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After Scruggs' death in 2012 at age 88, the Earl Scruggs Center was founded near his birthplace in Shelby, North Carolina, with the aid of a federal grant and corporate donors.The center is a .5 million facility which features the musical contributions of Scruggs and serves as an educational center providing classes and field trips for students.Prior to Scruggs, most banjo players used the frailing or clawhammer technique, which consists of holding the fingers bent like a claw and moving the entire hand in a downward motion so that the strings are struck with the back of the middle fingernail.This motion is followed by striking the thumb on a single string.The name "bluegrass" eventually became the eponym for the entire genre of country music now known by that title.

He was idly playing a song called "Reuben" and suddenly realized that he was playing with three fingers, not two.Scruggs then took up the instrument — he was too small to hold it at first and improvised by setting his brother Junie's banjo beside him on the floor.He moved it around depending on what part of the neck he was playing.Scruggs style also involves using picks on three digits, each plucking three individual stings — downward with the thumb, then upward with the index and middle finger in sequence.When done skillfully and in rapid sequence, the style allows any digit (though usually the thumb) to play a melody, while the other two digits play arpeggios of the melody line.

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