Visit The Banjo Hut

 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: whats easier, claw hammer or scruggs?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link.

Page: 1  2  

irishlad91 - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:05:54


which is easier to learn to play?


carteru93 - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:18:53


I play primarily Scruggs (well, 3 finger, with a bit of Reno) and have dabbled in clawhammer, and I have to say to me the 3 finger is easier, but thats because thats what I play. I'm sure if I were just starting, the clawhammer may be easier, this is only based on the amount of rolls involved in 3 finger. Forward, backward, alternating thumb, the pinch, etc all involved in almost every song, clawhammer seemed easier to learn. This is all my opinion, and all my experience, and all personal preference and learning/motor skill things. Which ever is easier, is the one that comes easiest to you.

___________________________________________________
Carter
Blaylock Bear Tracks Banjo the "Growler"
You can''t fix stupid!

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:22:56


Clawhammer i easier to play, and might be easier to learn - since I never have tried to learn Scruggs I have no idea how hard it is.

Once you are up and running with the clawhammer basic stroke and can use you thumb on any of the lower 4 strings, you have 99% of all the right hand technique you will ever need. It is then a matter of playing musically and with a respect to the tune, the style, and the genre.

For bluegrass there seem to be an awful lot of required techniques, and required extra equipment - like a 4 piece band with a good knowledge of harmony singing.

If you are interested in what I say on the hangout you should download a free copy of Rocket Science Banjo - the Advanced Method For Beginning to Intermediate Clawhammer Players. Along with the full text in PDF you will also find the four current RSB videos and the "25 EZ Clawhammer Tunes" at:
http://www.rocketsciencebanjo.com

To print the tabs separately from the book you need TEFView a free download from:
http://www.tabledit.com

Banjo Brad is still hosting "How To Mold A Mighty Pinky" and some other material at:
http://www.pricklypearmusic.net
A site chock full of interesting banjo material



J-Walk - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:38:21


Clawhammer style is much easier to learn. And most people find that it's much more pleasing to the ear. Some will disagree with that, but I really think it's true.

rendesvous1840 - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:45:53


Actually, I found Scruggs harder-but there are qualifications to every comparison. I like bluegrass, but I like the old time styles more. Scruggs / bluegrass style tends to sound too scattered to my ears when played as a solo. I feel that it needs a band with a good steady rythym to sound it's best. These are of course only my opinions. What may have made Scruggs harder for me was a tendency to stop practicing and play a style I could just play & sing songs in. I mostly play alone. And I prefer singing songs to playing instrumentals Someone dedicated to learning Scruggs style might have found it easier simply because they felt a compulsion to learn it. I never learned the little flute they gave us in 4th grade. No drive to learn it, though it may be one of the easiest instruments out there. I never reached the point of playing a scale, let alone a song. The style that reaches out and grabs YOU may be easier for YOU, as it was for me.
What this all boils down to is. you kinda need to listen to enough banjo to decide which style that gets your blood pumping, and concentrate on that one at first. You can add other styles later. You may find that you change styles down the road. I started with what Pete Seeger called "A basic strum", much later I was captivated by clawhammer, and focused largely on it. I learned some 2 finger on the way, and now have gone back to that a great deal. If your heart is set on playing with a bluegrass band, Scruggs is probably the best place for you to start.If you simply want to sing and accompany yourself on banjo, another style may be better. To play for square dances, probably start with clawhammer.
What music / musicians do you prefer to listen to? A lot of time spent learning what you don't want will not serve to make you a better player. That's one of the reasons people give up instruments. Ya gotta find what you want to learn, then take the steps from basic to advanced to reach your goal. Like me, you may find there are enough interesting styles to keep you learning for a long time.
The real bottom line is that the thing that makes one easier than another is often the amount of desire the individual has to learn it. Talent is no substitute for desire. Those people who have both are the ones we all are so nuts about.
Paul

"A master banjo player isn''t the one who can play the most notes. It''s the one who can touch the most hearts." Patrick Costello
http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...IC_ID=128303 IBARD topic
http://ibard-rendesvous1840.blogspot.com/

rendesvous1840 - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:49:44


I should have mentioned that I never got very good at Scruggs, as I never put the necessary time and effort into it. As I did say above, the joy of singing and playing drew most of my attention, and, therefore, most of my effort.
Paul

"A master banjo player isn''t the one who can play the most notes. It''s the one who can touch the most hearts." Patrick Costello
http://www.banjohangout.org/forum/t...IC_ID=128303 IBARD topic
http://ibard-rendesvous1840.blogspot.com/

RJFreeman - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:50:39


I play a little of both. For me, scruggs style took much longer to get okay at than clawhammer. I think there is a lot more to learn in Scruggs style, while clawhammer has a lot less techniques to learn. That is talking about the right hand. The left hand does about the same stuff in either style. After playing them both awhile, I do not find one easier than the other, just different.

