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Jun 13, 2018 - 3:54:10 PM
22 posts since 4/4/2017


I am looking for some good clawhammer licks that I can use, something with a little more oomph than a basic bum-ditty or drop thumb.
I'm making myself write songs this summer so that by the time I'm in college again I can begin "breaking out in the scene" as it were and work on leaving my mark on the place.

Thanks in advance,


Jun 13, 2018 - 8:52:37 PM
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248 posts since 8/30/2012

The licks you use kind of depend on what you want to play. More generically, this is what's worked for me personally. YMMV

Try to integrate hammer on and pull offs with drop thumb. Bring the drop thumb to fretted positions and slide/hammer/pull from there. Adds a lot of syncopation. You can get entire scales up and down, and make any lick you want from that.

Check out Josiah Tyree clawhammer stuff. He has some wicked licks that I didn't know you could get with clawhammer. If you slow the videos way down you can figure them out note for note. That's what I did and it really added a lot of variety to my playing.

Edited by - KCJones on 06/13/2018 20:54:35

Jun 13, 2018 - 10:17:24 PM
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Hong Kong

484 posts since 8/22/2013

Well, for me, clawhammer isn't about licks, it's about having an overall good sense of rhythm—that's where the drive and the fun are. It's less flashy but it makes a bigger difference—people respond when I have a good tune with good drive far more than when I bust out any kind of lick.

But I will also say that the "Galax lick" is something interesting and special in the world of clawhammer you can check out, learn, and master (and there are several good variations).

Jun 14, 2018 - 5:40:52 AM
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R Buck


2488 posts since 9/5/2006

Play what you hear in your head.

Jun 14, 2018 - 9:14:23 AM

Lew H Players Union Member


2093 posts since 3/10/2008

I've posted a few videos of bluegrass licks for clawhammer banjo--all in G tuning. I don't know if that's what you want, but there are "hot licks" on can do in classic C and double C also. I'm not sure what you are looking for.

Jun 14, 2018 - 9:23:42 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


21104 posts since 6/25/2005

I try to play the notes in a tune. Licks tend to obscure the tune, often making tunes sound the same. Go for the notes; forget licks.

Jun 14, 2018 - 10:00:11 AM

7947 posts since 2/22/2007

Clawhammer + Licks. Here you go

Not my thing, but maybe right for you. 

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