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Jan 21, 2021 - 10:03:33 PM
2 posts since 1/21/2021

Alright so I'm starting out clawhammer banjo and I think I'm really getting the hang of the bum ditty and hitting strings. I offhandedly mentioned I started learning banjo to a friend and she wants to hear some. So fellas what are some good beginner song or licks I can learn and practice that sound nice?

Jan 22, 2021 - 1:42:59 AM

Nickcd

UK

287 posts since 1/28/2018

Thinking back to first songs (from Ken Perlman book)
Oh Susannah,
Worried Man,
May the circle be unbroken
Wildwood Flower.

But sure others will suggest more "cool" ones.

Jan 22, 2021 - 6:27:49 AM

lmolter

USA

48 posts since 11/9/2015

Just as an aside, most people to whom I mention that I'm learning the banjo immediately ask if I can play Dueling Banjos (which I can in CW - I just play both parts). The assumption is almost always made that I am learning to play Scruggs style. When I say I play clawhammer, I invariably get a "What's that?". Even my wife's cousin, who plays bluegrass, asked the same question. Hmm... But then they say 'Cool" when I play something. Another time a friend of my daughter, who plays mandolin, asked if I could jam with him. When I mentioned that I don't play bluegrass style, he said, "... oh" and we didn't jam after all. Just saying. I think people not in the know will expect you to play bluegrass style when you say you're learning the banjo.

I say, "Clawhammer lives!".

Jan 22, 2021 - 6:32:49 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

Do Foggy Mountain Breakdown or I Saw The Light in clawhammer. At least friends/family will recognize the tune even if they are not familiar with the style.  Maybe do She'll be Comin' Round The Mountain or Go Tell Aunt Rhody.  Everybody knows some nursery rhymes.  Twinkle, Twinkle is a good tune.

Edited by - Eric A on 01/22/2021 06:35:43

Jan 22, 2021 - 6:47:43 AM

bigleaf

USA

68 posts since 5/5/2019

Barlow knife in double C tuning will get ‘em going, and it’s not difficult to learn. Hilarie Burhans teaches a real nice version.

Jan 22, 2021 - 6:52:19 AM

lmolter

USA

48 posts since 11/9/2015

The nice thing about I Saw The Light is that you can medley it with Mountain Dew and Worried Man Blues easily. @Eric A -- Do you have a version of FMB for intermediate CW?

Jan 22, 2021 - 7:47:30 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by lmolter

The nice thing about I Saw The Light is that you can medley it with Mountain Dew and Worried Man Blues easily. @Eric A -- Do you have a version of FMB for intermediate CW?


I play it but I don't have it tabbed out.  Sorry.  The first part is a fairly simple melody, all first position.  My approach is, "if you can hum it in a recognizable fashion, you can play it".

Start with that 2nd string 2-3 hammer on, then in a bit you get to the Em chord, and you should pretty much have it from there. 

EDIT: Hey, I found one in in BHO tab library.   It could be simplified, if needed, to take out some drop thumb and go back to basic bum ditties.  My first three measures are simpler, but otherwise it looks pretty close to what I do. 

https://www.banjohangout.org/tab/browse.asp?m=detail&v=19627

I start with:

2nd string, 2-3 hammer, ditty

2nd string 3rd fret, ditty,

and off you go.  I keep it simple.

Edited by - Eric A on 01/22/2021 07:55:45

Jan 22, 2021 - 8:04:47 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

On FMB, the measure with the Em chord is "the hook". That's where people's eyes light up and they say "Hey, that's Foggy Mountain!"

Jan 22, 2021 - 8:10:54 AM
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lmolter

USA

48 posts since 11/9/2015

I just noticed that on my posts I've used 'CW' instead of 'CH' to denote clawhammer. Ugh. Been watching the CW network too much. Or old age. Or both.

@Eric A -- I just download the FMB tab. Will plod through it. Thanks. 

I play Rocky Top the same way -- no tab. Just figured it out. 

Edited by - lmolter on 01/22/2021 08:12:59

Jan 22, 2021 - 8:34:10 AM
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Players Union Member

dbrooks

USA

3966 posts since 3/11/2004

Superlose626, while you are asking for cool licks, being able to strum rhythmically with smooth chord changes to back up popular songs is usually impressive and much easier to attain. Old-time tunes like "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" or newer tunes like John Prine's "Paradise" can involve your listeners in a positive way.

