The Forward-Reverse Roll

The forward-reverse roll is really popular, is easy to play, and sounds good too. It starts off as a forward roll (TIM) followed by the 5th string then a reverse roll (MIT) followed by the 1st string. Again, the exact string can vary according to the melody of the song you’re playing, but here’s the basic roll:


The next exercise again uses our example song, “Goodnight, Ladies.” This time the forward-reverse roll is played only in measures 4 and 7. It could be worked in more than that but to my hearing it sounded good in those two measures while keeping the forward roll in most of the other measures.

If you’re new to reading tablature, the end of this exercise contains two endings. At measure 8 there is a number 1, meaning the first time you play through this tab you will play this first ending. At the end of measure 8 there are two dots. The two dots signify a repeat sign. When you see a repeat sign you should go back to the previous repeat sign and replay everything that is between the two repeat signs. If you don’t see any beginning repeat signs you should just go to the beginning of the song. In this case there actually are beginning repeat signs at the beginning of the song; however, they are partially covered by the tuning (see below).

The second time you play through the song, when you get to the first ending (measure 8 in this case) you should not play the first ending again, but you should go to the second ending, which is marked with the number 2 (in this case, measure 9).