Ha, I’m the opposite. I couldn’t get into it with banjo but am really enjoying it on ukulele. I have about 5 clawhammer songs that I’m practicing with regularity now and its really fun.I didn’t care for it with a ukulele, but it’s really good with a 5 string banjo.
Mine have been too weak for clawhammer since my thirties, so I've been getting acrylic nails on three of my right hand fingers for a few decades now.Well, to each his own, I guess. Actually, I‘m not very much into ukes. I mostly use mine to accompany my singing. I really prefer my mandolins and banjos, but I play the banjos two fingered now. My fingernails got too old and weak for clawhammer.
This is not my song. It was written by a school teacher, George W. Johnson, from Mount Hope, Ontario,in 1864, as a poem for his wife Maggie. It was later put to music by James Butterfield, but, unfortunately Maggie Johnson never got to hear it as a song, since she lost her battle with consumption (TB) before it was put to music.Nice arrangement! Love the melody line. Did y’all ever pen lyrics?
I've been meaning to reply to your question, but I either kept forgetting, or was too lazy at the time (I mean, there is a lot of typing, thought, and effort involved). Mine is a two-part answer. The first part is to learn the clawhammer technique, and there's an abundance of help available for achieving that. I'll give you thoughts on my technique/style for your consideration. The second part is to adapt the technique to any song available, from any source.Is there a resource on UU for clawhammer songs particularly, or a song library? Looking for inspiration on clawhammer style songs, such as old-time or Celtic pieces.
every time my thumb releases the high g string, and see it vibrating. The low volume is a combination of my gentle technique, a small 8" banjo head, and a pinhole microphone. It sounds pleasing to me in-person.
If I was to play Wildwood Flower Scruggs bluegrass style, I'd play it differently, for conservation of movement. You'll be able to hear all notes, because they are being plucked. I'm just playing a forward roll, nothing fancy. However, you'll recognize clawhammer as being the laid-back style of play. Also, since we're discussing clawhammer, I'll just play a brief sample.
If I was to doodle Wildwood Flower fingerstyle on ukulele, I'd play it with closed chord positions, to give me more options.
So, what I'm saying is to arrange any song as single notes, arrange those notes in a way that you can strike them with your claw, and play them with a clawhammer technique. I hope this helps.