Clawhammer Banjo for Modern Folk
Clawhammer Banjo for Modern Folk Music with David Brooks
The banjo, called America’s instrument, was first played in a downstroke style called clawhammer in minstrelsy and stringbands in the 1800s. Today, clawhammer banjo has found renewed popularity with today’s singers and songwriters. This course will explore the roles of clawhammer banjo in today’s music.
Enrollees will help select the artists and songs to be covered. Some artists incorporate banjo as a signature detail in their songs: Sarah Jarosz, Gillian Welch, Rhiannon Giddens, Dirk Powell, the Wailin Jennys, etc. Others perform music that is well suited for banjo: Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, John Prine, Leonard Cohen, etc. We will cover 8-10 songs in the 8-week class.
Tab will be provided along with step-by-step instruction. Where available, we will use YouTube videos as well.
Who Should Attend
This course will teach both repertoire and technique and is intended for intermediate students. Experienced beginners are welcome as well. Students should have a basic right-hand clawhammer stroke and the ability to change chords easily in Open G tuning. Several banjo tunings may be used in the class, but students need not know all of these tunings prior to the class:
- open G (gDGBD)
- double-C (gCGCD)
- sawmill (gDGCD)
Open to everyone ages, 11 and up.