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May 25, 2022 - 6:06:59 AM
195 posts since 2/22/2019

I love the sound of a claw hammer banjo but find that so many songs sound similar. Is that just the nature of the beast? Why do players not adapt more modern songs to the claw hammer style?

Edited by - HighLonesomeF5 on 05/25/2022 07:33:57

May 25, 2022 - 7:39:03 AM
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collegiate

England

110 posts since 3/3/2011

Try some Bob Dylan. Easy !

May 25, 2022 - 7:41:53 AM

710 posts since 8/14/2018

quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

I love the sound of a claw hammer banjo but find that so many songs sound similar. Is that just the nature of the beast? Why do players not adapt more modern songs to the claw hammer style?


Trad=free

May 25, 2022 - 7:49:49 AM

5341 posts since 5/9/2007

frown

May 25, 2022 - 8:18:11 AM
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carlb

USA

2381 posts since 12/16/2007

I have done a few newer composed songs (i.e. after WWII) with clawhammer banjo accompaniment. Rather than making them all attachments, if you're interested, you can check them out in my media files.
Alone and Forsaken
Before the Road
Blowin' in the Wind
High on a Mountain
Me and My Uncle
Now is the Cool of the Day
Tear Down the Fences

May 25, 2022 - 12:29:02 PM
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Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41637 posts since 3/7/2006
Online Now

You may also visit the Facebook Group "Progreessive Clawhammer Banjo": https://www.facebook.com/groups/306854079327364

May 25, 2022 - 1:23:52 PM
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655 posts since 5/20/2008

Do quote:
Originally posted by HighLonesomeF5

I love the sound of a claw hammer banjo but find that so many songs sound similar. Is that just the nature of the beast? Why do players not adapt more modern songs to the claw hammer style?


Do you mean songs, as in singing?  Or just tunes?

May 25, 2022 - 5:14:54 PM
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355 posts since 4/10/2018

As you become more and more familiar with the tunes, I think you come to appreciate the different songs and their melodies as well as the variations. It’s also interesting to see how various musicians approach the catalog with their own style. As far as using Clawhammer for contemporary tunes, you can cruise YouTube and hear rock, pop, jazz, classical. Mike Iverson is one and Michael Myles is another.

May 26, 2022 - 5:59:54 PM
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Players Union Member

Lew H

USA

2722 posts since 3/10/2008

I too have posted several non-traditional songs here: Caravan, Bad Moon Rising, Rollin' and Tumbling', Can't be Satisfied, The Letter, I'll See You in my Dreams, Waiting for the Sunrise, etc. Check 'em out.

A lot of old time tunes are dance tunes; they have the form AABB. A really good picker can play them way up the neck an octave higher for variation, but most pickers don't do that. This makes for a lot of similarity among old time banjo tunes. There can be "crooked tunes" with an extra beat or measure here or there, and they can be in different modes, different banjo tunings, etc, so there is some variation.

That being said, I see no need to restrict ourselves solely to repeating the melodies of dead Appalachian pickers.

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