I wouldn't worry about which is easier or harder. I would listen to a lot of banjo music and whatever sound you like best is the style to learn. If you think one style sounds better, but you try to learn another style, you probably won't learn it as easily as if you had learned the sound you really like. You can always get the basics down in one style and then start learning another style. Which one would be easier for you to learn? Probably the one you like best.


Edited by - RJFreeman on 07/23/2009 20:58:44

Bill Rogers - Posted - 07/23/2009:  20:55:33


Generally Scruggs is harder, but there are Scruggs players who struggle forever with clawhammer. Go figure.

Bill

stringbeaner - Posted - 07/23/2009:  22:09:03


I pretty much started out with clawhammer which I basically learned from my grand dad, Steve Brainard, Rev. Jack Campbell, etc.. 'long about 1960, I hooked up with Doug Dillard and John Hartford who kept tossing little BG tidbits at me. I didn't have much (any) trouble picking up the BG (I already had the left hand from guitar and CH), but I pretty much stuck with CH because I didn't need 2 or 3 other instruments to round the music out. CH does that for you. I rarely play BG style any more and haven't for years. I think mostly it's what you're attuned to and how you use it. CH for singing alone or with other folks.

Stringbeaner

irishlad91 - Posted - 07/23/2009:  22:37:12


So tommy makem was the exception? lol jw

Hankulator - Posted - 07/24/2009:  00:28:59


Paul pretty much nailed it, it's desire. the banjo is a very hard instrument to play so either way you're going to have to dedicate a lot of time to it . so pick the one you like the best and work at it until you have a good comprehention of it and then maby try to expand. it will probably take years but that what's cool, if it was easy you'd get boored.

Hank

Bill Rogers - Posted - 07/24/2009:  00:56:30


"...the banjo is a very hard instrument to play..." I disagree. Uillean pipes, pedal steel guitars and oboes are among truly hard instruments to play. Banjos are pretty easy to play by comparison. Any instrument is hard to play well.

Bill

cockneybanjo - Posted - 07/24/2009:  04:42:04


picking styles are definitely easier for a novice, because they make some sort of sense straight away. You can learn to produce something recognisable, failry consistently, in a Seeger up-picking style within a few hours. You can start some kind of roll-picking exercise and be completing the exercise in an hour, and understand what you are doing.

I STILL can't understand how clawhammer is meant to work, and still can't hit any given note reliably in that format.

sometomes I just go and have a bash on the banjo-uke out of frustration....

g-hog - Posted - 07/24/2009:  05:04:46


It depends on the person, and is very subjective.

As some posts have pointed out, clawhammer is really hard for some people, easy( or at least easiER) for others... same with Scruggs. This is the same ol' argument that goes around and around in knitting/crochet circles... which is easier/harder, knit or crochet, the knitters say knitting is easy and cro chet is hard, and vice versa.

The bottom line is that if one style grabs ya, and you feel compelled to play that way, whether it's easy or hard you won't notice, you'll just get in there and start workin' at it.

tunemakers - Posted - 07/24/2009:  05:23:49


I think Bill Rodgers hit the nail on the head. "playing" banjo in either style isn't all that hard. Playing the banjo "well" is very difficult no matter which style you choose. I tried Scruggs stlyle about 30 years ago and I worked hard at it but I could never get to playing up to speed. I started on the Clawhammer style about 4 years ago and I'm still struggling to rise above mediocrity, I don't think I ever will but it's the journey, baby, it's the journey!

