Just thought I'd throw this out there to see if anyone else has tried it. I like the idea of strumming and picking a few melody notes like in clawhammer. However, I don't really care for the method of picking. I have been playing around with some clawhammer tabs and using a flat pick. I pick the melody note then do a down up strum for the 'ditty' part. I have a five string banjo, but I don't use the top string for this so I guess a tenor banjo would work too.
quote:Originally posted by justinpavatte I guess a tenor banjo would work too.
So would the guitar - what you are describing is actually Carter-style picking named after Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family. http://www.bluegrassguitar.com/studytune_2.html Note the reference to banjo picking mentioned in the linked page.
That's cool. I figured it had been done, but I didn't know there was a name for it. I just started doing it because it is so easy to grab a clawhammer tab and flat pick. Thanks for the post and the links. I see you are quite a buff on picking styles!
Mike Seeger even describes Carter-Family-Style for banjo as a traditional technique in "Southern Banjo Sounds". He doesn't use a flatpick though, just thumb for melody and down-stroke with the fingers (also up-and-down stroke). No use is being made of the 5th string.
Yup it can be played that way but without that 5th string it ain't gonna sound anything like traditional OT banjo. Though the Carter lick has been done on banjo it doesn't seem to have ever been a widespread style at all.
Mark me down as another player who does Carter-style on the banjo (among several other right-hand approaches.) I figured it out for myself, and didn't know the name for it at first, but I knew better than to think that I'd invented it. -Ryan.
I should add to my above post that I don't think there's anything at all wrong with styles that aren't traditional old time styles. Music is way too personal to lock into anybody's box. But, if you want to sound like a clawhammer player you pretty much got to be a clawhammer player. The flat pick itself provides a tone very different from downpicking. The non use of the 5th string takes the sound into a completely different realm.
Mike Seeger ("Southern Banjo Sounds") says that this technique, "very close to Maybelle Carter's guitar style", was played by Kentuckian Virgil Anderson and others (see notes to "Last Night When My Willie Come Home"). As Mike Seeger included it in "Southern Banjo Sounds", he must think of it as a traditional style.
The use of the flatpick by Justin makes it less traditional, I think.
Clawhammer mandolin I switched to (fingerpicked open tuned) tenor banjo from the mandolin, where the flatpick is the preferred tool for producing the tone. Niles Hokkanen, very inovative mandolin player, published in four issues (4-6, 11) of his Mandocrucian Digest magazine (1986-1997, spanning 27 issues) also the articles and tabs about emulating the clawhammer sound on mandolin. Look at http://www.users.waitrose.com/~john...okkanen.html
This is interesting. The Carter style applied to the banjo would be a thumb lead thing. Kentucky has a thumb lead 2-finger banjo tradition going way back. Add 5th string to Carter style and you get thumb lead, trad 2-finger! I think the thumb lead banjo pre-dated the Carter Family though.
quote:Originally posted by chip arnold This is interesting. The Carter style applied to the banjo would be a thumb lead thing. Kentucky has a thumb lead 2-finger banjo tradition going way back. Add 5th string to Carter style and you get thumb lead, trad 2-finger! I think the thumb lead banjo pre-dated the Carter Family though.
I don't know much about the traditional way of doing things, but for me, here is the comparison of how I play Carter-style banjo versus thumb lead 2 finger banjo:
The same: I play melody notes with my thumb and fill in by picking up with my index.
The difference: During longer pauses between melody notes, I fill in with a downstrum of several fingers when playing Carter-style banjo, but I fill in with the thumb on the fifth string when playing thumb lead 2 finger banjo.