What can guitar players learn from one of the best banjo players of all time? In this episode, we’ll take a closer look at Earl Scruggs, his banjo technique, and how guitar players can apply these techniques to expand their tonal horizons!
I am a huge Earl Scruggs fan. His banjo playing definitely cements him in the hall of fame of banjo musicians. Earl Scruggs was filled with wisdom, which is why I wanted to dedicate a whole episode to the legend. Even though he mostly played banjo, I think there are so many life and technique lessons to learn from Earl Scruggs.
One of the inspirations for this episode came from a video clip of Earl Scruggs. In the footage, he swaps his banjo for a guitar. Without hesitation, Scruggs was able to dive right into the role of rhythm guitar. Scruggs’ flexibility and rhythmic prowess allowed for spontaneity and collaboration — something I think all of us could benefit from learning!
As far as specific technique we can learn from Earl Scruggs’ playing, I really want to emphasize alternate chord voicing. Additionally, his use of the Carter scratch and the “rolls” in the picking hand can open up a wide variety of tones and rhythms for you to explore.
If you have any questions about Earl Scruggs, the techniques he used, or anything else, be sure to leave a comment on this episode! I always love to hear what you thought about this episode of the Acoustic Tuesday, and I look forward to reading your comments!
Featured in this Episode…
- The Earl Scruggs Center
- Molly Tuttle