Intermediate banjo roll-Middle Crossover

Free Intermediate Banjo Lesson

Here’s what I call an intermediate banjo roll.  It’s quite useful for playing melodies on the FIRST string.  This roll is unique in that it starts with the MIDDLE finger and uses the INDEX to play the 1st string as well.  It was made famous by artists such as Don Reno and Allen Shelton.

Up to this point, you may have noticed that the majority of your banjo rolls are what I call THUMB DRIVEN.  Time to get some new patterns into your right hand!

The right hand banjo roll pattern is as follows:

1321 1321

Notice that your middle finger would have to hit the first string twice in a row.  We solve this problem by bringing the index finger onto the first string.  This allows us to play faster and cleaner with this particular roll pattern.

When can you use this banjo roll?

This roll is quite useful when you have a melody on the first string.  Check out my Grandfather’s Clock for some examples:

If you like the sound of this roll, I recommend listening to “Little Rock Getaway” or pretty much any album with Allen Shelton on it; he used it a TON in his backup and lead playing.

Get the TAB:

Middle Lead Crossover Intermediate Roll

Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've played Banjo and Acoustic Guitar on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in six different countries.