†"The man that hath not music in himself and is not moved with concord of sweet sounds is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; Let no man trust him."
†††††††††††††† Shakespeare

banjo-boy - Posted - 07/24/2009:  05:30:09


I'd definitely agree with picking the style of music that calls to you. I bought my banjo 5 years ago and started with Scruggs style and Janet Davis' book (which is great BTW). I didn't find the rolls, etc. that difficult to learn and I'd play hard for a month or two. Inevitably though, the banjo would go by the wayside and I wouldn't touch it for a year or more. This happened a couple times, and I just assumed that I didn't have the drive or discipline to learn a new instrument. When I "discovered" old time/clawhammer banjo, however, I fell in love (my wife would say obsessed). I began to practice daily and have been going strong for the past 7 months or so. For me, the music made all the difference.

"You ain''t no ''Good Old Boys''"
--The Blues Brothers

WVBanjoBoy - Posted - 07/24/2009:  05:46:51


I've never played Scruggs Style (heck, I can barely frail!) but one day I borrowed a banjo and found Pat Costello's series of lessons on Youtube and I was making music in no time (I soon bought his book and a CD). So learning to frail can't be that hard if I was playing a few tunes within an hour (I've been a bass player for 30+ years, but still, the banjo is a very different beast).

I picked the frailing / clawhammer style because that was the type of music I wanted to make. I wanted to accompany myself while I sing.

Don't select a playing style because it may be harder or easier to learn than another style -- base it on the type of music you want to make

Cletus "WV Banjo Boy" Charmichael, Charleston W.Va.

UncleClawhammer - Posted - 07/24/2009:  05:56:11


Clawhammer was so much easier for me to pick up, because within a few days I was playing songs, which is something I definitely couldn't do with Scruggs style. It took me a week or two just to learn one roll. Clawhammer was just something simpler and altogether more solid, which is what I was looking for, really.

But I'm sure it's different for everybody.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
''I pick, therefore I grin.''

slabounty - Posted - 07/24/2009:  06:04:21


quote:
Originally posted by stringbeaner

'long about 1960, I hooked up with Doug Dillard and John Hartford who kept tossing little BG tidbits at me.
Stringbeaner



It's cool how casually you say that ;-). Hartford and Dillard are two of my favorites from the bluegrass world. How'd you end up meeting them. I met Hartford a couple of times and he was always the nicest guy.


Scott LaBounty
Orange, CA

BANJOJUDY - Posted - 07/24/2009:  06:59:30


I would imagine most clawhammer players would say clawhammer is easier than Scruggs.

BUT, we are reading this thread on the Clawhammer and Old-Time Style thread, so the majority would indeed say that the clawhammer style is easier to learn.

I just enjoy the sound of clawhammer a whole lot more than the twang of picks on strings.

My friends Bruce Thomson (Toby Adobe) and Wayne Shrubsall (Moby Adobe) of the Adobe Brothers wrote:

The Difference Between Bluegrass and Old Time Music
Toby Adobe & Moby Adobe

BANJO:
An OT banjo is open-backed, with an old towel (probably never washed) stuffed in the back to dampen sound. A BG banjo has a resonator to make it louder.
An OT banjo weighs 5 pounds, towel included. A BG banjo weighs 40 pounds.
A BG banjo player has had spinal fusion surgery on all his vertebrae, and therefore stands very straight. If an OT banjo player stands, he slouches.
An OT banjo player can lose 3 right-hand fingers and 2 left-hand fingers in an industrial accident without affecting his performance.
A BG banjo needs 24 frets. An OT banjo needs no more than 5, and some donít need any.
A BG banjo player puts jewelry on his fingertips to play. An OT banjo player puts super glue on his fingernails to strengthen them. Never shake hands with an OT banjo player while heís fussing with his nails

********************************************************************''
Adam Hurt is coming to Albuquerque to perform a solo gig
on October 8th. Also will be holding fiddle and banjo classes.
Balloon Fiesta Week - you might want to plan a trip and join
the fun and lovely weather.
Email me for more information: inquiry@siliconheights.com
*********************************************************************

minstrelmike - Posted - 07/24/2009:  07:37:20


Clawhammer is easier to get started on sounding like a song when playing all by yourself. That makes it easier to keep on practicing and developing.

Three-finger (bluegrass) picking is in my opinion _slightly_ harder to learn than frailing/clawhammer,
but it is miserably hard to practice up to get a good sound playing all by yourself.
In fact, "bluegrass banjo" is not a real musical genre, it is 1/4th of a bluegrass band.

