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Clawhammer Banjo in 8 Essential Steps: Lesson Four

Monday, August 4, 2014

Clawhammer Banjo in 8 Essential Steps - A Video Series


Lesson 4: Ringing the Five


For weeks now, you've waited patiently, gazing forlornly at your fifth string, wondering when oh when the time would come that you could unleash its dulcet tones. Well, I'm pleased to report that your patience will now be rewarded.

The wait is over. It's time to ring out the fifth string.

In this fourth installment in the "8 essential steps to clawhammer banjo" video series, we'll cover the final but all important piece of the clawhammer stroke: plucking the five with the thumb. If you've made your way through the first three lessons, then you've laid the groundwork to ensure that you pull off this part without a hitch. After reviewing the basics of this technique, I'll leave you with five exercises (well, of course there are five!) for you to practice to help burn the basic stroke into your noggin.

Take your time with this one, cause this is the basic foundation upon which everything else rests. And congrats for making it to this point, cause you're well on your way to being a bona fide downpicker!

To download the written supplement for this lesson, right click here. And if you'd like to be emailed the written supplements to this series as they're published, sign up here.



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Josh Turknett has made 22 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 

Occupation: neuroplastician

Gender: Male
Age: 46

My Instruments:
Cedar Mountain L4, Cedar Mountain J200. Dan Pennington tubaphone, Mike Ramsey white laydie, homebuilt special, bob thornburg gourd, Terry Bell Boucher minstrel banjo, deering goodtime special

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Mike Seeger, Mac Benford, Tommy Jarrell, Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham, Hobart Smith, Mississippi John Hurt, Paul Brown, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Earl Scruggs, Tom Adams, Will Keys, Camp Creek Boys..

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Created 11/18/2003
Last Visit 9/26/2021

Lover of all things banjo. One half of the Georgia Jays ( Founder of Brainjo, the first music instruction method targeted at the adult learner and based on the science of learning and neuroplasticity (more at

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