How to Play Foggy Mountain Breakdown On Banjo

earl scrugs

In this video, Jim Pankey shows us how to play the Foggy Mountain Breakdown, the iconic song written by Earl Scruggs and first recorded on December 11th 1949.

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Video text:

0:00:00.8 –>
hey folks hadn’t seen you in a while we’re gonna learn something new today hopefully you’ve been practicing your the first 10 lessons that I put out here and if you have then you and you’ve learned you know crippled Craig blowing cabbage down then you went out and try to learn from the video that I posted you’re my sunshine you might actually be ready for this and just give you some new information and some you know some new stuff to think about but this is the way we learn so we get new information and new ideas and so this might stretch where you are but this is how you learn so I’m gonna give you this we’re gonna learn Foggy Mountain breakdown now if you’re expecting this to be you note for note version of what Earl Scruggs recorded we’ll look somewhere else because that’s not what this is this is

0:01:00.9 –>
just the way to get you playing Foggy Mountain breakdown I’m gonna teach you one break and that way when it comes up if you’re at a jam session and somebody says hey can you play Foggy Mountain breakdown you could say yes I can and and this this get you started it’s got some new ideas so and we’ll just go through them a piece at the time so the first new idea is is the roll and I’m not sure if we covered in lessons 1 through 10 and if we did I’m sorry but I’m gonna go through it again and if I didn’t hear it is brand-new so it’s the roll is a 2 1 2 1 5 2 1 5 I learned it when I was playing and called it a double forward roll but anyway it’s I started with the index so that’s 2 1 [Music]

0:02:09. –>
now this is a good place to stop the video and go work on that so pause the video go work on it come back tomorrow and we’ll we’ll learn old the next part and which is right now so that’s thing I want you to do is we’re gonna do a hammer on now we’ve done hammer ons before and so this hammer on is that the from the second fret to the third so that means we have to hold the second string at the second fret and we’re going to hit the second string and and then we’re going to hammer that note so from two to three on the second string it’s a little different but DIF good so we’re going to

0:03:00. –>
go and we’re gonna use that with our roll so it’s gonna be [Music] so we pick it up so can be able to do it three times be able to smooth doesn’t have to be fast but just smooth so it’s three times when you get there [Music] so that’s going to be our next little piece and so it’s a third string I hit it with my index and I go five so that’s

0:04:02.5 –>
new [Music] so practice that now so here’s what it sounds like and now we’re ready for a new chord now so II minor so we’re gonna learn the E minor chord it’s two fingers at your two middle fingers it’s your middle finger and your ring finger and it’s the fourth fret second fret fourth string second fret first string second fret looks just like that those two fingers not doing anything those two are holding downs two strings and that’s mi we’re gonna slide to it so you can just make that whole chord I usually just hold the fourth string at

0:05:00.3 –>
the first fret hit that string and then slide up you can hold them both that doesn’t matter and then one two three so it sounds like [Music] so here’s where we are in the song [Music] sounds familiar right very good now so this next thing is is something we kind of know it’s a forward in reverse roll we’re going to start it on the fourth string holding that E minor but we’re going to hammer on that fourth string and we’ve done that fourth string we’ve done that hammer before it’s just forward and reverse with that hammer [Music] so got that so here we are now here’s

0:06:15.9 –>
something new different and important this next lick I’m sure it’s got a name somewhere in the world it’s a G lick and it’s a G lick that you’ll use a lot I mean it’ll come up time and time again and so I’ll go through it a little bit here with you just to take you through it let me play it [Music] so that’s the lick we’re going to use or lick we’re gonna try to use so it’s a so after the II mine so the lake is one

0:07:05. –>
more time wet you hear it so it starts with the thumb on the third and then five so which is a slide so it’s a two to three slide [Music] [Applause] [Music] fine and that three is actually the next part of the phrase but don’t worry about that because I want you to get used to the way that lick sounds so I recommend right here again it’s not a great place to pause the video is take that leg so it’s three five three fold it repeat you

0:08:04.1 –>
can play it over and over so it’s a lie [Music] so you can play it over and over and over and over now something new I think you can do with YouTube now is you can slow this stuff down and so feel free to do that if you want a good chuckle turn on the closed caption and see what YouTube decides what I’m saying that’s always funny voice recognition I’m from Georgia so when you get to that we do that five three one three again so five three three back to the e minor [Music]

0:09:08.3 –>
we do that like two times in a row there so here’s what we’ve got and then we’re gonna have one more lick and pretty much builds the whole song but we’ll get there wait here we go so from the very beginning I mean do that again that was a little messy but that’s okay if you do it is a little messy that’s great if I know that’s a little messy maybe I need to do it where you can hear it a little cleaner so here we go but everybody makes mistakes maybe they’re just happy accidents [Music]

0:10:08.3 –>
[Music] so right here instead of hitting that third string open we’re going to hit our 4 I call this I call the four one one leg it’s not going to get you information but it’s but it’s kind of how we started so four so it comes up so after we do that little G leg now we’re

0:11:09.1 –>
going to do a hammer on that two two two two three hammer so this is gonna be a brand new lick and some very importantly now done your hammer take your index finger gonna put it on the first string second fret and we’re going to do a forward and reverse role five off the five so five five and then we’re gonna do one two three one and the three is gonna be a reverse slide [Music] so alright roll we’re back do it time

0:12:06.5 –>
and time again so here it is for now that little slide backwards you can do that as a pull off now I’ve got a video out here if you poke around and search for a 3-2 to pull off video by me you’ll find it but it’s just fun so instead of sliding back with our index and we do a pull off from 3 to 2 but for you you just start this do that backwards slide [Music] and now we’re gonna do our lick again the juillet [Music] so let me play you what you’ve got I’ll

0:13:01.6 –>
do it so sorry [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] now we can do an intro we can do an intro and that intro and you’ve heard it

0:14:03.9 –>
hit your first two strings open music two fingers – that’s the first fret and then the second fret and then that’s where we start [Music] and that’s Foggy Mountain breakdown so work on it practice practice practice practice practice but you can do this so good luck leave a comment like share tell your friends tell your neighbors get your

0:15:03.6 –>
banjo at practice a little bit we’ll see you next time all right bye

For more a more in-depth look at Foggy Mountain Breakdown, ‘lick by lick’.

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