The History Of The Clawhammer Banjo

If you’ve ever seen a bluegrass music band conduct, you may have seen that the banjo player is often the 1 standing away from aside, smiling and bobbing their brain together with the tunes. What you might not know is the fact there’s a good reason for this—the banjo is performed employing a strategy called clawhammer.

Clawhammer banjo is actually a design of taking part in that uses the back of the hand (hence the term “claw”) to affect the strings within a downwards movement. This generates a “bouncing” noise that gives clawhammer banjo its exclusive sound. This style of taking part in was introduced to America by Irish immigrants within the mid-19th century and rapidly spread across the nation.

The trend in regards to this

The popularity of clawhammer banjo peaked during the early 20th century since it grew to become commonly used in minstrel displays and vaudeville acts. Even so, by the middle of the century, clawhammer banjo had started to decline in recognition as other genres of music, like rock and roll, had taken within the American music panorama.

Despite its decline in acceptance, clawhammer banjo never truly went apart. In recent years, we have seen a resurgence in fascination with traditional American music, culminating in a new technology of music artists and bands that are retaining living the appears to be with their forebears. If you’ve experienced a bluegrass group execute, chances are that they had a clawhammer banjo participant somewhere onstage—smiling and bobbing their head in addition to the audio.


The clawhammer design of banjo taking part in has beginnings that go as far back to 19th-century Ireland. It liked a time period of acceptance in the us in the early twentieth century before falling out of prefer as other genres took around.

In recent years, even so, we have seen a restored curiosity about standard American songs, causing a new era of clawhammer vs bluegrass gamers who happen to be trying to keep this style of audio living.