----0---|-|
D-----0-----0---|---2-----2---|---0-----0---|---0-----0---|-|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-|

There are a lot of things you can do to change the way the song is presented without losing the songs identity.

For example, we could play Boil Them Cabbage Down in C, but instead of just using the fist string for the “bump” we could try the second string. We could even take things further and add in a hammer-on.

Here is the first few measures of Boil Them Cabbage Down in C trying that idea:

Boil Them Cabbage Down In C

   C               F               C               G
D-----2-------2---|---3-------3---|---2-------2---|-0-0-------0---|
B---1-1---0^1-1---|-1-1---0^1-1---|-1-1---0^1-1---|---0---1^0-0---|
G-----0-------0---|---2-------2---|---0-------0---|---0-------0---|
D-----2-------2---|---3-------3---|---2-------2---|---0-------0---|
G-------0-------0-|-----0-------0-|-----0-------0-|-----0-------0-|

If the second string works why not try the fourth string?

Boil Them Cabbage Down In C

   C               F               C               G
D-----2-------2---|---3-------3---|---2-------2---|---0-------0---|
B-----1-------1---|---1-------1---|---1-------1---|---0-------0---|
G-----0-------0---|---2-------2---|---0-------0---|---0-------0---|
D---2-2---0^2-2---|-3-3---0h3-3---|-2-2---0^2-2---|-0-0---2^0-0---|
G-------0-------0-|-----0-------0-|-----0-------0-|-----0-------0-|

If just adding a hammer-on works, why not try adding a lick? The “FMB Lick” might sound interesting.

Boil Them Cabbage Down in G with the “FMB Lick”

    G                C             G                 D               
D-------0-------0---|---2-----2---|-----0-------0---|---4-----4---|
B---2h3-3---2h3-3---|-1-1-----1---|-2h3-3---2h3-3---|---3-----3---|
G-------0-------0---|---0---0-0---|-----0-------0---|-2-2-----2---|
D-------------------|---2-----2---|-----------------|---0---0-0---|
G---------0-------0-|-----0-----0-|-------0-------0-|-----0-----0-|

(Note that I’m using the D chord here instead of the D7. If the D chord gives you any trouble feel free to use the D7 instead)

Or we could try the third string slide.

Boil Them Cabbage Down in G with the third string slide

   G                 C               G                 D
D-------0-------0---|---2-------2---|-----0-------0---|---4-----4---|
B-------0-------0---|-1-1-------1---|-----0-------0---|---3-----3---|
G---2^4-0---2^0-0---|---0---2^0-0---|-2^4-0---2^0-0---|-2-2-----2---|
D-------4-----------|---2-------2---|-----4-----------|---0---0-0---|
G---------0-------0-|-----0-------0-|-------0-------0-|-----0-----0-| 

Or we could put the two licks together . . .

Boil Them Cabbage Down in G with two licks

D-------0-------0---|---2-------2---|-----0-------0---|---4-----4---|
B-------0-------0---|-1-1-------1---|-2h3-3---2h3-3---|---3-----3---|
G---2^4-0---2^0-0---|---0---2^0-0---|-----0-------0---|-2-2-----2---|
D-------4-----------|---2-------2---|-----------------|---0---0-0---|
G---------0-------0-|-----0-------0-|-------0-------0-|-----0-----0-|   

The really amazing thing here is that in spite of everything we’re doing the song is still coming across as Boil Them Cabbage Down. In other words, you can do an awful lot to a song without losing the melody.

You also want to be aware that less usually is more. Don’t start going ape with this stuff. Use these ideas for seasonings rather than the main course.

Spend some time playing some simple folk songs and start messing with things to see how you can spice you your back up playing. It’ll do wonders for your lead playing later on.

When it comes to playing up the neck the only trick is that in order to understand where to find stuff you need to understand the relationship between chord forms and scales,

In this example we are playing around with the fact that your D chord moved down to the ninth fret becomes a G chord and that you can blend the “high” G with the “open” G:

D-------0---7^0-0---|-5-5-----5---|
B---7^8-8-------8---|---5---5-5---|
G-------0-------0---|---5-----5---|
D-------------------|-------------|
G---------0-------0-|-----0-----5-|

If you don’t want to use the C at the fifth fret you can always jump all the way back up to your basic C chord. In the next example we are playing the whole chord as a hammer-on to make it interesting, and to give us a moment of breathing room to make that long run down the fretboard:

D-------0---7^0-0---|-0^2-2---2p0-0---|
B---7^8-8-------8---|---1-1-------1---|
G-------0-------0---|---0-0-------0---|
D-------------------|--^2-2-------2---|
G---------0-------0-|-------0-------0-|

One thing I would suggest when it comes to picking up new ideas for your backup playing is to listen to, and hang out with, as may guitar players as you can find. Guitar players as diverse as Riley Pluckett and Robert Johnson hade a lot of cool ideas that can be reshaped to fit into the frailing banjo framework. Listen to Jhonny Cash and Hank Williams. Lonnie Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt. Then listen to some mandolin players like Bill Monroe. Good backup is everywhere because it adds so much to the music without overwhelming anything.