/* That's why I try to get folks to strum in addition to finger-picking. Earl started off playing songs, not rolls */

MM

RJFreeman - Posted - 07/24/2009:  09:44:17


I agree with Mike. Clawhammer sounds good playing by yourself or in a band setting. Bluegrass picking really needs a band to sound good.

A lot of people don't think you should strum a 5 string. I think strumming a 5 string sounds good.


Edited by - RJFreeman on 07/24/2009 09:49:26

Paul Roberts - Posted - 07/24/2009:  12:30:30


In regards to down-picking vs. up-picking, we're taling apples & oranges; they're such different approaches.

Notice I say "up-picking" because there are so many possible picking styles (some still uninvented) that one needn't limit the genre to Scruggs, or any, style.

As far as which is easier, there are many variables. With clawhammer, are we talking about simple frailing, or intricate melodic style? With picking, are talking about Keith melodic, or Doc Boggs, or your own 2-finger style?

My response to the which is easier question, would be both (or all). It's all easy if you're inspired, because you're having fun. If you're having fun, it doesn't matter how many hours it takes to gain dexterity over a certain passage - 'cause you're enjoying it; and because you're enjoying it, you're going to do it over and over again until you get it. Intrinsic motivation - the reward is in the doing; it just feels good to keep doing it. It's all easy. Enjoy; the banjo is God's gift to humanity to create fun for ourselves and others.



http://www.banjocrazy.com/ - Gold Tone Banjo Dealer - Articles - Interviews
http://elationarts.org/ - Elation Center for the Arts in Southwest Colorado
http://www.speaktopaul.com/ Over-the-Phone Consultations with a Compassionate Listener

stringbeaner - Posted - 07/24/2009:  12:51:01


Slabounty ---------- I was going to school in St Louis in 1960 and playing in a little club in Gaslight Square. Met guitar / mando player named Johnny Michilen (sp?) who took me over to Doug's house. We hit it off pretty good. Pop Dillard was a harmonica player (he always took out his lower plate to play) and so was my dad (who didn't have a lower plate) and I played a little french harp too. They were a nice, close family and I enjoyed being around them.

Doug took me over to East St. Louis to hear a friend's band. Turned out to be John's outfit. Same thing, we just sort of hit it off and had a lot of fun foolin' around.

Stringbeaner

banjopogo - Posted - 07/25/2009:  00:43:18


I started on Scruggs picking, then switched to clawhammer (then called frailing) after a couple of months.
I had done some guitar fingerpicking though first.

I found the Scruggs learning curve only moderately steep- the hardest part was getting used to the fingerpicks after having fingerpicked with bare fingers.

Clawhammer on the other hand seemed VERY counterintuitive, moving the hand in what seemed to be the wrong direction, and keeping the hand more together as a unit than moving independently.
But that's AFTER having fingerpicked both guitar and some Scruggs.
I have found that others with fingerpicking experience also tend to take to Scruggs easily, and find clawhammer to be counterintuitive.
People who are a "blank slate", who've never fingerpicked before seem to have an easier time of it.

Michael

mp3 page: http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/1088/
Also available:
Michael''s Old Time Fiddle and Banjo Hour (Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi streams)

Paul Roberts - Posted - 07/25/2009:  08:22:50


The clawhammer/frailing motion is a primitive, clubby kind of thing. The spectrum of tonal and rhythmic textures that arise from its refinement, however, afford an inexhaustsible bounty of musical treasures.

http://www.banjocrazy.com/ - Gold Tone Banjo Dealer - Articles - Interviews
http://elationarts.org/ - Elation Center for the Arts in Southwest Colorado
http://www.speaktopaul.com/ Over-the-Phone Consultations with a Compassionate Listener

WGE - Posted - 07/25/2009:  16:18:21


Playing clawhammer on a fretless banjo has proven to be quite a challenge. Let's see Earl do that.

Matt Buckley - Posted - 07/25/2009:  16:52:08


quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

"...the banjo is a very hard instrument to play..." I disagree. Uillean pipes, pedal steel guitars and oboes are among truly hard instruments to play. Banjos are pretty easy to play by comparison.


