How to Choose Between Three Finger Style and Clawhammer Banjo

How to Choose Between Three Finger Style and Clawhammer Banjo

In bluegrass banjo, the two main primary enjoying variations: 3-finger style and clawhammer style on the list of styles of banjo playing.

3-finger design will be the more prevalent of these two types and is seen as a its utilization of rolls–some quick eighth information played out with the right-hand fingertips (directory, middle, band) that produce a effervescent or moving seem. This type is well-suited for enjoying fast-paced bluegrass songs.

Clawhammer design is more conventional and was actually the initial way the banjo was played before 3-finger fashion emerged. In clawhammer type, your right hand nails (not hands and fingers!) are employed to hit the strings inside an up-picking movements whilst your left-hand provides the melody. This type is well-best for slower tunes or individuals with a much more calm really feel.

Given that we’ve covered the fundamentals of each design, let’s consider a closer inspection at how you can perform 3-finger type.

About three-Finger Rolls: The Property Prohibit of three-Finger Design Banjo

If you would like engage in 3-finger design bluegrass banjo, figuring out how to enjoy a few-finger rolls is crucial. rolls are made up of some eighth remarks (played on surpasses 2, 3, 4, and 1) and therefore are performed with your right hand hands (directory/midst/engagement ring). When these notes are played out in speedy succession, they create a “going” seem–hence their label!

Here’s how you can perform a fundamental a few-finger roll…

1. Make use of right-hand list finger to pluck the string on surpass 2.

2. On defeat 3, make use of midst finger to pluck the string underneath the 1 you simply plucked with your list finger.

3. On overcome 4, make use of band finger to pluck the string underneath the one particular you only plucked along with your midsection finger.

4. Lastly, on defeat 1, make use of right hand list finger to pluck the string underneath the a single you just plucked with your ring finger–and after that start back again at step 1!

Training this roll slowly in the beginning till you get more comfortable with the timing and motion then try out collecting the tempo before you can play it at whole pace.


Learning to play bluegrass banjo doesn’t have to be intimidating–we hope this beginner’s information indicates you only how simple it could be! Whether or not you opt to learn 3-finger type or clawhammer design (or equally!), we desire you good luck on your music quest.