And don’t forget to sing. Banjo solos get boring.

Before I toddle off let’s look at happens to Banks of the Ohio when you stick in a few simple licks:

Banks of the Ohio in G

    G                                     D7 
D-------|------0-------0---|---0---------|-----0-------0---|
B-------|*--s--0---0h--0---|---0---------|-----1-------1---|
G---0-2-|*-2^4-4-----2-0---|-0-0-------0-|-0h2-2-------2---|
D-------|------0-----------|---0---4p0---|-----0---0h4-0---|
G-------|--------0-------0-|-----0-------|-------0-------0-|

    D7                                      G 
D-----0-------|-----0-----0---|---0---0---|---0-------0---|
B-----1-----0-|-0h1-1-----1---|---1-----1-|-0-0-------0---|
G---2-2---2---|-----2---2-2---|---2-------|---0-------0---|
D-----0-------|-----0-----0---|-0-0-------|---0---0h2-----|
G-------0-----|-------0-----0-|-----0-----|-----0-------0-|
  
   G                                        C 
D-----0---0-2-|-0-0-------0---|---0-------|---2-----2---|
B-----0-------|---0---0h--0---|---0-----0-|-1-1-----1---|
G---0-0-------|---0-----2-0---|-0-0---2---|---0---0-0---|
D-----0-------|---0-------0---|---0-------|---2-----2---|
G-------0-----|-----0-------0-|-----0-----|-----0-----0-|

    C           G             D7          G 
D-----2---0---|---0---------|---0-------|---0-------0---|
B-----1-----1-|-0-0-------0-|---1---0---|---0-------0---|
G-----0-------|---0---0h2---|-2-2-----2-|-0-0-------0---|
D---2-2-------|---0---------|---0-------|---0---0h2-----|
G-------0-----|-----0-------|-----0-----|-----0-------0-|

   G 
D-----0--------|-|
B-----0-------*|-|
G---0-0---0-2-*|-|
D-----0--------|-|
G-------0------|-|

A few more things to mess around with with:

Half thumb:

    e+e e e e+e e e   e e+q q e e  
D---------0-------0---|-0-------0---|
B---------1-------1---|---1^----1---|
G---------0---0^3-3---|-----3-0-0---|
D-----0^3-3-----------|-------------|
G-----------0-------0-|-----------0-|  

This one is laid out in a quasi-modal setting with your index finger fretting the second string at the first fret. You can play it out of G modal tuning just as easily, but I have yet to find a real reason to retune for this sort of thing.

The “lick” is in the second measure. It starts out like a drop-thumb. You play the first string with your middle fingernail and drop your thumb down to play the second string- the change comes when you play a phantom hammer-on on the third string at the third fret. As indicated above the lick the phantom hammer-on is given a quarter note value.

This is most commonly used in modal-ish settings but once you understand the idea behind the lick it’s easy to drop into other places.

This major key version of House Of The Rising Sun uses drop thumb, double thumb and half thumb licks in 3/4 time. It’s kind of freaky if you are used to the arpeggio-based minor-key version the Animals played in 4/4 time, but it’s kind of banjo-bluesy in a cool sort of way. It’s also an easy way to mess around with licks in 3/4 time.

House Of The Rising Sun
3/4 Time Key of G
(I picked this one up from Paul Schoenwetter ages ago and I’m not sure where he learned it)

      G                              C           C7
      e+e    q e e e e   q e e e+e   q e e e e   q e e e e  
D----------|----0---0---|-0-0---2p0-|---2-------|---2---0---|
B---3:-0h--|*---0---0---|---0-------|-1-1---0---|---1-------|
G---4:---2-|*-0-0---0---|---0-------|---0-------|-3-3-------|
D----------|------------|-----------|-----------|-----------|
G----------|------0---0-|-----0-----|-----0---0-|-----0---0-|

    G            G7           G
    q e e e e   e+e e e e e   q e e e e   q e e e e  
D---5-5---0---|-2^3-3---0---|-0-0---0---|-0-0---0---|
B-----0-------|-----0-----0-|---0---0---|---0---0---|
G-----0-------|-----0-------|---0---0---|---0---0---|
D-------------|-------------|-----------|-----------|
G-------0---0-|-------0-----|-----0---0-|-----0---0-|

