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How to pluck a single string clawhammer style

Posted by nrvstorm on Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hello: I'm just starting to learn and have some questions about my right hand, particularly with single string plucks. I am finding that my finger tends to get stuck between the strings, thus stopping the tone. Also, I'm a bit unsure of what my RH should look like: should the first finger be curved alongside the second? Mine tends to want to float out a bit at the first knuckle. How can I get a good clean tone? Does my nail need to be longer? For the record I'm using Ken Perlman's videos and CDs. And, hopefully, it's not my poor banjo that's the problem! Thank in advance for your help. ~Norman V.

1 comment on “How to pluck a single string clawhammer style”

Stev187 Says:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007 @1:23:24 PM

Norm:  I have not seen Perleman's video, but he's a master teacher.  One thing you could do to see something different is go to YouTube and look for Don Zepp's clearhead videos (or just do a search here).  He's great.

A note about your banjo.  I am a proud owner of a 60s Harmony, and I love them.  BUT....  Your banjo may be part of the problem.  Those banjos have the strings very close together, and they are not very easy to play.  Don't ever get rid of it--especially because it's a long neck.  But for starting out, you may need a "better" instrument.

 

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