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question about techniques...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:13 pm
by A J Davies
ok so I've been watching the clip on youtube of Johnny "Slim" Campbell playing Person to Person live (not sure how to post the video in here but maybe somebody can help with that...) this guy is actually the reason I got into slide in the first place believe it or not.

Anyways at about 4:33 or so into the video he does this little breakdown and explains different styles of slide - talking about Louisiana piano style, and moving on to Texas banjo style, and then something about Mississipi and "pop, slap and slide".

Anyway the reason I'm making this thread is because I've tried Google searching and so forth but I can't seem to find any resources that help to find one's feet looking to emulate these styles of playing. The pop slap and slide thing is straight forward enough but there's too much going on in the piano and banjo style for me to really nut it out all by my self, so anybody out there able to point me to some good resources on this?

Thanks.

oh PS, the video clip on Youtube is titled "John Campbell - Person to Person" and is 9:33 long, if anybody is wondering what clip I'm talking about.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:50 pm
by leftyguitarman


Alright, so my take on it. The "piano" style he's referring to is playing in a percussive style. See how he's just hitting the strings, brushing them on the neck? He's not really playing it in a "proper" style but more of a percussive style. As for the banjo style, he's talking about the picking method. A non-blues player who plays guitar in the banjo style is Mark Knopfler. He fingerpicks and adds all sorts of little subtle notes in there.

Check this out. This is clawhammer style guitar, which is more or less, banjo style.



Oh, and to add YouTube videos, for future reference, click the reply button and at the top of the text box is a button that says youtube. Click on in and put the YouTube.com link in between the bracketed youtubes.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:44 pm
by A J Davies
Oh that's great, man. Thanks very much for your help!

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:18 am
by ricbleu
Hey Lefty - thanks for all the tips there. I was wondering about this clawhammer style, a term which I've heard used quite a lot but without understanding what it means. I play fingerstyle with the thumb covering Ead and index, middle and ring fingers covering gbe (that's the theory but in practice there's a lot of give and take). Like every finger picker, the thumb picks mostly downwards and the fingers mostly up (with plenty of exceptions as required). I play a lot of double stops using two and sometimes three fingers simultaneously and I use open strings a lot. So am I playing clawhammer? From what I see in the second vid, the guy is not doing much different from my style unless it's because he seems to be plucking with all three fingers ie there doesn't seem to be much separation of individual fingers as he plays with his RH. So what is it, Lefty, am I a clawhammer style or am I just a fingerpicker? :D Peace.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:06 pm
by leftyguitarman
I don't think there are any set rules that define clawhammer. But I think the general consensus is using your fingers in the way you described and using some sort of an alternating bass. I'm not too sure, honestly. Check this out. He uses his index, middle and probably ring finger for both up and down strokes and this is clawhammer.



And here's Mark Knopfler playing. Skip to 1:50 and listen to him. He says that clawhammer is "Four beats to the bar, not one." Around 2:15 he shows a bunch of stuff. I forgot about this video, actually. I'm glad I found it because I need to work on my Knopfler style picking. I've been using a pick 90% of the time these days and because of this my fingerpicking has gone downhill. Watch the whole Knopfler video. He really is a grade A guitarist. He goes into ragtime, and blues and everything. The man can play anything.





And go to about 0:30 here and you can see him playing clawhammer, again. He even does it on the electric when he's singing.


Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:15 pm
by A J Davies
Wow some of the clips you've posted are exactly the sort of resources I can use to start finding my way!

Thanks so much Lefty.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:01 pm
by ricbleu
Oh man, I am indebted. Thanks a heap, Lefty. You epitomise the value of these types of forums; freely and generously passing knowledge on to others in the trade.

I'm heading out now to do some playing under a sycamore tree in our public Botanic Gardens. It's a quiet spot and I throw seed out to the small birds that feed there. I get down there whenever I can. It's a magic experience. :D Peace

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:28 pm
by leftyguitarman
Thank you! I'm always happy to learn and teach new things! That's why I love these forums!

clawhammer info

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:59 pm
by michaelm
Just to add a little to what Lefty said, back when I was teen and first learning music, as I remember, clawhammer referred to a banjo style where the thumb alternated with a right hand finger brushed down over all the strings, rather than picking up on one string, and was usually bare finger, no finger picks. At the time, it was regarded as a primitive, old-time technique. Here is some modern info that looks pretty accurate (what do I know?) to me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clawhammer

BTW, I don't think that anyone would refer to Mark Knopfler's playing as 'primitive'. HTH. Enjoy.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:46 am
by A J Davies
Michael, thanks for your informative post, and the wikipedia link man.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:48 am
by ricbleu
Well according to the wikipedia entry, clawhammer is a downward stroke with the finger(s). Sure beats me. I like learning too but it gets to the point where my style is my style for better or worse, richer or poorer. Mostly poorer. :D Peace

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:20 pm
by guitarslim101
Excellent videos, Lefty.

Yep, clawhammer is typically downstrokes, but I'd wager that most banjoists who call themselves clawhammer players throw in a few upstrokes every now and then. I know I do, but my banjo technique isn't exactly based on any single tradition. I prefer using my thumb, middle and ring fingers for downstrokes and my index finger for upstrokes. It's a bit of a cross between clawhammer and Pete Seeger's picking style, which puts it more in the frailing realm, I guess.

Here's how Pete does it.


Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:44 am
by The Breeze
I thought it was, well form your fingers into a claw then bounce your middle finger nail off the string as it bounces back you are ready to pick again. It is a sort of boom-chucka rhythm, but it is m--m-t remembering the 5th string of the banjo is the high G.

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:45 am
by kiwiblues
I could be wrong but isn't claw hammer up strokes with a thumb bass and frailing down strokes with the fingers?

Re: question about techniques...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:31 am
by leftyguitarman
kiwiblues wrote:I could be wrong but isn't claw hammer up strokes with a thumb bass and frailing down strokes with the fingers?


It really seems to not have an end-all be-all definition.