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Sep 23, 2021 - 2:07:34 AM
2 posts since 9/23/2021

Is it OK technique to use dropthumb on the the same string eg 1st 2nd or 3rd that I'm picking with my index finger. I hit the index finger on the string then hit it with the thumb straight after. I like the sound of it but I'm not sure if its OK technique.

Sep 23, 2021 - 3:04:55 AM
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3825 posts since 4/29/2012

An 'OK technique' is one that works for you. There ain't no rules in clawhammer. But I must admit I don't think I ever drop to the same string I've just sounded. If I want the same note twice I'd drop thumb (or hammer) to the next string down fretted where it matches the note I've just played (e.g 1st open, drop to 2nd at 3rd fret in open G). This avoids cutting off the first note prematurely.

Edited by - AndrewD on 09/23/2021 03:15:58

Sep 23, 2021 - 5:40:17 AM
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R Buck

USA

2985 posts since 9/5/2006
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How are you going to develop your own style if you play like everyone else? If it works for you and you have licks that work, meaning you keep in it time and the melody is recognizable, then it works.

Sep 23, 2021 - 6:33:46 AM
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7248 posts since 11/4/2005

My old friend Ed Britt used to drop down to the same string like that. The one arrangement of his that I tabbed out, for the Henry Reed tune Texas, he hit the 3rd string with the index, then the thumb, and then the index again. I've never seen anyone else do that.

Sep 23, 2021 - 12:19 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25242 posts since 6/25/2005

I do it regularly, particularly on the first string. Works fine.

Sep 23, 2021 - 12:47:57 PM
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8266 posts since 3/17/2005

I do it if I need the note, but that generally means a different fret for the second strike.

Sep 25, 2021 - 11:03:59 AM

6022 posts since 3/11/2006

What R Buck said.

My tendency is to play an inside string with the index then play the same string with a drop-thumb.
Sounds like the reverse of what you are describing?

Sep 27, 2021 - 1:23:16 AM

16 posts since 9/3/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Mark Fitzpatrick

Is it OK technique to use dropthumb on the the same string eg 1st 2nd or 3rd that I'm picking with my index finger. I hit the index finger on the string then hit it with the thumb straight after. I like the sound of it but I'm not sure if its OK technique.


I find it is the most natural dropthumb for me to play -- as the thumb can just ride behind the striking finger and be ready to rock. 

I only use it for staccato notes where the dropthumb is the easiest way to get the mute. As AndrewD pointed out earlier, if you don't want to cut the first note short - you're probably better off finding the second note you need another way.  

Sep 27, 2021 - 4:36:03 AM

Mark Fitzpatrick

Australia

2 posts since 9/23/2021

Thanks for the tips. Regular drop thumb is probably the smart way to go. I just enjoy trying different things. Where I'm located there aren't many banjo players let alone clawhammer players.

Sep 27, 2021 - 7:35:19 AM
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8266 posts since 3/17/2005

There is a very common lick among OT players where the finger strikes the first string followed immediately by an ASPO on the same string. In this case the second sounding of the string is done with the left hand, but the result is the same.

Sep 27, 2021 - 8:14:20 AM

58288 posts since 12/14/2005

Thanks, Andrew!
How could ANYONE forget the "DUELING BANJOS" scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid??
quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

An 'OK technique' is one that works for you. There ain't no rules in clawhammer. But I must admit I don't think I ever drop to the same string I've just sounded. If I want the same note twice I'd drop thumb (or hammer) to the next string down fretted where it matches the note I've just played (e.g 1st open, drop to 2nd at 3rd fret in open G). This avoids cutting off the first note prematurely.



Sep 27, 2021 - 8:37:11 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A

USA

1318 posts since 10/15/2019

I up-pick, not down-pick, but I don't understand the slavish devotion to drop thumb or double thumb or whatever. I don't understand why a banjo player would be all concerned about what a fiddle player does.

If you play banjo, guitar, or mando, and you are twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to get eight to the bar like a fiddle....why? THAT IS NOT THE ACTUAL MELODY.  A LOT OF IT IS JUST FILLER.   Seriously, you are trying to copy the other guys' filler? Why?  You can do your own filler that he can't do.  At least half of everything that everybody plays is filler.  But it's unique to each instrument.  Embrace it.

They do theirs, you do yours. Too many notes in a measure sometimes just mash on top of each other. Sometimes too much is just a mess. Sometimes less is more.

Edited by - Eric A on 09/27/2021 08:47:00

Sep 27, 2021 - 9:29:14 AM
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16 posts since 9/3/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

I up-pick, not down-pick, but I don't understand the slavish devotion to drop thumb or double thumb or whatever. I don't understand why a banjo player would be all concerned about what a fiddle player does.

If you play banjo, guitar, or mando, and you are twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to get eight to the bar like a fiddle....why? THAT IS NOT THE ACTUAL MELODY.  A LOT OF IT IS JUST FILLER.   Seriously, you are trying to copy the other guys' filler? Why?  You can do your own filler that he can't do.  At least half of everything that everybody plays is filler.  But it's unique to each instrument.  Embrace it.

