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I may have raised a clawhammerer

Posted by Jonnycake White on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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My daughter Sarah, for whom I built a square banjo last Christmas, has generally used it trying to learn "Lost Gander", a difficult two-finger picking tune in a rarely used tuning, because she liked the sound of it.  The other day I put her banjo into Sawmill tuning for some reason and left it there.   Last night I went up to the computer room and as I stepped in, there she was with Mike Iverson's beginning tab for "Cluck Old Hen" up on the screen, banjo in hand, and she says "Dad can you help me to clawhammer?"  I tell her it's only rocket science, and show her how the hand and fingers remain solid, the stroke is from the elbow and wrist, and how to catch a string with the thumb and rebound, sometimes sounding the string, sometimes not.  She has a great ear for learning music, which she has so far demonstrated on piano, folk harp, tin whistle, ocarina, and guitar.

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