    G            G7           C           C7
    q e e e e   e+e e e e e   q e e e e   q e e e e  
D---5-5---0---|-2^3-3---0---|---2-------|---2-------|
B-----0-------|-----0-----0-|-1-1-------|---1---1---|
G-----0-------|-----0-------|---0---0---|-3-3-------|
D-------------|-------------|-----------|-----------|
G-------0---0-|-------0-----|-----0---0-|-----0---0-|

    G           D7          G
    q e e e e   q e e e+e   q e e e e   q e e e+e       
D-----0-------|---0-------|---0---0---|---0----------|-|
B-----0---0---|---1---0h--|---0---0---|---0---0h----*|-|
G---0-0-------|-2-2-----2-|-0-0---0---|-0-0-----2---*|-|
D-------------|-----------|-----------|--------------|-|
G-------0---0-|-----0-----|-----0---0-|-----0--------|-|

Back to 4/4 . . .

Tickle Lick:

    e+e e e e+e e e   e+e+q q e e  
D---5^0-0---2^0-0---|--p------0---|
B-------0-------0---|-1^0^h---0---|
G-------0-------0---|-----2-0-0---|
D-------------------|-------------|
G---------0-------0-|-----------0-|

The lick is in the second measure. It’s just pull-off mixed with a phantom hammer-on.

More picking patterns:
These are a lot like the ones covered earlier. I just added some more to get you all thinking about the possible variations you can squeeze out of these ideas. You can use these in all sorts of ways. They work as repeating patterns or as stand alone licks.

G patterns:

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
B-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
G-------0---0-0---|-----0---0-0---|
D---0h2-----------|-0h2-----------|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
B-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
G-------0---0-0---|-0h--0-----0---|
D---0h2-----------|---2-----0-----|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D--------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
B----0h--0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
G------2-0---0-0---|-----0---0-0---|
D------------------|-0h2-----------|
G----------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

    e+e e e e+e e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------0-------0---|-----0-----0---|
B---0h--0---0h--0---|-0h--0-----0---|
G-----2-0-----2-0---|---2-0---0-0---|
D-------------------|---------------|
G---------0-------0-|-------0-----0-|

    e+e e e e+e e e   q e e e+e e e  
D--------0-------0---|---0-------0---|
B--------0-------0---|---0-------0---|
G--------0-------0---|-0-0-------0---|
D----2^5-----2p0-----|-------2p0-----|
G----------0-------0-|-----0-------0-|

     e+e e e q e e    e+e e e q e e  
D----0h--0-----0---|------0-----0---|
B--------0-----0---|------0-----0---|
G------2-0---0-0---|------0---0-0---|
D------------------|--0h2-----------|
G----------0-----0-|--------0-----0-|

C Patterns:

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------2-----2---|-----2-----2---|
B-------1-----1---|-----1-----1---|
G-------0---0-0---|-----0---0-0---|
D---0h2-2-----2---|-0h2-2-----2---|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------2-----2---|-----2-----2---|
B-------1-----1---|-----1-----1---|
G-------0---0-0---|-----0---0-0---|
D---2p0-2-----2---|-2p0-2-----2---|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

    e+e e e e+e e e   e+e e e e+e e e  
D-------2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
B-------1-------1---|-----1-------1---|
G---0h2-2---0h--0---|-0h2-2---0h--0---|
D-------------2-2---|-----------2-2---|
G---------0-------0-|-------0-------0-|

    e+e e e e+e e e   e+e e e e+e e e  
D-------2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
B-------1-------1---|-----1-------1---|
G-------0---2p0-0---|-----0---2p0-0---|
D---0h2-2-------2---|-0h2-2-------2---|
G---------0-------0-|-------0-------0-|

    e+e e e e+e e e   e+e e e e+e e e  
D-------2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
B---0h1-1-------1---|-0h1-1-------1---|
G-------0---2p0-0---|-----0---2p0-0---|
D-------2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
G---------0-------0-|-------0-------0-|

    e+e e e e+e e e   e e e e e e  
D---2p0-0-------0---|---2-----2---|
B-------1---1p0-0---|-1-1---1-1---|
G-------0-------0---|---0-----0---|
D-------2-------2---|---2-----2---|
G---------0-------0-|-----0-----0-|

You’re probably getting the idea now. Here’s D7:

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
B-------1-----1---|-----1-----1---|
G---0h2-2-----2---|-0h2-2-----2---|
D-----------0-----|---------0-----|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

    e e e e+e e e   e e e q e e  
D-----0-------0---|---0-----0---|
B-----1-------1---|---1-----1---|
G---2-2-------2---|-2-2-----2---|
D---------0h4-----|-------0-----|
G-------0-------0-|-----0-----0-|

    e+e e e e e e   e+e e e e e e  
D-------0-----0---|-----0-----0---|
B---1p0-1-----1---|-1p0-1-----1---|
G-------2---2-2---|-----2---2-2---|
D-----------------|---------------|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

And D:

    e+e e e q e e   e+e e e q e e  
D-------0-----4---|-----0-----4---|
B-------3-----3---|-----3-----3---|
G-------2---2-2---|-----2---2-2---|
D---0h4-4-----0---|-0h4-4-----0---|
G---------0-----0-|-------0-----0-|

Here’s another simple tune to mess around with. It’s an old Charlie Poole song. The first tab is just a basic bump dit-ty pattern and the second tab used some simple licks to draw out the melody line.