They do theirs, you do yours. Too many notes in a measure sometimes just mash on top of each other. Sometimes too much is just a mess. Sometimes less is more.


Slavish devotion...? Concern about fiddle players...? Squeeze 8-notes into every measure...? WHY THE WORDS IN CAPS!??

That's a generous outpouring of post-traumatic-banjo-stress* in a thread where the original poster likes to try out different things, no one mentioned anything related to your response, and we're just kicking around some pros/cons of a particular sometimes-useful thing. 

For me - I often find my thumb often has some spare time and is happy to help out** -- and the only slavish devotion I have is that he gives me a wee bit more time for a LHWS*** - which is similar to an ASPO, but better in most every possible way.  

 

 

* ™!

** But to be fair - my people have particularly hard-working and lively thumbs. 

*** Left-Handed Whiskey-Swig™.

Sep 27, 2021 - 1:02:33 PM
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RG

USA

3113 posts since 8/7/2008

Never thought of it as anything "different"... when I started playing 48 years ago, drop thumb just became another way to get the sounds I was hearing from older players. Double thumb is another thing all together. You can also alternate "pluck" like Rufus Crisp, Pete Steele or Justus Begley too, or do the same thing in NC up-picking "still hand" like Doc Watson... it's the rhythm you're after, not the technique. I think a lot of folks psych themselves out about it because they "think" about it rather than "hear" and play it.

Sep 28, 2021 - 6:45:05 AM
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8266 posts since 3/17/2005

EricA, Slavish devotion? C'mon. Do you ever play with a fiddler? Do you think dropping your thumb to an inside string automatically means you are slavishly following the fiddle note for note? Do you understand that drop thumb can be a purely rhythmic device. Do you understand that a banjo payer can use drop thumb to produce her/his own "filler"? Do you ever dropthumb?
I hoped you had some music posted here on BHO, but didn't find any.

Edited by - chip arnold on 09/28/2021 06:51:16

Oct 21, 2021 - 4:08:15 AM

basa333

Czech Republic

3 posts since 7/21/2021

hi,

I am beginner in clawhammer. My problem is this place in "Take me home..."
Do you have an advice for me, how I can play this? I can't understand, with which fingers I shall play this.... (sorry for my english...). I hope, you can understand my question

many thanks tom


Edited by - basa333 on 10/21/2021 04:10:19

Oct 21, 2021 - 4:34:27 AM

Jim Yates

Canada

6777 posts since 2/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Mark Fitzpatrick

Is it OK technique to use dropthumb on the the same string eg 1st 2nd or 3rd that I'm picking with my index finger. I hit the index finger on the string then hit it with the thumb straight after. I like the sound of it but I'm not sure if its OK technique.


A quote from your post: " I like the sound of it".  You've answered your own question.  A good rule is If It sounds good, it is good. (If we have to have rules.)

Edited by - Jim Yates on 10/21/2021 04:41:44

Oct 21, 2021 - 7:03:20 AM

23 posts since 12/8/2011
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by basa333

hi,

I am beginner in clawhammer. My problem is this place in "Take me home..."
Do you have an advice for me, how I can play this? I can't understand, with which fingers I shall play this.... (sorry for my english...). I hope, you can understand my question

many thanks tom


Hi Tom.

For that measure the first note (on the third string) is played normally. The second note (on the first string) is played by plucking the first string with any finger from the left hand. Then there is a normal brush stroke with the fifth string. And then it repeats.

This technique is usually called an 'alternate string pull-off'.  If you type into YouTube you will find many demonstrations and lessons. It takes more than five minutes to get the hang of it, but I don't think it's very hard. It is also called an ASPO for short.

Example

https://youtu.be/Fv2tmzhbk5U

Oct 21, 2021 - 7:25:36 AM

basa333

Czech Republic

3 posts since 7/21/2021

... o yee,

I see, thank you!!!!

I have seen that, but not thinking about...just a beginner :-)...

greets and thanks tom

Oct 21, 2021 - 8:36:40 AM

23 posts since 12/8/2011
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by basa333

... o yee,

I see, thank you!!!!

I have seen that, but not thinking about...just a beginner :-)...

greets and thanks tom


No problem! Happy to help! I hope you enjoy the banjo.  (The ASPO is one of my favourite things even though I don't use it often).

Oct 21, 2021 - 11:18:39 PM

basa333

Czech Republic

3 posts since 7/21/2021

Hi
it's rare in the stuff I can afford to play so far, so I haven't had much experience with ASPO yet. theoretically I've tried it, technically it's not a big deal, but I'm not used to playing with it on a regular basis yet. this will be my first experience with practical use. i'm glad i came across it, the song Take me home... is quite a challenge for me overall, but i like it a lot, so i want to learn it.

not to forget: I love the banjo, but for a long time I hesitated to really start with it - so far I'm playing a bluegrass banjo, but rosta ?apek is already making me a clawhammer banjo, that will be a different category again. bluegrass banjo is very loud.

thanks, greets tom

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