Clawhammer Banjo II

Welcome to Clawhammer 2! In this class, students will build upon the techniques learned in Clawhammer 1, with a focus on beginning to develop more intermediate-level techniques including:

• In-depth analysis of drop thumbing

• Left hand techniques (proper positioning, hammer-ons, pulloffs)

• Backup accompaniment strum patterns

• Playing in time

• Practice techniques for maximum efficiency

• Listening skills for playing well with others

• Basic music theory applied to banjo


Students should come prepared each week to ask questions and be 

unafraid to fail gloriously with their fellow classmates. When learning new 

tunes and techniques, an open mind and willingness to venture past your 

comfort zone is the quickest path to learning.

A capo and access to a metronome (for home practice) is required. 

Internet-based metronomes are fine. A recording device, folder to 

organize papers, pencil and eraser are also required.

Be prepared to keep your banjo silent until asked to play, even if you 

TOTALLY get what is being taught and it's REALLY REALLY exciting to you. 

This is to ensure that everyone has a clear picture of what is going on, 

and to allow for all levels of ability to learn at the same pace.

At-home practice is recommended to get the most out of this course. I 

ask for at least 15 minutes a day of focused practice, because everyone 

has 15 minutes a day to spend doing something that will make your life 



Week 1

1. Introductions / Expectations / Course Overview

2. Review right hand technique from Clawhammer 1 and reestablish the 

bum-ditty groove 

3. Left hand techniques: hammer-on and pull-offs

4. Intro to drop thumbing

5. Go through drop thumbing exercise worksheet
Click here for Drop Thumbing worksheet no. 1  written by Karl Eggers
Click here for Drop Thumbing worksheet no. 2  written by Ken Pearlman

6. Introduce new song: Blue Goose
Click here for tab and chords to Blue Goose

Week 2

1. Warm up using Intro to Drop Thumbing exercise, practice of hammer-
ons and pulloffs

2. Review / Mastery of Blue Goose

3. Blue Goose harmony part
Click here for tab and chords to the Blue Goose harmony part

3. Introduction to chordal backing

4. Chordal Backing overview of Blue Goose

5. Working with a metronome