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Thread: Clawhammer Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    13

    Default Clawhammer Question

    Hello, I’ve recently started to learn the very basics of Clawhammer Ukulele and have a question.

    When I use my index finger to play the melody note (the “Bum” in “Bum Ditty”) it’s fine on the C and E strings, but I have a problem on the A string. Right after my index finger hits the A string it continues down and then hits the top of my ukulele, making an audible knock sound. The only way I can avoid hitting the top of my Uke is to make the angle very flat but then I end up barely touching the A string or missing it all together.

    My question is how do I pick the A string without hitting the top of my Uke? Is this just something you get a feel for over time, or am I doing something wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,026

    Default

    Hitting the soundboard is actually part of clawhammer's mojo. It is part of the texture. Enjoy it. Also, if you don't enjoy it, you will become more precise after a while and it will go away (unless you consciously put it back in).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!
    Posts
    1,256

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by McCall View Post
    Hello, I’ve recently started to learn the very basics of Clawhammer Ukulele and have a question.

    My question is how do I pick the A string without hitting the top of my Uke? Is this just something you get a feel for over time, or am I doing something wrong?
    As with so many things, it's all down to practice

    Your "picking angle" shouldn't be so steep as to be able to hit the top of the instrument on the "follow-through", yet it needs to be steep enough to enable you to sound the string. It can be a delicate compromise and can even change with the length of your finger-nail! You might try using your second finger rather than your index finger to see if it makes a difference.

    Do note, although hitting the top of the instrument can be considered to be "part of clawhammer's mojo", the hitting is usually done with the side of the thumb

    Enjoy
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

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