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TOPIC: YEAH, I DON'T BELONG HERE....BUT...

YEAH, I DON'T BELONG HERE....BUT... 9 years 1 month ago #6538

I'm just wondering....why do some banjo players play "claw hammer" style (I think that's what it's called) and others do the finger rolling...(don't know what this is called)...Is this a decision made when a person chooses to learn the banjo? Is one easier to learn than the other? .... :huh: or is it a preference for the way each style sounds? :blink:
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Re:YEAH, I DON'T BELONG HERE....BUT... 9 years 1 month ago #6540

Clawhammer banjo is one particular style of banjo playing. Its historically a pure American form of "Old Time" music. It is called clawhammer because the hand that is used to strum and pick is held like a claw. A player does not roll like Scruggs style.

There is also a distinction between "clawhammer" and "frailing". While these styles can be interchangeable, the standard for frailing is to pick the drone string while in clawhammer, other strings are picked with the thumb (referred to as drop thumbing). There are other variations as well.

Frailing, Clawhammer and Old-Time music have been around since the birth of the banjo. It was Earl Scruggs, in the 60s who popularized the five string style that is played today.

None of these styles should be considered easier than the others. The all have their own characteristics that make the technique simple or more complicated to the student.

Hope this helps.

FM
:)
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Re:YEAH, I DON'T BELONG HERE....BUT... 9 years 3 weeks ago #6612

Actually, the style you play is assigned to you by the International Banjo Association when you apply to buy your first banjo. New players are apportioned between Scruggs 3 finger style and frailing or clawhammer style according to a top secret process that ensures a balance of participation in each style with each group barely aware of the other's existence.

Problems do arise when people don't follow established protocol and just go buy a banjo without securing the proper applications and permits in advance, and then play whatever style they like without regard for what's best for the banjo community. We'll never know how many great clawhammer players never came to be simply because they thought Foggy Mountain Breakdown sounded cool in Bonnie & Clyde and went out and bought an unlicensed banjo.
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Re:YEAH, I DON'T BELONG HERE....BUT... 9 years 3 weeks ago #6613

RIP Earl Scruggs, not good news today.
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Re:YEAH, I DON'T BELONG HERE....BUT... 9 years 3 weeks ago #6615

And which are you Ckinzel???? :laugh:
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