Last post we covered a simple backup arrangement for the Blackberry Blossom. In this post we will explore some single string picking with a sweet and low Blackberry break.
For those of you not familiar with single string playing it is a technique similar to scalewise guitar playing whereby a single string is often plucked several times in a row (in Scruggs and melodic styles the same string is rarely plucked twice in a row) traditionally alternating the thumb and index finger of the picking hand.
Some players prefer using the thumb and middle for singlestring playing and others favour a TITM pattern. I find the TITM pattern is best for generating speed but tend to use TITI for most everyday single string.
This arrangement brings the melody an octave lower than the standard Keith style arrangement. Because the banjo runs out of lower notes at the D I bring things up the octave when necesary.
The break stays somewhat true to the original melody in the A section and then steps a little more into its own in the B section. I really love playing on the low D string; something about the big wound string and how it just crackles and pops.
Here is the arrangement for you in tablature form (click on the image to make it larger).
Here is what it sounds like slow.
And here it is a little faster (threw in a couple alternate licks in this one)
As always let me know if you have any questions.
NEXT: Exploring Blackberry Blossom Part III: High Break