I disagree as well with the statement. I play Highland pipes, and bellowsblown Scottish border pipes. The pipes are fiendishly difficult to play, and for many reasons. The banjo, for me at least, is a piece of cake by comparison.



Cheers, Matt

tunabanjo - Posted - 07/25/2009:  19:16:29


They are both easy to play poorly, and hard to play well. Both styles are great! I recommend both!


Coonskin - Posted - 07/26/2009:  03:37:23


I'm with the "it depends" crowd. Both can be incredibly difficult, depending on what you choose to play...clawhammer is easiest to start out on, but once you start dropping the thumb and cross-picking with the nail(not to mention off-beat brushes and single-note runs), it can get just as challenging as bluegrass. If it's too easy at any time, there are always more and more levels to dig into.

Both are incredibly satisfying.

Then again, there is also sling-finger, two finger, non-bluegrass three-finger, etc. ;:^)>

WWW.MYSPACE.COM/BANJOKEL


You can pick your friends, you can pick your friend''s banjo, you can pick your nose, but you can''t pick your friend''s nose while picking their banjo.

vernob - Posted - 07/26/2009:  05:04:01


Apples and oranges. I first played banjo after playing the guitar for seven years and I mostly played fingerstyle. So when I got my banjo, a Harmony Roy Smeck bakelite which was a gift from my wife, I played it 3 finger style, pretty much like guitar. I knew clawhammer players, Dan Gellert most notably. I liked the sound of it and wanted to do it. I had a heck of a time getting the rhythm of it and the clean tone of a downpick with my nail. I never did that on guitar so it didn't come easily. After a bit of bashing away, I got so I could do it. It's like riding a bike. Once you get it, your body remembers it. I like music. Both CH and BG are good in their own way. BG is a band genre with very specific instrumentation. OT can be solo, duet, trio, or beyond, and almost any string instruments can be included, like autoharp and dulcimer. I'm not in a band now so I mostly play OT and mostly CH on the banjo, although using the fingers and up picking can sound really good too.

Bruce Vernon

"A gentleman is a man who knows how to play the banjo, but chooses not to." - Mark Twain

"Don''t worry about mistakes. There aren''t any." - Miles Davis

Stutts - Posted - 07/28/2009:  00:35:04


Well I'm fairly new to banjo and have been trying to come to terms with clawhammer style. I have a nylon string open back because there is just no way I'd ever come to terms with metal picks and steel strings because I've been playing classical guitar only for a very long time and if I wanted to play Scruggs style using my fingers and nails on steel strings, I'd be wasting my time, so I went nylgut and clawhammer. It ain't easy yet and I have to resist the urge to start picking the thing!


Edited by - Stutts on 07/28/2009 00:39:23

Whistlin Rufus - Posted - 08/04/2009:  17:08:35


What about "Scrugghammer" or "Clawscruggs"?? Anybody of them there pickers gonna speak up?? Sorry, just yukin' around, but, seriously, does it matter? My point is that it's normal to want to put everything in neat little boxes, but when you think about it making it your own from your ear, heart and mind is what makes you unique. Jazzbo Tommy Settlers can play the hell out of a kazoo; I have an early "Document" recording of that fine gentleman going to town on that "instrument" (and I mean that with due respect, seriously) and I'm here to tell you when I hear him play that "Blue Moaner" for a second, after my hair lays back down, I want to ditch the banjo and learn to play the kazoo with that kind of soul....yep, that's right, a kazoo!

bluemule_77 - Posted - 08/04/2009:  18:40:35


quote:
Originally posted by Whistlin Rufus

What about "Scrugghammer" or "Clawscruggs"?? Anybody of them there pickers gonna speak up?? Sorry, just yukin' around, but, seriously, does it matter? My point is that it's normal to want to put everything in neat little boxes, but when you think about it making it your own from your ear, heart and mind is what makes you unique. Jazzbo Tommy Settlers can play the hell out of a kazoo; I have an early "Document" recording of that fine gentleman going to town on that "instrument" (and I mean that with due respect, seriously) and I'm here to tell you when I hear him play that "Blue Moaner" for a second, after my hair lays back down, I want to ditch the banjo and learn to play the kazoo with that kind of soul....yep, that's right, a kazoo!





