SALE: Forever Site Access Memberhip for $149 $279 Get It Today! • An Annual Membershop is $81 a year. • Live Streaming Every Thursday 11AM EDT (-4 UTC)
2020 Funky Frets Virtual Uke FestOctober 2-3-4, 2020












Fest 2020


Alternating Thumb Style, Banjo Rolls on Ukulele

BluegrassBanjo roll on ukulele.

PUBLISHED: Mar 11, 2013 UPDATED: Mar 28, 2020 • VIEWS: 24 • LESSON CODE: ULFP117n-CH-14

Instruments: ukulele Subjects: advancedbeginnerfingerpickingintermediatestrums

This Download is NOT part of your membership level. Sign-up for a Site Access or Upgrade your current access level to download this PDF or your can purchase a copy for download.

Each PDF file is a formatted high resolution file that prints out great. You'll need Adobe Reader or a PDF viewing application to view your PDF file.

Alternating Thumb Style, Banjo Rolls on Ukulele

Previous lessons covered a lot of material. With all the patterns starting with the thumb on string four and also suggested exploring the patterns starting with the thumb on string three.

You can also start with the index or middle finger. This is a big part of the technique of rolls, very popular on banjo and styles of music such as bluegrass where the banjo is prominent instrument.

In bluegrass music, a banjo roll or roll is a repeated accompaniment pattern of eighth notes. Each roll pattern is a right hand fingering pattern, which can be played while holding any chord position.

Rolls are a core technique on banjo and can be adapted to ukulele. They sound especially cool on a ukulele in the high G, re-entrant 'C' tuning. The re-entrant tuning is a similar setup to the 5-string banjo's tuning with the lowest string not the lowest note.

Additional Content Available for Premium Site Access Plans Only

This content requires a Premium / Gold Access Plan and or enrolled in the Study with Curt - On-line or Private Lesson Program.

To view additional content for this page you'll need to either Sign In or Register for Premium Site Access or upgrade your current access level.

Login or SignUp to View Complete Page


Called "Travis Picking" on Banjo the Alternating Thumbstyle techniques from this series of lessons and the Fingerpicking for Ukulele, Alternating Thumb Style can be applied.

As the ukulele has only one set of four adjacent strings, the Guitar has three sets of four adjacent strings. This means the same principles are directely applicable to the guitar. And can be adapted to the guitar's non-adjacent string sets.

For ukulele this is strings: .

For guitar the adjacent four strings are: .

An then the lower four strings: .


Called "Scruggs Style" on Banjo the Alternating Thumbstyle techniques from this series of lessons and the Fingerpicking for Ukulele, Alternating Thumb Style can be applied.

Download the lesson's PDF file for the latest, complete and most up-to-date version of the lesson. As well as additional information not presented on-line.

Members and Active Students need to sign-in
to download the premium lesson PDFs for the complete lesson.

Related Books

Related Books for Alternating Thumb Style, Banjo Rolls on Ukulele at this time.

Fingerpicking for Ukulele - Alternating Thumb Style, 2nd Edition
Updated: Nov 15, 2019

A technique of playing by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or fingerpicks.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, The Foundation and Workbook 1
Updated: Nov 9, 2015

Modular Phonetic Rhythm represents a significant advance in the teaching and application of rhythm.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Alternating Thumb Style, Banjo Rolls on Ukulele at this time.

Exploring Fingerpicking Technique on `Ukulele
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The 'Ukulele is typically played with the fingers in a strumming style and finger picking. This series explores the two fingerpicking styles.

Site Access Plans for

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.

If your anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overload with everything on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once and your done.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee that is more material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That along is more than the cost of this plan.

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!


Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II.
33 years ago.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!” has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.