Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday morning tunes: In Mr. Scruggs's home room

That's where every musician on the stage in this 1971 clip went to school.

Earl Scruggs invented the three-finger picking style so central to bluegrass music, practically inventing the musical genre in the process. He was the Chet Atkins of his own instrument. His signature tune (apart from “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” which he recorded with Lester Flatt) was the instrumental piece “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which he kicks off and winds up in this video.

Watch the right-hand fingering of every banjo player in this video. They all learned that from studying Earl, who died last week at 88. Every single one.

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