ACOUSTIC GUITAR 019: Clawhammer Strum Technique

Acoustic Guitar 019: 

Clawhammer Strum Technique...

Clawhammer strum technique was originally a banjo strum method, however in the early 1930's Clawhammer was adopted to the guitar and ended up taking on a more serious role with guitarists of the era. Guitar players performing in the style of "old-time North American Folk Music,"  developed a guitar-based method of strumming formatted upon the banjo Clawhammer concept...

In this lesson, we'll explore how to start applying the Clawhammer technique. Our examples will run through how to develop this style of playing, how to start adding melody and how to take the technique further. A final example will demonstrate how to work the Clawhammer into an old-time traditional folk riff in, "Double drop-D Tuning."

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Study Clawhammer Strum Technique...

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Example one, will help players start applying the strum approach of Clawhammer. The focus is on the use of all down-strum attacks. The thumb will play the low strings, and the top of the fingernail (of the index finger), will strike at the guitars interior strings, (producing the rhythm-strum attack). .

Example two, starts adding melody to the Clawhammer strum technique. Old-time folk music includes many different kinds of passing tones ranging from lines that highlight phrases through scale passages and by including interior chord tones. The example two strumming drill mixes chord tone highlights with bass-tone inversions across a chord progression in "E Major."

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PART TWOThe exercise in example three involves gaining a deeper understanding of phrasing along with the introduction of new harmony, (the guitar is placed in a different tuning at this point of the lesson). The exercise in example three features the interesting sound of, "Double Drop D Tuning."

Example four, wraps up our lesson plan on "Clawhammer" strum technique by formulating a traditional sounding riff that applies all of the concepts we have covered throughout the lesson. In example four, the riff functions using the tuning introduced back in example three, (Double drop-D).

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