Well... it matters because the original poster asked. The share-the-love, anything-goes free-for-all attitude ain't for everyone. Nothing wrong with kazoos either.

BM

Stutts - Posted - 08/04/2009:  18:41:22


We have some pretty mean Gum leaf players here in Oz!

Ronnie - Posted - 08/04/2009:  19:38:54


3 finger (not necessarily Scruggs style) is easier for me as I have had more exposure to it. I am not so hot at playing claw hammer style.

www.bobbythompsonbanjo.com

oldwoodchuckb - Posted - 08/04/2009:  22:28:30


Whistling Rufus
Can you suggest a website where I can find some Jazzbo Tommy Settlers kazoo playing?

If you are interested in what I say on the hangout you should download a free copy of Rocket Science Banjo - the Advanced Method For Beginning to Intermediate Clawhammer Players. Along with the full text in PDF you will also find the four current RSB videos and the "25 EZ Clawhammer Tunes" at:
http://www.rocketsciencebanjo.com

To print the tabs separately from the book you need TEFView a free download from:
http://www.tabledit.com

Banjo Brad is still hosting "How To Mold A Mighty Pinky" and some other material at:
http://www.pricklypearmusic.net
A site chock full of interesting banjo material



MarkRB - Posted - 08/05/2009:  04:46:34


I started out taking lessons (they didn't last long) in BG, never got past the basic pinch befor I started trying CH. So I am not sure which is easier but I feel that CH allows me to put more emotion into what I play. I like to sing as I play, trouble is I am not sure which is worse, my playing or singing, at least my wife hasn't asked me to stop........ yet.

Whistlin Rufus - Posted - 08/05/2009:  06:48:23


No disrespect intended to the original poster or the question :) I'm simply pointing out that "easier" is a state of mind and may not matter as much as what's important to you and what you do with it...what your passion is, that's all.

Hey, Oldwoodchuckb...You can find the complete 78 recordings of Jazzbo Tommy Settlers on Document release: "Rare Country Blues: 1928-1937". I've also put together a compilation of historical recordings of unusual instruments and that sort of thing, which I'd be happy to send to you. It's just something I made for listening fun based on my collection of recordings. He's all over that. There are also some early cigar box banjo/guitar tracks on it, along with some pretty rare jew's harp, doceolla, etc.

Whistlin Rufus - Posted - 08/05/2009:  06:51:09


..and not to stray off the topic of banjo too much, but I have GOT to hear me some "gum leaf" action!!!

Couchie - Posted - 08/05/2009:  06:57:18


quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

".. Any instrument is hard to play well.

Bill



My feelings exactly...

Don.

O==''=(::}

http://www.doncouchie.com

mrmanley - Posted - 08/05/2009:  07:11:55


For me, clawhammer banjo was difficult at first -- mainly because, as a flatpicker, the frailing motion was just so alien. But now that I've got the motion and rhythm down, it's second nature. And because I can only note on the downstroke, I've started to make my left hand work harder -- hammers, pull-offs, slides -- to ornament my playing. This has paid dividends for my guitar playing in a big way.

1fiddle2play - Posted - 08/07/2009:  04:44:15


I play both styles and clawhammer is the easier of the two by far. Also clawhammer some say is hard at first but once you got it your not far from sounding as good as abt anyone playing straight clawhammer. Then learn dropthumb and other stuff. I teach alot of folks in my area mostly the younger folks so I can play fiddle while they follow along with the banjo. I read on here so many have trouble learning it but I can have you doing it in a sit down session in a few minutes. I think so many dont know how to explain the lick which I call it. The whole thing I feel is getting it right is as you start.I teach starting in the middle of the lick. I have seen a bunch including pro on DVD they all teach showing the lick from the start of the lick. it has a feel to it different then the sound.Sort of using the thumb on the fifth string as a spring board but keeping it close. I m thinking of making a Utube video showing how I teach it. If you lived close to North Carolina area I can show you. I do not charge for showing. I got this old man (80 year old) playing it at a fiddlers convention at Mt. Airy, NC and he been trying for 40 years to get it taking lessons paying people to teach him and he could never get it. Im just talking abt the right hand movement now. I will let you learn the left hand part yourself. ... the trick is learning the right hand then when you get that lay the notes right on top of that lick. Take care.....