Gypsy Girl- basic
4/4 time key of G

G                           D7                    G
D-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-------------0---|---0-----0---|
B-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---1-------------1---|---0-----0---|
G---0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|-2-2-------------2---|-0-0-----0---|
D-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0-----------0-0---|---0---0-0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-------------0-|-----0-----0-|
  once I was a  gypsy girl but now I'm a rich man's  bride    with
 
G                            D7                    G
D-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-------------0---|---0-----0---|
B-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---1-------------1---|---0-----0---|
G---0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|-2-2-------------2---|-0-0-----0---|
D-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0-----------0-0---|---0---0-0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-------------0-|-----0-----0-|
  servants to    wait on  me   while in  my carriage  ride   while  
 
G                           C             G
    q e e e e e   q e e e e e   e e e e e e   q e e q e e  
D-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---2-----2---|-0-0-----0---|
B-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---1-----1---|---0---0-0---|
G---0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|---0-----0---|
D-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---2---2-2---|---0-----0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-----0-|
  in my carriage   ride while  in my carriage  ride  with

G                            D7                    G
D-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---0-------------0---|---0-----0---|
B-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|---1-------------1---|---0-----0---|
G---0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|-2-2-------------2---|-0-0-----0---|
D-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|---0-----------0-0---|---0---0-0---|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|-----0-------------0-|-----0-----0-|
   servants to    wait on  me   while in my carriage  ride
</pre
Once I was a gypsy girl but now I'm a rich man's bride
With servants to wait on me while in my carriage ride
While in my carriage ride, while in my carriage ride
With servants to wait on me while in my carriage ride

As I went a strolling one day down London's streets
A handsome young squire was the first I chanced to meet
He kissed my pretty brown cheeks that no he loves so well
And said my little gypsy girl will you my fortune tell?
*Will you my fortune tell, will you my fortune tell?
He said my little gypsy girl will you my fortune tell?

Oh yes sir, kind sir, please hold to me your hand
You have many fine mansions in many foreign lands
And all those fine young ladies, you can cast them all aside
I am the gypsy girl who is to be your bride.
*Who is to be your bride, who is to be your bride
I am the gypsy girl who is to be your bride.

Once I was a gypsy girl but now I'm a rich man's bride
With servants to wait on me while in my carriage ride.
While in my carriage ride, while in my carriage ride
With servants to wait on me while in my carriage ride.

Gypsy Girl- simple melody
4/4 time key of G
G                           D7                G
    q e e q e e   q e e q e e   q  q  q  q   q e e q e e  
D---0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|------------|---0-----0---|
B-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|-1----------|---0-----0---|
G-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|----2-----2-|-0-0-----0---|
D---------------|-------------|-------4----|-------0-----|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|------------|-----0-----0-|

G                          D7            G
    q e e q e e   q e e q e e   q  q  q  q   q e e q e e  
D---0-0-----0---|-0-0-----0---|------------|---0-----0---|
B-----0---0-0---|---0---0-0---|-1----------|---0-----0---|
G-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|----2-----2-|-0-0-----0---|
D---------------|-------------|-------4----|-------0-----|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|------------|-----0-----0-|

G                           C           G
    q e e q q   q e e e+e e e   q e e q q   q e e q e e  
D-----0-----0-|-5-5---5p0-0---|-2-2---2---|-0-0-----0---|
B-----0---0---|---0-------0---|---1-------|---0---0-0---|
G---0-0-------|---0-------0---|---0-------|---0-----0---|
D-------------|---------------|-----------|-------------|
G-------0-----|-----0-------0-|-----0---0-|-----0-----0-|

G                          D7           G
    q e e q e e   q e e q e e   q  q  q  q   q e e q e e     
D---5-5---0-0---|-0-0-----0---|------------|---0-----0----|-|
B-----0-----0---|---0---0-0---|-1----------|---0-----0---*|-|
G-----0-----0---|---0-----0---|----2-----2-|-0-0-----0---*|-|
D---------------|-------------|-------4----|-------0------|-|
G-------0-----0-|-----0-----0-|------------|-----0-----0--|-|

 

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