In 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.