Butch50 - Posted - 08/09/2009:  04:53:34


Good Morning Folks:

I started playing BG3F style, and after about a year I started playing CH as well. For about two years I played both. I would play BG awhile and then take the picks off and CH for awhile.

Without intending to, or even noticing it much, I began to play more CH than BG. Now I play CH only. I am not even sure where the picks are anymore. Both styles are equally easy/difficult to learn in my experience. - You can take either technique to whatever level you want to take it to.

However, if you experiment with them both, you will probably find that the style that best suits you as a person, will be the easier to advance in. And that would be because of your interest in the music and style, not because of the difficulty of the movements of the hands. In my case CH chose me, I didn't chose it.

One CH advantage I did not see mentioned is that CH is more likely to be a style you will continue to play as your hands deteriorate with age. BG can be played into old age of course, but not as well as when you are younger, and can become painful if you get arthritis. I know because I do have a minor amount of arthritis in my right hand, and an hour of BG picking can really flare it up. CH picking doesn't do that at all. I suspect that your right hand can gnarl up into an almost unmoving lump of gristle, and still play CH beautifully.

The flexibility of your right hand will inevitably decrease as you age and that is an undeniable detriment to 3 finger picking. It is almost, not quite but almost, inconseqential to CH right hand.

On the other hand (left hand that is) the BG style tends to move up the fret board more than CH does, which also requires more flexibility. CH should (I say should because I haven't quite gotten there yet) be a bit easier on the left hand as you age as well.






Harreec - Posted - 08/09/2009:  05:59:09


[quote]Originally posted by 1fiddle2play
"but I can have you doing it in a sit down session in a few minutes".... " I m thinking of making a Utube video showing how I teach it."

I look forward to that video, I have been struggling for two years now but I know one day it has to come together.

Harry

mrmanley - Posted - 08/09/2009:  08:06:06


One hint I would give new CH players that took me a long time to learn: it's not the motion that's hard to learn so much as the rhythm. It seems like it ought to be easy, but it's not, especially when you get into double-thumb and drop-thumb. You really need to teach yourself to get into a CH groove; if you overthink it or get too focused on the mechanics, you're going to crash and burn (or at least, that was true for me). CH is percussive and flows more slowly than Scruggs-style does -- you don't have those long chains of eighth-note rolls. I've found that I almost have to get my whole body into the rhythm to make it sound right.

Craig - Posted - 08/09/2009:  09:14:32


Each style presents its own particular set of problems! With Scruggs it's all the different rolls, the need for external rhythm (e.g. guitar) to hold the beat against the syncopation. For clawhammer, it's finding just the right hand position and movement to get the desired sound. Only one thing is worse, that's going from one to the other (either way). So as has been suggested above, choose wisely. Decide which you want to play and go from there. The added motivation will help equalize the difficulties!

Craig

www.thepleasantfamily.com
"Not a real family, not really that pleasant"

Big Doug Nez - Posted - 08/10/2009:  06:31:05


I struggled with scruggs
to work out the bugs
i put down the picks
and laid down some licks
I'm becoming a clawhammer jammer


TC - Posted - 08/10/2009:  06:59:01


Been playing Scruggs now for a couple of months and thinking about learning clawhammer at the same time. Dangerous or decent idea???

plunknplinkntwang - Posted - 08/10/2009:  17:30:18


quote:
Originally posted by Butch50


I suspect that your right hand can gnarl up into an almost unmoving lump of gristle, and still play CH beautifully.
CH should (I say should because I haven't quite gotten there yet) be a bit easier on the left hand as you age as well.



As Butch said CH can be the only choice for some - but you don't have to wait for old age... i.e. like myself collapsed C3&C4 discs damaged my nerves 5 yrs ago & carpal tunnel messes up dexterity. If that isn't enough my thumbs & pinkies are double jointed so don't bend "normally"

All in all I've been blessed - loads of excuses to avoid bluegrass, because after all CH does sound nicer :) [

Page: 1  2  



Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!




You are not logged in.
Log In


Not a member? Create an Account (FREE!)



2441 BANJO LOVERS ONLINE

HOME | FORUMS | MEMBERS | MEDIA ARCHIVE | TABS & LESSONS | CLASSIFIEDS | REVIEWS | LINKS | CALENDAR | STORE | TERMS OF USE