Earl Scruggs = Legend

I have to say here rest in peace the mighty Earl Scruggs, the most influential banjo player of the 20th century who passed away. Gigging virtually to the end, the man invented the most used banjo playing style in the world and pretty much co-invented bluegrass.


The man is quite simply astonishing and will leave an immeasurable legacy. When I first got a banjo at the age of 13 I knew nothing of different banjo styles, or even different banjos, but his was one of the first names I heard and I remember encountering the term scruggs style. I watched a documentary on the BBC about the birth of bluegrass where it really dawned on me just how immense this guy was and what an influence he was. He played a bit in the programme and was still a seriously impressive player and I was intrigued as to how old he was as I knew he was around in the 20s and 30s and was astonished that by this stage he was into his 80s! If I can play anything like that at that age I’ll consider myself a minor miracle! But it isn’t just his longevity that he deserves to be remembered for. As I say, he co-invented a genre of music and created the most commonly used way of playing an instrument, so much so it’s named after him. What greater tribute can there be? Earl Scruggs, you were the ultimate banjoist.