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Dec 6, 2022 - 1:20:01 PM
3 posts since 12/2/2022

Hello, Let me start by saying I've been playing for about 2 months and the first 3 weeks was 3 finger style, then after finding and hearing a bunch of clawhammer on youTube while looking for lessons, I'm hooked. I've got years of bass guitar and some guitar background. My issue is this, when hitting single strings I seem to be getting a harmonic from the skin of my finger hitting directly after my nail. Is this just a matter of growing that intended nail out more? or is my technique lacking somewhere? It's driving me nuts. It took me a long while to learn how to do this with a guitar pick and the side of my thumb, now, I can't stop it from happening when clawhammering! Help? Thanks in advance.

Dec 6, 2022 - 2:17:54 PM
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653 posts since 3/9/2013

The grown out nail for me is a big deal. If I tear it at work I sound muted for weeks. I hate picks so I deal with it. But yeah, having a nail will help.

Dec 6, 2022 - 3:13:17 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26689 posts since 6/25/2005

Sounds to me as if you may be hearing "the cluck," a sound that many players work to create.  Lots of discussion on the Hangout:

https://www.banjohangout.org/pages/search.asp?a=b&cx=003343045014085398078:ckok8j6qu0e&cof=FORID:9&sa=Search&ie=UTF-8&q2=the%20cluck&refine=forum&q=the%20cluck%20more:forum

Listen to the harmonic popping sound demonstrated at the video links. If that's the sound you're getting, then I wouldn't worry about it. Don't get off-track with all the how-to stuff. Catching the string with the fingertip as your nail slides off the string is another way to create the cluck, but is different from the separate cluck stroke illustrated in the videos.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 12/06/2022 15:30:16

Dec 6, 2022 - 8:05:27 PM
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Fathand

Canada

12090 posts since 2/7/2008

You can always go to a nail salon and request a gel nail on your prefferred finger. My last one cost $3.92 and lasted over a month.

Dec 7, 2022 - 4:57:31 AM

3 posts since 12/2/2022

Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone. Going to let my technique develop more before I concern myself about it too much but, in the meantime, I think I may check out a gel nail. So thanks Bill and Fathand for the pointers! much appreciated.

Dec 9, 2022 - 10:18:37 AM
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1334 posts since 8/7/2017

I put together a nail-care kit: nail clippers, ignition file (nice and sharp, get a good one eg Nicholson's), wet or dry sandpaper (400-600 grit) glued to a popsicle stick. I use it before each practice session: remove all the white on my fretting hand, and smooth off nail on my picking hand. I keep the kit in a ziplock bag so everything is in one place. Keeping the edge of the picking finger's nail smooth helps avoid catching it on something and ripping it off or damaging the striking bit.

Make a paper sheath for the file to keep the cutting surfaces from getting dulled by hitting stuff during storage. Clean out the debris trapped by file teeth by tapping file on edge, and running finger pad across the file surface parallel to the cuts.

With practice, I discovered I could get by with less and less white on the picking finger (even down to 1mm of white). But as a beginner, I had to have quite a bit of white (several mm's) to even strike the string. So, experience makes a difference.

Hope this helps.

Edited by - BrooksMT on 12/09/2022 10:22:39

Dec 9, 2022 - 11:01:07 AM
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Wobba

USA

58 posts since 4/15/2020

It sounds like you're probably hitting the string at a perpendicular angle. Try instead to attack the string with the nail at a cross/down angle and don't let the finger stop at the string when you strike it. The finger should string the string and then continue past the string. That way there is no chance for the flesh of the finger pad to mute the string.

Dec 15, 2022 - 10:20:40 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

You can glue acrylic nails

I concur with bill rogers. You got cluck

Dec 15, 2022 - 11:26:41 AM

3 posts since 12/2/2022

I just wish someone would have warned me what a clucking addiction this was going to become before I started boom chick-a-ing! I'm loving it for sure. Again thanks for all the replies!

Dec 17, 2022 - 6:27:45 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16373 posts since 8/30/2006

Just to follow up, now little kids and other peoples' dogs will hang around,


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