Casey HenryIn the last couple weeks, with two of my more advanced students, we've been looking at a particular backup lick that Earl uses sometimes. It's found on medium-to-slow tempo songs and is done with two-finger chords on the first and second strings way up the neck. (Here is where tab would come in handy. I could just show it to you and say--this lick!). One thing I sometimes have trouble with is finding the perfect example of a lick I want to teach. It can be a lick I use all the time, yet I'm not sure what song it came out of originally. For these backup licks I actually found three songs, which I'll share, first of all so that you can go listen to it, second of all so next time I want to teach it I can come and look and see what songs I used!

1.) "He Took Your Place" - The lick comes in on the second verse, 1:08 on the counter. This is the earliest example, from 1955, which was pre-dobro in Flatt and Scruggs, so you can hear the banjo really well.

2.) "On My Mind" - Earl uses the lick in the second half of the chorus, starting at 1:08, and again at 2:29. Now there's dobro in the band and therefore less banjo backup.

3.) "Crying My Heart Out Over You" - Two short uses here at 0:53 and 2:18.

2 thoughts on “Backup

  1. Susan Morrison

    TAB !!!!! Did I read that correctly ??? Did you just mention how TAB might be helpful !?!?! I’m gonna tell your Mother on you!!!!

  2. sjyokel

    I could only find one of those tracks to listen to, but if I’m listening to the right thing, I’ve heard those kinds of licks referred to as “teardrop licks” (or just “two-finger backup”). Bill Evans goes into detail about them on one of his DVDs.

    “Will the Roses Bloom (While She Lies Sleeping)” also shows off these licks. Sonny Osborne uses them a lot too. Check out “Some Old Day,” for example.

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