Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Is it me, or do clawhammer players avoid resonators?

I’m not a clawhammer player (yet), but have been playing Scruggs-style for a while. My 5 string has a resonator. Am I correct in inferring that clawhammer pickers prefer banjos without resonators? While 3-finger pickers like them? Not sure if it’s personal preference, old-timey roots, or whatever; just kinda curious.

It does tend to trend in that direction. I think clawhammer sounds a little better with the mellow sound of an open back.

Of course, it’s just a matter of personal preference.


With the notable exception of Leroy Troy, most clawhammer players do prefer open back banjos. I play a fair amount of clawhammer myself, and all I have is resonator banjos, and it sounds fine, but I would rather have a banjo specifically for that, with an open back and scooped fretboard. If you’re playing by yourself though, it makes no difference either way

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Thanks, fellas.