Talk:Clawhammer

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Frailing vs clawhammer?[edit]

Since there seems to be confusion over frailing and clawhammer, I've marked both {{disputed}} and I'm planning to research the topic. IceKarma 15:41, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)

Also..[edit]

Clawhammer also refers to AMD64's original name. I'm not sure if this warrants turning this into a disambiguation page or what, so I'll simply suggest it and leave it up to those a bit more adventurous.

Merged[edit]

I merged this with frailing (or actually I merged the gist of it, rewriting its actual content entirely). I know it's disputed what's clawhammer and what's frailing (see Talk:Frailing), but it's silly to have two articles about nearly the same thing. Instead I chose to use the more popular term "clawhammer" and leave the debate to the old-time musicians. - furrykef (Talk at me) 12:18, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

One thing about definitions[edit]

One thing I am sure about as far as clawhammer vs. frailing goes is that although the common guitar fingerpicking technique where the pinky and ring finger are held against the bridge or pickup and the index and middle finger form a "claw" shape is often called "clawhammer", as described in earlier versions of this article, this is an incorrect (or at least historically inaccurate) use of "clawhammer". - furrykef (Talk at me) 12:29, 1 October 2005 (UTC)


Guitar[edit]

Whatever differences may exist between clawhammer and frailing, everyone must agree that both terms are almost always used in reference to the banjo, not the guitar. Given that, is it appropriate that more than half of the section discussing the precise meaning actually deals with usage on the guitar? Perhaps the guitar-related content could have it's own section - = = Clawhammer on Guitar = =  ? Juneappal 22:13, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps it should be split up, yes. It does have a disproportionate amount of discussion considering clawhammer/frailing on guitar is rare, but I felt it was necessary in order to cover all the bases. - furrykef (Talk at me) 22:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
OK - I reorganized it - I think it reads much clearer now.

I wrote an article for Acoustic Guitar magazine's December 2007 issue on my take* on clawhammer guitar. It's not clear to me whether this is acceptable content for the article as the publication is a commercial enterprise. But it does offer a source for basic concepts related to both clawhammer guitar and banjo along with audio clips, if a reader finds it online. As of mid-September, there are also several YouTube examples of clawhammer guitar - Stadler, Baughman, Molly Tuttle - which might be helpful.

  • *my take - Jody Stecher once told me that one thing the old time clawhammer players born in the 1800s had in common is that they all said "That guy across the room doesn't know a thing about this style."

MikeStadler (talk) 16:06, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


What's missing[edit]

  • Somewhere in wikipedia there should be a discussion of how instrument set-up makes a banjo more suited to clawhammer or bluegrass. Does that belong here or on the banjo page?
  • Some noted clawhammer players.
  • I am not a big fan of melodic clawhammer, but other people are, and someone who cares about it should probably explain what it is somewhere.
  • Links to Smithsonian or LOC samples.

Juneappal 02:55, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


Citation Needed Spam[edit]

Its really ugly looking, and unnecessary to be repeated after every sentence. Just saying.

Q: Clawhammer vs Frailing? A: Fingernail(s)[edit]

Steve Baughman's web page, already linked in the References section, shows that the distinguishing feature of clawhammer is the use of the index fingernail. The sentence started getting a bit too long, so I broke the explanation up into different statements. Les Belikian 03:01, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

uke[edit]

The string set up on a ukulele also makes it very easy to use the clawhammer style on it.

Fingerpicking[edit]

The first sentence says that clawhammer is a style of fingerpicking. However, The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo does not mention this, nor Mike Iverson's page. I can understand that technically you are using your fingers instead of a pick or hammer (as in a hammer dulcimer), but you aren't really picking the strings. You are using a percussive motion, striking the strings with the back of a fingernail, not picking or plucking with the finger tips or inner white part of the nail. If we have a source that says clawhammer is a type of fingerpicking, I'd be happy, but if not, I wouldn't mind seeing that term removed from the lead.-Andrew c 04:48, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

agreed, especially since one so often hears "fingerpicked" used in order to differentiate from clawhammer: e.g. "I mostly play old-time but I also fingerpick a little."Juneappal 21:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Also, the grammar sort of implies that clawhammer isn't traditional69.129.39.230 (talk) 16:53, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

As fingers have two sides, why wouldn't this be fingerstyle? The back of the nail is used to produce a rest stroke. Typically, rest strokes are played in an upward (treble to bass) direction with the fleshy part of the finger receiving some backing from the nail. But when the nail, the back of the finger, comes to rest on an adjacent string, it seems to me that it's at least a subset of fingerpicking. MikeStadler (talk) 22:02, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


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