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Watch the Banjo Rolls: Study 1 online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from Country Guitar Survival Guide: Lead Edition

Country guitarists have adapted rolls into their vocabulary in order to imitate banjo players. In my opinion James Burton is to thank for this. These are great for faster tunes. Especially if you're having trouble keeping up by flat picking. Rolls fall into the hybrid picking category. We are using our pick and fingers to arpeggiate a triad or three note cluster. Rolls allow for more efficiency in your picking and a fuller sound due to strings ringing into each other. I've divided this chapter into forward rolls and backwards rolls. We will start with forward rolls. While I do throw in some of the cliche banjo licks, most this example is embellishing the second and third intervals. Basing my right hand patterns off of these two intervals makes this technique a little more "guitar friendly."

We can move around melodically and incorporate hammer-ons easily. We will be using a lot of open strings in these examples. I always make sure that the open string relates back to the chord I'm playing over. Obviously, you won't be able to use open strings for some keys, in which case you can try these patterns off of triad shapes.