At the risk of continuing this thread drift toward "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," I have uploaded my tab for the tune. Let me be clear that Janolov's works very well, so mine is a bit redundant in that regard. Still, another version may offer some choices.

Foggy Mountain Breakdown Tab - Details and Ratings - Banjo Hangout

David

Jan 22, 2021 - 9:05:19 AM
like this

412 posts since 5/29/2015
Online Now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYZFUY1ulhI

 

SHE is not interested in hearing you play nursery rhymes.

Jan 22, 2021 - 9:12:11 AM

KCJones

USA

1331 posts since 8/30/2012
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by superlose626

Alright so I'm starting out clawhammer banjo and I think I'm really getting the hang of the bum ditty and hitting strings. I offhandedly mentioned I started learning banjo to a friend and she wants to hear some. So fellas what are some good beginner song or licks I can learn and practice that sound nice?


She? I recommend "No End of Love" by John Hartford.

Just play it in G, it's a super simple G/C/D song. 

This link shows it in C, but just replace every C chord with G, every F chord with C, and every G chord with D. NO END OF LOVE CHORDS by John Hartford @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com (ultimate-guitar.com)

Jan 24, 2021 - 11:10:09 PM

2 posts since 1/21/2021

Thank you guys so much for the recs. I'm following along with this video to learn Foggy Mountain Breakdown. It's really been good for practicing. I'll get back to you guys later. Yall are sick!

Jan 25, 2021 - 3:30:22 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by superlose626

Thank you guys so much for the recs. I'm following along with this video to learn Foggy Mountain Breakdown. It's really been good for practicing. I'll get back to you guys later. Yall are sick!


LOL, these days we are all doing our very best to NOT get sick, but I take your meaning!   Good luck and have fun.

Jan 25, 2021 - 3:53:42 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

quote:
Originally posted by superlose626

Thank you guys so much for the recs. I'm following along with this video to learn Foggy Mountain Breakdown. It's really been good for practicing. I'll get back to you guys later. Yall are sick!


I checked out that video.  It's great!  Everything about it, comments about rhythm, melody, attitude, so refreshing, I agree with all of it.  I 'm going to check out all his stuff.  Thank  you.

EDIT:  from his home page it sounds like he's shutting everything down at the end of the month, so I guess we have a week to soak it all in.

Edited by - Eric A on 01/25/2021 03:59:39

Jan 25, 2021 - 4:51:19 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1036 posts since 10/15/2019

Omigosh, what a rabbit hole of a troubled past on the BHO and the clawhammer community as a whole this Costello guy has! I'm not particularly interested though, and that changes nothing as far as that video being excellent.

Jan 25, 2021 - 5:32:22 AM

1595 posts since 7/4/2009

I agree with David Brooks: Someone who's not a musician (is she?) is going to respond more to a song (with words!) than the coolest licks in your bag of tricks, even if you're just strumming the chords and singing. I don't recommend Paradise, since it's in waltz time, and triple meter can be difficult to achieve on the banjo, especially for a beginner. If you're trying to *impress* this girl, try to do an easy banjo-friendly song that's currently popular. A few years ago it was Wagon Wheel; no clue what that would be now. If you just want to show her an example of what you can do, choice of song doesn't matter that much, but I agree that she (or anyone much of over the age of 5) is probably not interested in hearing Go Tell Aunt Rhody or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

An instrumental tune might work if it has a strong melody; for that I'd recommend something like Old Joe Clark, Cripple Creek, or Soldier's Joy.

Edited by - UncleClawhammer on 01/25/2021 05:39:16

Jan 30, 2021 - 9:15:58 AM

ElvisB

UK

32 posts since 9/27/2019

I would really recommend you to try some of Hilary Hawke songs, Big Scioty is the first real song I managed to "master" when I started, it's quite easy for a beginner and sound damn impressive.

I've purchased her tab book and they are all short, easy and fun to learn.

youtube.com/watch?v=BNJQsAkzwTs&t=9s

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