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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: 2FIL--brush


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: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/382886

DWFII - Posted - 04/28/2022:  18:30:40


How do you do it? I mean I can but it's a finger flick or my anchor comes lose.

janolov - Posted - 04/28/2022:  23:08:32


Watch Bascom Lamar Lunsford: youtube.com/watch?v=FS_BeQMWUE...sLVat1HBd



There are also other 2FIL players that don't anchor the hand, for example Curt Bouterse: youtube.com/watch?v=bzzZSiNXels&t=161s 

DWFII - Posted - 04/29/2022:  09:20:34


I appreciate the reply. Not really seeing brushes in either video.  Or maybe I'm just not recognizing them. I do see that the anchor is not necessarily firm, however.

janolov - Posted - 04/29/2022:  10:55:07


I don't know what you expect that a brush shall look like? It is bum-di-ty with up-brushes on the "di" on the top two or three strings.

RG - Posted - 04/29/2022:  11:57:47


Dock Boggs did it as well. Find a video of Clyde Troxell playing, he also frequently used brushes, although moreso in index lead. I play Dock's "Davenport" in a loose three finger, two finger thumb lead with the brushes approximately like Dock did. I pick up with the middle and then immediately brush down with the middle... but I also rap with my middle finger as opposed to my index, so your mileage may vary. A lot of the "brushes" you might be hearing are players picking up a couple of strings with their index finger on the offbeats as Jan suggests... I do that frequently when I play voice accompaniment.



I would strongly advise that you pick a song you like that employs this technique, put your banjo in a case, and listen to the song until it is seared into your memory, and then take the banjo out of the case and use whatever technique you can muster to make it sound approximately like what it sounds like in your head. This is the old-time way and tried and true, and how i learned to play 50 years ago when youtube and anything remotely similar were the stuff of science fiction. There are no easy ways to learn something worthwhile, and this music is best learned by listening to be honest. There are a lot of horrible banjo youtubers out there... choose your sources wisely.


Edited by - RG on 04/29/2022 11:58:22


DWFII - Posted - 04/29/2022:  15:10:29


Thanks to both of you.



Someone said here (Mr. Chip Arnold?) that any clawhammer tab could be played with 2FIL. Many clawhammer songs are rife with 'strums' (I though a strum was the same as a 'brush'). All I want to do is experiment with strums according to a couple clawhammer tabs I have. When I try to strum using my index finger it seems weak  and slow and making it more powerful and quicker destroys my anchor. 



Perhaps that's OK. Perhaps I just haven got it yet (although I seemed to do fine with strums when I was trying to learn CH).



I'm just looking for a little guidance and insight....to build on.

RG - Posted - 04/29/2022:  18:20:44


quote:

Originally posted by DWFII

Thanks to both of you.



Someone said here (Mr. Chip Arnold?) that any clawhammer tab could be played with 2FIL. Many clawhammer songs are rife with 'strums' (I though a strum was the same as a 'brush'). All I want to do is experiment with strums according to a couple clawhammer tabs I have. When I try to strum using my index finger it seems weak  and slow and making it more powerful and quicker destroys my anchor. 



Perhaps that's OK. Perhaps I just haven got it yet (although I seemed to do fine with strums when I was trying to learn CH).



I'm just looking for a little guidance and insight....to build on.






Just keep at it, develop your own style to emulate what you like and hear in others playing. If it destroy's your "anchor", find a work around, that's part of the fun of old-time banjo. It's a long journey, enjoy the ride my friend!

chip arnold - Posted - 04/30/2022:  08:34:22


I use very little brushing at all, but when I do, I (almost) always keep my trailing fingers anchored and brush UP toward my palm.
Remember that just because a tab indicates a brush/strum, you don't have to do it. Just pick the 1st string by itself, or any other string that sounds good to you.
In any case, you'll find that brushing UP over the first 2 strings will be easy to do. No need to brush down.

DWFII - Posted - 04/30/2022:  09:29:29


quote:

Originally posted by chip arnold

I use very little brushing at all, but when I do, I (almost) always keep my trailing fingers anchored and brush UP toward my palm.

Remember that just because a tab indicates a brush/strum, you don't have to do it. Just pick the 1st string by itself, or any other string that sounds good to you.

In any case, you'll find that brushing UP over the first 2 strings will be easy to do. No need to brush down.






Mr. Chip Arnold,



Yeah, you said that before but lack of understanding stopped me from trying it.



So, first, why only two strings ( started learning with CH and it was always 3 or even sometimes 4 string brushes. IIRC)?



Second, when you up-brush I assume it is with the pad of your index finger? Right now I'm trying to brush with the back of my nail.

ipik5 - Posted - 04/30/2022:  13:37:29


Sure do wish that there was a 2 finger picking section that was separate from the clawhammer site so we could find 2 finger post easier

DWFII - Posted - 04/30/2022:  17:04:45


quote:

Originally posted by ipik5

Sure do wish that there was a 2 finger picking section that was separate from the clawhammer site so we could find 2 finger post easier






yes I do too. I also wish that there were more 2F tabs available.

chip arnold - Posted - 05/01/2022:  04:05:57


DWFII
Brush up over as many strings as you want. As I said, I don't brush much in the first place and for me brushing too many strings too often just sounds "crashy". I like a cleaner sound.
I have always tried to keep long nails on my index and thumb. When I pick or brush I catch the strings with my nail just as if it were a pick.
Don't over think it. Just try it.

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