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My second journey to Cripple Creek

Posted by meritcooper on Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thanks to all the great advice from the people here at BanjoHangout, I am not afraid of the style switch. After two years of bluegrass, I decided to give clawhammer a good try. I have been reading religiously from Rocket Science Banjo. Alot of it seems to be common sense (which we know is not really common) that we may overlook. I am learning the basic stroke and starting to get the Bum Ditty sounding better. I decided to try the song, Cripple Creek. I think I am going to take a new approach to my song learning this go around (also mentioned in the memorizing section of Rocket Science Banjo). I am going to try to rely less on tab because it is my crutch and am often found frazzled when asked to play on the spot. It seems like when I was learning bluegrass, I was waiting for the tab police to come get me if I didn't follow the music 100%. My teacher was not at all strict, but there is a reason for all the order of fingers (speed and blah blah blah). I hammered myself because I couldn't master the two finger plant. The list just goes on.

I was watching Patrick Costello teach the basics of Cripple Creek. I noticed that I have so many questions since I don't have a hands on teacher this time. I find myself wondering what finger (that must come from strict fingering from Bluegrass). Patrick says to find your melody and then play it and add your own touch. Well hot damn! That sounds fun, and I can't believe I haven't really tried to do that to much in the past two years. When you have a teacher and you are learning bluegrass, fingering and being exact is sometimes so important. I hope clawhammer gives me more leadway to venture out and be creative.

I suspect that in the end I will probably play with a touch of both styles. I guess that will happen from time to time since I had been learning it for two years.  It is so freeing and I can't wait to learn to frail like a maniac.

I recently ordered my new openback banjo last week. I had originally bought the Gold Tone CC100 and was upgrading a few things (head, bridge, spikes and such) when I got a call from the music store and they suggested I buy a model that was closer to what I wanted. So, in the end, I am getting the Gold Tone CB100. I am super happy because this is what I really wanted from the start. That baby shipped out today. I especially love the shooting stars. I have a great Hemp Macrame Strap that I bought here on the BanjoHangout, and I can't wait to attach it to my new banjo. BTW, Janet Davis Music was the company that worked so closely with me to make sure I got what I wanted.

Thanks guys for all the help and advice. It sure helps remote learning.



3 comments on “My second journey to Cripple Creek”

lori nitzel Says:
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 @8:49:02 AM

yay, a hemp strap! :-) anyway, you'll love clawhammer. i've never tried bluegrass banjo, but i swear, clawhammer has GOT to be more fun. ;-)

haiku Says:
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 @12:27:56 PM

Well, I've tried BG banjo. Probably for an hour or so...
Welcome to the fun side :-)
And don't forget - Old-time is not one clawhammer: you can have fun with thumb-lead, 2-finger style, etc...
Enjoy your new baby!

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 @6:34:04 PM

Your musical development is one of Merit - in more ways than one!

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