Workshops and Classes

Ken offers classes and workshops in banjo and guitar throughout the year. For details, see Ken’s Itinerary page.

Join Ken on Zoom for his live Clawhammer Clinic banjo workshop series

$25 for each 90 minute Zoom workshop. Click a topic title below to learn more and sign up

Clawhammer Clinic Encore Collection

In case you missed one, we are offering unlimited GoogleDrive access to videos of Ken’s past Clawhammer Clinic workshops, complete with printable tab documentation for all featured tunes, exercises and musical illustrations.

Special Deal.

Order any three topics through this website, and get a fourth title free. Simply email Ken with the name of your fourth topic, and he’ll send you all four at once.

~  THE CLAWHAMMER CLINIC COLLECTION: TOPICS  BY CATEGORY~

Clawhammer Technique

  • Syncopation in Clawhammer
  • Playing Up the Neck
  • Pull-Offs & Alternate-String Pull-Offs
  • Drop-Thumbing & Double-Thumbing in Clawhammer: a Complete Guide
  • Beyond the “Galax Lick”: the Arpeggio Technique in Clawhammer
  • Triplets & Grace Notes in Clawhammer: How to Obtain Them & Use Them in Tunes
  • The Clawhammer “Roll” Technique in the “The Cuckoo” & Beyond
  • Syncopated Double-Thumbing Patterns (& How to Use Them)
  • Melodic Fingering Shapes in Open G-Tuning (Frets 1 thru 9)
  • Melodic Fingering Shapes in Double C and G-Modal Tunings (Frets 1 thru 10)
  • Up-the-Neck “Melodic” Fingering Forms That Feature 5th-String Fretting
  • “Keith”-Picking: Adapting the Principles of Melodic Bluegrass to Clawhammer
  • Demystifying “Crooked” Tunes in Old-Time Music
  • Adapting Syncopated Rhythms to Clawhammer

Kinds of Tunes

  • Playing Jigs (& other 6/8 Time Tunes) in Clawhammer
  • Playing Waltzes (& other 3/4 Time Tunes) in Clawhammer
  • Celtic & Canadian Reels, Clawhammer Style
  • Canadian Jigs (from Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island), Clawhammer Style
  • Strathspeys and Marches, Clawhammer Style
  • Playing Celtic Reels with Taste & Authority, Clawhammer Style
  • Playing Hornpipes in “Hornpipe Style” on Clawhammer Banjo
  • Those Happy-Go-Lucky Canadian Jigs, Clawhammer Style

Arranging, Backup, & Variations

  • Creating Variations & Breaks in Clawhammer
  • Arranging a Song or Simple Melody for Performance, Clawhammer Style
  • Creating Variations via Scale Formulas on Clawhammer Banjo
  • Arranging Iconic Songs for Clawhammer
  • Clawhammer Backup: Concepts & Techniques

Chords & Harmonies, Keys, Scales & Tunings

  • Playing “Cross-Tuning” in Clawhammer: Playing In One Key When the Banjo Is in a Tuning Designed for a Different Key
  • Harmonized Scales: Using 3rds & 6ths to Spice Up Your Clawhammer Arrangements
  • Playing in the Key of D from Open G Tuning (gDGBD)
  • Movable Major & Minor Chord Shapes in Double-C / Double-D Tuning
  • Modes & Pentatonics in Old-Time Music
  • Playing in C minor & “C-Modal” in Double C Tuning

Repertoire

  • Some Great Modal Tunes from West Virginia Fiddler Henry Reed
  • Classic Bluegrass Fiddle Tunes, Played Note-for Note in Clawhammer Style
  • Fiddle Tunes with a Ragtime Flavor
  • Some Great Old-Time Tunes in D from West Virginia & Eastern Kentucky for Clawhammer

Vintage Clawhammer

  • Techniques of the Great 20th Century Roots Clawhammer Banjoists
  • The Real Round Peak: Learn Tune Versions by Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham & Others
  • The Clawhammer Style of Kyle Creed: Iconic Round Peak Banjoist

Private Banjo and Guitar Lessons in person or via Skype or Zoom

Ken has been teaching private students to play clawhammer banjo and fingerstyle guitar since the mid-1970s (when he started, Gerald Ford was president!!). He offers a highly systematic approach, which he can instantly modify to adapt to the needs of each individual student. Click for contact information.

Over the Internet

Until we’re out of the pandemic woods, Ken will be teaching entirely over the internet, and has grown increasingly impressed at how well suited video conferencing “apps” such as Skype and Zoom are for teaching fretted-instrument skills.

In-Person Teaching

Ken also teaches in person lessons from his home in West Roxbury, Mass. Contact Ken by phone or email about scheduling and other arrangements. “West Rox” is in the southwestern corner of Boston, Massachusetts. For the dedicated student, it’s also within practical driving range of much of southern and eastern New England.

Ken now teaches frequently over the internet via the Skype program. To set up a lesson, simply contact him via phone or email.