Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Cripple Creek– Hammer-Ons

https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/cripple-creek-hammer-ons-banjo

Same ol’ tune, different techniques…we’re gonna make sure we’re not up Cripple Creek without a hammer.

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For the hammer-ons, should we be really hitting that hammer hard? I feel like I can’t hear it that well, or at least as well enough as when Ben plays it.

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No, it shouldn’t be really hard. It just needs to be decisive :slight_smile:

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In the slide lesson, you slide from the A to the B. In this lesson you hammer on from A to A#/Bb. That dissonance kills me (not in a good way) when you simultaneously pick the B natural on the second string. Is there a reason you do it this way?

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When you get up to speed it sounds good, but it sounds terrible slow. You can’t easily hammer on all the way to the B note, and the dissonance is great done fast.

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Yeah, I started to see that when I re-watched the preview video. Practicing slow… it’s awful.

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One thing people do when they get more proficient, is more the Bb when they hit the B string

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Yes, sounds bad slow, but provides a necessary dissonance when played faster :slight_smile:

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Its like Cripple Creak with hickups!

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:joy::rofl::joy:

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@Battenberg,

Welcome to the forum. I hope to see you post often.

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really enjoying your lessons. When i hammer on from the second string to the third it doesnt sound right, but when i hammer from the second to the forth it sounds ok. If i bend the string it sounds ok but the hammer on from the second to the third yeeech

@rham54,

Good to see you post here.

Perhaps you may want to post a small video as you play the various options so we can hear and observe the options better?

This may help your fellow forum members to comment more easily and accurately.

Hope you take me up on the idea… but do come back often to the forum. :+1:

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Hi Ron welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum. Let me help reassure you that Hammer-ons, Slides and Pull-offs all sound rough when your a beginner. It takes a lot of Practice, Patients and Perseverance before to begin to see and hear any progress. Much of it is down to timing. Looking back at my own experience I think it took me two maybe even three years before I began to see any marked improvement.

Just make sure when you play a 2-3 hammer-on you keep light pressure on the index finger, pick the string with the thumb - WAIT - to give the string time to ring. then hammer on. Make sure you only use light pressure on the middle finger to strike the string then pick the second string with the index. That open B second string is the key to a good sounding hammer on since it reaffirms the second note of the hammer on make sure you keep both fingers on the 3rd string until you pick that open B string.

A hammer on can be a sixteenth note or an eighth note so watch Ben’s lessons closely where he explains the difference. Stick with it Ron, we have all trod the path your on right now. The 2-3 hammer on is the most important one you’ll come across so spend the time to get it right it makes the job all that much easier when you move up the neck.

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A couple of questions. As a move along, my thumb and fingers don’t seem to be getting any faster. I can learn the song and do the song at 110, but at 160 I just can’t do it. Any recommendations for speed improvement? I can only play cripple creek so many times…lol.

A related question…I’m hitting two strings a lot with my thumb pick while I’m playing…with the pick and with the back of the pick where it goes around my thumb. When I angle it enough so that doesn’t happen, the pick is no longer at a 45 degree angle to pick the strings. Any pointers?

Hey Topher! I need video (of a good angle) of your right hand, perhaps from a couple different angles.

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Here you go https://youtu.be/uoRX5GxG8dw
https://youtu.be/MSaHp5v64Dc

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As a beginner myself, I can state without a doubt that you are so close to perfect! Another ten thousand times and we both should have it right. :wink:

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Ok, we have some good info in those videos! You’re using your thumb to pick two strings in a row. Look at the tab and you’ll see little numbers in circles beneath the notes–those are your pick hand fingerings. Watch this: https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/how-to-read-banjo-tab-banjo?from_track=beginner-banjo

Right now you can only go as fast as your thumb can play those 2 strings in a row. Once you get your index finger working you’re going to take off.

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