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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

7189 reviews in the archive.

Ken Perlman: Clawhammer Style Banjo

Submitted by appleman11 on 4/28/2010

Where Purchased: on line

Overall Comments

I'd had some bluegrass lessons in the early 90's but it didn't take to my disappointment. Then one day I saw this fellow Sean Condron playing on a street corner in Brooklyn, and I asked him what he was playing. He said "Clawhammer". It sounded terrific, and I thought hmmm maybe I could do that. So I went to the web and Googled for instructional materials. I immediately came up with a nice package then offered by Ken Perlman of his book Clawhammer Style Banjo and two accompanying VHS tapes (two seemed like real depth). The book and tape arrived, I pulled my banjo out of the closet and went to work. What I immediately liked about the instruction was I was playing tunes I like and was familiar with right from the start, John Hardy, Will The Circle..., Wildwood Flower. His tab was easy to read and follow. The techniques were adjoined to the music at a workable pace(pull offs, hammer ons, drop thumbing). The combinationation of hearing the music and being able to see it on paper made learning difficult pieces doable, with some concentration thrown in. At the end of every song a message flashes on the screen reminding us to 'Keep practicing'. So its afew years later and VHS is now DVD and I'm a third of the way through the second tape. Each tape has a ton on songs and practice exercises so its taking me a while. I play entirely for my own enjoyment and I'm enjoying myself a great deal. As such I can't really say whether Ken's instruction has put me in a place where I'm ready to 'jam' with other musicians. I just have never gotten around to that. Nevertheless I have high praise for Ken Perlman's Clawhammer Style Banjo and recommend it to anybody starting from scratch and wanting to enjoy palying the banjo in their closet.

Overall Rating: 10

Ken Perlman: Clawhammer Style Banjo

Submitted by appleman11 on 4/28/2010

Where Purchased: online

Overall Comments

I'd had some bluegrass lessons in the early 90's but it didn't take to my disappointment. Then one day I saw this fellow Sean Condron playing on a street corner in Brooklyn, and I asked him what he was playing. He said "Clawhammer". It sounded terrific, and I thought hmmm maybe I could do that. So I went to the web and Googled for instructional materials. I immediately came up with a nice package then offered by Ken Perlman of his book Clawhammer Style Banjo and two accompanying VHS tapes (two seemed like real depth). The book and tape arrived, I pulled my banjo out of the closet and went to work. What I immediately liked about the instruction was I was playing tunes I like and was familiar with right from the start, John Hardy, Will The Circle..., Wildwood Flower. His tab was easy to read and follow. The techniques were adjoined to the music at a workable pace(pull offs, hammer ons, drop thumbing). The combinationation of hearing the music and being able to see it on paper made learning difficult pieces doable, with some concentration thrown in. At the end of every song a message flashes on the screen reminding us to 'Keep practicing'. So its afew years later and VHS is now DVD and I'm a third of the way through the second tape. Each tape has a ton on songs and practice exercises so its taking me a while. I play entirely for my own enjoyment and I'm enjoying myself a great deal. As such I can't really say whether Ken's instruction has put me in a place where I'm ready to 'jam' with other musicians. I just have never gotten around to that. Nevertheless I have high praise for Ken Perlman's Clawhammer Style Banjo and recommend it to anybody starting from scratch and wanting to enjoy palying the banjo in their closet.

Overall Rating: 10

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