It’s In The Can

Casey Henry

Casey Henry

Ask and you shall receive! The new backup DVD we filmed last weekend is now up on the site and available for pre-order. The title will be Beyond Vamping: Fancy Banjo Backup. The cover isn't done yet (I'm having the pictures taken tomorrow), so on the order page you'll see a still from the video rather than the cover design.

This DVD covers fancy, mostly up-the-neck, Scruggs-style backup. I've been thinking about how to teach it for at least a couple of years, and several of my students have been guinea pigs for these lessons, as have some workshop participants and camp attendees. I know for a fact that they were able to learn it in their face-to-face lessons, so I hope the same thing holds true for our DVD students.

The key to teaching this is to put the licks into songs. Many other DVDs out there are full of licks, and I'm sure they all show versions of these same licks. But they don't show you how to use them in patterns, within actual songs. Over the course of this DVD we build four different backup patterns, a lick at a time and if you make it all the way through the lessons (in order!) you will have a LOT of practice using these licks. Then it's up to you to take them and use them in your own playing and jamming.

A great way get some practice on this is to play along with the Slow Jam DVDs. Sure the songs seem too slow for many people once they get a certain number of playing hours under their belts, but this backup is a whole new ballgame! You can use the video in a new way and practice backing up a variety of songs.

But all this info is just academic until you actually have the DVD in your hands, which will be in about six weeks. So to tide you over, here's another picture from the shoot:

Casey and Murphy Henry, filming the new backup DVD.

Casey and Murphy Henry, filming the new backup DVD.

12 thoughts on “It’s In The Can

  1. Susan

    Gonna order mine right now, but I’m not as disciplined as Marty and will probably slip it right into the DVD player, try out a few licks, thereby ruining my banjo “grunt work” (which is known as putting somewhat familiar tunes into a kick-off, break, sing verse-vamp-vamp, sing chorus-vamp-vamp, come in at the right time for another break, keeping looking up so as to communicate with the other people, then put on an appropriate ending! Whew! All while attempting to play the right notes…..! On second thought, I think I’ll take a nap)!

  2. Martin Bacon

    I think Susan is just less afraid of Murphy. And besides everytime I don’t do it her way my progress slows:)

  3. Susan Morrison

    Yes, Marty, you are right! My progress is certainly one step forward; two steps back, but I just love, Love, LOVE to sample all TMM goodies, just like a kid in a candy store, or an alcoholic in a brewery, or a banjo lover in the ever growing pile of DVDs! I find that when I can stay disciplined enough to do it her way, I make great strides, but then I start to stray until she reigns me back in again. It is just that banjo is so much fun, and I just want to play it ALL right now! (Patience is NOT my greatest virtue…….! But persistence may be!)

  4. Casey Henry

    Russ, it’s a lot different. For one thing it concentrates solely on backup — no lead breaks. There is actually one lick that the two DVDs share. Other than that there is no overlap in the content. It would, however, be helpful if you’ve gone through the High Breaks and Backup DVD before you tackle this one.

  5. Jim Rink

    Casey and Murphy…you have really done it this time!!! Got my Beyond Vamping: Fancy Banjo Backup DVD for Father’s Day. It is GREAT!!! It is exactly what I have been looking for…instruction on how to plug in back up licks. All the other books and DVDs are long on teaching the mechanics of playing licks while being very short on instruction as to where and how to put them into songs. While I have practiced most of these licks for a while, I have had limited success in actually using them in my playing or jamming. This DVD starts simple and immediately gives practical practice application with the play along and songs. It then builds into more complex licks I have been dying to learn and use. I have about 8-10 of your DVDs that have helped me immensely from playing by ear to learning individual songs. This DVD provides an important bridge in my banjo pursuit and I cannot recommended it highly enough, Thanks a bunch

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