Clawhammer Banjo



Save the picks for the bluegrass class.

Clawhammer Banjo is used in old time music. The tunes are both easy and repetitive. It's exciting to build your way to playing in an old time band in which banjos, fiddles, mandolins, and guitars play with energy for cloggers and partner dancers. When you advance, you can branch out into more complex repertoire: French Canadian, Fiddle Tunes of the Midwest, and other specialty classes.
How is clawhammer played?
It is played by rhythmically rapping your right hand downward (as if knocking on a door) and plucking the string or strings along the way. Your right hand's index finger brushes against the strings and then the banjo head underneath the strings, and combined with your thumb catching the uppermost string, you get the trademark rhythmic sound of clawhammer.

List of All Clawhammer Banjo Classes (6 found)

Introduction to the Banjo

Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Tuesday with Matt Brown

For anyone attracted to the 5-string banjo but not sure which style to try first, this is for you!

21st Century Banjo Repertoire

Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Tuesday with Matt Brown

Learn to play some of your favorite contemporary songs on the banjo!

Clawhammer Banjo 1

Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Tuesday with Dan Mulvihill

Begin by using chords to strum simple songs with a technique known as frailing.

Clawhammer Banjo 2

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Thursday with Steve Rosen

Go beyond the basics with Clawhammer techniques such as drop-thumbing, while playing more challenging songs and fiddle tunes.

Clawhammer Banjo 3

Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Tuesday or Thursday with Steve Rosen or Dan Mulvihill

Develop stronger left and right hand techniques in frailing and drop-thumb using hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides.

Clawhammer Banjo's World of Folk & Blues

Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $202 ($192 members)

Monday with Michael Miles

Broaden your banjo repertoire as you explore different music each session from around the world and the U.S.

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000