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Nov 9, 2018 - 9:45:56 AM
27 posts since 10/22/2018

Howdy guys and dolls!

Okay, I’ve a question about the metronome. I talked about this with my instructor and at the time I thought I understood his answer, but I want to make sure. I could email him but I don’t want to bug ‘em too much between lessons :-). I’m eat up with banjo though so I just have to get some clarification.

First, I’m learning ‘double thumb’ (Levenson’s Clawhammer from Scratch).

So, let’s say I set my metronome to 80 bpm. Now, every time the metronome goes ‘tick’, I want to strike a string (or brush strings). When the metronome is between ‘tick’, I want to pluck the fifth, or ‘off beat’ note. This is my current understanding, and is what I believe my instructor said.

Now, is this correct, or do I only pluck notes when I hear a ‘tick’? Like tick/brush, tick/pluck the fifth string?

I hope this makes sense!!!

Much obliged,


Nov 9, 2018 - 9:56:17 AM
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5522 posts since 8/20/2016
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If you want to count real beats then you will pick an entire bum-pa-dit-ty (or bum-ditty) in the time of one click, so it's bum on the click and padity before the next click, otherwise you are counting half beats...that's how I do it, I bet others do it differently.

Nov 9, 2018 - 10:21:52 AM
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Neil Allen


572 posts since 6/15/2014

Have a look at John Boulding's video on this subject.

Nov 9, 2018 - 12:33:32 PM

27 posts since 10/22/2018

Thanks for the replies. I think Mike confirmed what I was thinking.

My fretting hand is needing thumb surgery, but I can still work my right, in time with my metronome app, until I’m back to fretting.

Nov 9, 2018 - 2:33:48 PM
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312 posts since 7/4/2017

Joe there's no hard and fast rule.

However, I certainly found starting out it's easiest to work in 4/4 time and do as you are doing which is a frail/brush every beat with thumb in the off-beat. It's the most natural way.

Be aware when people talk about bpm in the threads it can be confusing. Not something really to worry about, but your 80bpm above will be others 40bpm as because banjo is so fast 'cut-time' is often used.

Good luck with CFS it's a great book to use I found.

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