Simple Roll Exercises

This free video lesson by Geoff Hohwald is designed to enable the beginner to learn a few simple rolls and to practice these at gradually increasing speeds. It is recommended that you watch the lesson on correct right hand technique to make sure that your technique is correct as you speed up. We will be playing the forward roll, the forward and backward roll and the alternating thumb pattern. The tablature for each of these rolls can be found below. For more instruction on how to play the banjo, check out our Introduction to Banjo DVD.

Watch the lesson: Quicktime or Flash


Here is the first roll we'll try. It's called a forward roll

banjo forward roll tab

Now let's try a forward and backward roll

banjo backward roll tab

And finally let's try an alternating thumb pattern

alternating thumb roll tablature

You should practice these rolls until they become second nature to you.

Featured Premium Download

banjo lessonThe Beginning Banjo Package by Geoff Hohwald features six downloadable lessons that will teach you how to play the banjo in the Scruggs three finger style. Starting with the basics, we'll cover tuning, setup, finger picks, right and left hand technique, and basic rolls. We'll then move on to learning beginner chords in open and up the neck positions. Next, we'll use those chords to play the bluegrass songs Tom Dooley and Banks of the Ohio and practice them along with rhythm tracks. The Forward Roll Sessions are designed to dramatically improve your right hand speed and accuracy. Practicing along with rhythm tracks that gradually increase in speed will allow you to seamlessly progress towards playing at a performance tempo. The included lessons are Beginning Banjo 1, 2, and 3, and the Forward Roll Sessions 1-3. Each lesson includes a Quicktime video and a .pdf of the tabs. This package contains 116 minutes of video instruction.



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