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Jun 15, 2021 - 2:14:57 PM
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Mivo

Germany

83 posts since 9/13/2017

I've been learning and playing 2-finger styles (both I and T lead) for a while now, and recently got a bit into up-picking/Seeger style. My experience level is still pretty low, but from what I can tell I can simply take clawhammer tabs and play those as written? The rhythm seems to be exactly the same. It also seems to be more or less index lead with plenty of brushes, but with a (mostly) floating hand.

Jun 15, 2021 - 2:28:48 PM
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3725 posts since 4/29/2012
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Basic answer is 'yes'. Many years since I switched from up picking.But like many I started with the Seeger book as it was the only one easily available. This seemed to imply that up was the norm and down, which involved learning a weird new word - 'frailing', was the variant. But I'm pretty sure I used all of the techniques I use in clawhammer (pulls, hammers, slides, drop thumb, M-skips, brushes...) in up-picking even if Pete called what we now call drop thumb 'double thumbing'.

Jun 15, 2021 - 3:57:07 PM
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Paul R

Canada

14708 posts since 1/28/2010

It's still bump-ditty. So, yeah.

Jun 15, 2021 - 5:45:16 PM
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4145 posts since 10/13/2005

If your finger is moving up after the "bum," how do you drop thumb? Seems your hand would have to be planted on the head to drop thumb. Just wondering? banjered

Jun 15, 2021 - 6:32:26 PM
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1762 posts since 7/4/2009

I have seen some people plant their hand on the head while up-picking, whether they're using drop thumb or not, but you don't have to. It's not difficult at all.

To the OP, you should have no problem using clawhammer tabs. The music will sound different, though. It lacks the attack of clawhammer.

Jun 15, 2021 - 6:47:06 PM
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Bill H

USA

1651 posts since 11/7/2010

This is the way I have played for forty years. Tab for up picking or frailing is interchangeable. In my opinion, it does not really sound any different.

Jun 15, 2021 - 11:22:54 PM
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janolov

Sweden

41130 posts since 3/7/2006

Tabs for up-picking and clawhammer are usually interchangeable. However, there may be some clawhammer techniques that are difficult (but not impossible!) to transfer to up-picking, for example some drop thumb, Galax Lick, and similar advanced patterns. 

Jun 16, 2021 - 2:58:06 AM
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Bill H

USA

1651 posts since 11/7/2010

quote:
Originally posted by janolov

Tabs for up-picking and clawhammer are usually interchangeable. However, there may be some clawhammer techniques that are difficult (but not impossible!) to transfer to up-picking, for example some drop thumb, Galax Lick, and similar advanced patterns. 


Here's an example of up picking style playing with both Galax lick and double thumbing in John Lover's Gone. The tab is from the John Burke book. I learned this style from two books I had that came with the first banjo I borrowed in the early eitghies, Bob Clayton's Old-Timey Banjo Book, and Jerry Silverman's, Playing the Five String Banjo. This style was popular in the folk revival era, and I believe Silverman came from that school of playing. His approach was aimed at folk song accompaniment, but I applied the style to Old Time playing because down picking felt awkward to me.


Jun 16, 2021 - 5:52:05 AM
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8230 posts since 3/17/2005

Bill H Sounds nice. Is your hand floating or braced on the head?

Jun 16, 2021 - 4:49:59 PM

Bill H

USA

1651 posts since 11/7/2010

Floating with my fingers curled up like a claw. I've seen some flick their fingers but the claw is essential to economy and speed.

Jun 16, 2021 - 10:18:22 PM

Jim Yates

Canada

6739 posts since 2/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by banjered

If your finger is moving up after the "bum," how do you drop thumb? Seems your hand would have to be planted on the head to drop thumb. Just wondering? banjered


I find no need to plant my hand on the head to drop-thumb when up-picking.  I seem to recall Pete introducing drop-thumb (Maybe he called it double thumbing) in an up-picked version of Skip To My Lou.

___2___2________2_____  __2___2____5__5_____ __0__0___________0______ __0_____2_____3_____0________
_______1_____1__1_____ _____1_________5_____ ______0_______0__0______ _____0____________0___________
_______0________0_____ ________________5_____ ______0__________0______ ______________________________
_______________________ ______________________ ________________________ ______________________________
__________0________0__ __________0________0__ __________0_________0__ ____________0_____________0___

Jun 16, 2021 - 11:12:45 PM
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Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41130 posts since 3/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Jim Yates
quote:
Originally posted by banjered

If your finger is moving up after the "bum," how do you drop thumb? Seems your hand would have to be planted on the head to drop thumb. Just wondering? banjered


I find no need to plant my hand on the head to drop-thumb when up-picking.  I seem to recall Pete introducing drop-thumb (Maybe he called it double thumbing) in an up-picked version of Skip To My Lou.

___2___2________2_____  __2___2____5__5_____ __0__0___________0______ __0_____2_____3_____0________
_______1_____1__1_____ _____1_________5_____ ______0_______0__0______ _____0____________0___________
_______0________0_____ ________________5_____ ______0__________0______ ______________________________
_______________________ ______________________ ________________________ ______________________________
__________0________0__ __________0________0__ __________0_________0__ ____________0_____________0___


Here is Pete Seeger showing how to play Skip To My Lou: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrfs2uaGQag. He seems to anchor his hand when playing double thumbing.

Jun 25, 2021 - 1:29:34 AM
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4925 posts since 5/14/2007

Basically, drop-thumb becomes index lead two finger picking. Films of Seeger playing show him anchoring his fingers on the head when he shifted between the up-picking and what he called "double-thumbing."

Jun 27, 2021 - 2:22:31 PM

Jim Yates

Canada

6739 posts since 2/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by John Gribble

Basically, drop-thumb becomes index lead two finger picking. Films of Seeger playing show him anchoring his fingers on the head when he shifted between the up-picking and what he called "double-thumbing."


I find it easier to think of it as "up-picking drop thumb", rather than thinking that we're playing an entirely different style for a bar or two.  I guess there are no "written in stone" definitions for many folk banjo styles.

Could we also say that clawhammer drop thumb becomes "finger lead two finger frailing"?

 

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