bradplay.jpgHere's the stuff you are probably hunting for on my site! You will find some basic clawhammer tutorials, tabs of songs I have recorded and posted online, and various other files that might be of interest.

A bit of information you need to know about the files available here.

1. In order to view or play the ".tef" files, you will need to have at least the free TEFViewer: .

2. All files are licensed under a Creative Commons license and, therefore, cannot be used for commercial purposes. More information on Creative Commons can be found on the Creative Commons webpage.

Quick Jumps:   Tabs  More Good Stuff


First come the tabs I've worked out for some of the music I do. These arrangements are my own work and are available under Creative Commons License for your personal use, sharing, and/or adapting for non-commercial use.
If a tab appears to load strangely, you will need to right-click and select the "save as" option in your viewer. I haven't been able to figure out why some work properly and some don't.

Angelina Baker(A)

This tune is usually done in double D tuning on the banjo, but there was some discussion on playing it out of standard A tuning, so I worked up this version.
I seem to have turned it into a crooked and modal tune. Not exactly sure how that came about.


Arkansas Traveler

A well-known tune that you don't hear as often as you should. I have tabbed two variations: the first time through is a very simple bum-ditty style with no embellishments. The second time through, I added drop- and double-thumb, hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides to add some variety. A nice simple tune for beginning clawhammer players, with lots of room for more advanced players to work with. Done in the key of G with standard G tuning (gDGBD).


Barlow Knife

A simple tab for a pretty little tune. Use it as a guide, add your own variations. This is one of those tunes I can sit on the patio and play all day. A very basic tab for Clawhammer Banjo in standard G tuning.


Child #2

Popularly known as "Scarborough Fair," and/or "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme." Sometimes called "Impossiblilites" due to the tasks imposed by both sides. A very basic tab for Clawhammer Banjo.

no mp3

Child #74

Fair Margaret and Sweet William. This ballad has many similarities to the better-known "Barbara Allen." This is a very simple guitar tab showing the melody line and chords I used. Guitar.


Danville Girl

My version, which you can hear on my music page. Clawhammer Banjo in standard G.


Follow the Drinking Gourd

I learned this song back in the 60's on guitar, then forgot it through the years. Recently it reintroduced itself, so I did it in Am on clawhammer banjo. A very simple backup arrangement. Banjo tuned to G minor (gDGA#D) capoed 2 frets to A minor.


God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

I received an email asking if I had my clawhammer version of this Christmas Carol tabbed.  Well, I do now, and here it is.

Banjo tuned to gDGCD (Mountain Minor/G modal).


Jay Gould's Daughter

My version of an old railroad song. It is sometimes done as "Casey Jones." I derived my version from one done by Pete Seeger.
Clawhammer Banjo in standard G.

no mp3

Jingle Bells

Tab for my arrangement on Clawhammer Banjo. Standard G tuning


John Henry (Steel Driving Man)

Here's my version for Clawhammer Banjo in double-C tuning.


Lizard on the Garden Wall

This is a tune I came up with while watching a lizard and a Cardinal battle it out on the wall in my back yard.



A Civil War era fiddle tune. I am attempting to learn it on fiddle, but worked out this clawhammer banjo tab to play behind the fiddle. Very basic in standard G tuning.

no mp3

Pusch Ridge

I wrote this on my patio looking at the ridge from my back yard.


Pretty Polly

A very basic clawhammer version in Mountain Minor tuning (gDGCD).

no mp3

Rolling Mills(C)
Rolling Mills (Fretless)

Two different tabs are here. The first is in Double C tuning, the way I first figured it out. The second tab is in the alternate tuning of f#DEAD and was tabbed sort of like I play it on my fretless banjo. The song is, as far as I know, very scarce, and the only source I have is George Landers on the "High Atmosphere" CD.

mp3 (fretless)

Skip to my Lou

Good basic Clawhammer banjo stroke practice. This is the tune I used in my "Basic Clawhammer Stroke) videos (below). Standard G tuning.

no mp3

Sloop John B

This is the tune made popular by the Beachboys back in the 60s. I have used an unusual source for my version. Banjo in Standard G tuning.


Soldier's Joy

I learned this is G, but later worked out an arrangement in D that works with my fiddle arrangement of this old tune.

no mp3

Spotted Pony

A pretty little tune in the key of D (banjo tuned to Double C and capoed 2 frets to D). This is close to how I play the tune, but not an exact transcript of the recording.


The Fox

An old song I learned as a child, it is one of the first songs I figured out on my own on Clawhammer Banjo. Standard G tuning.


This Old Man

The popular children's counting song. Good Double-thumb practice piece. Clawhammer Banjo in standard G.

no mp3

Walking Boss(pdf)

I have always liked this song ever since I heard my brother sing and play it. Finally got around to figuring out a basic tab version. However, this tab is provided by an on-line acquaintance who has let me post it here. The mp3 here is curtesy of my brother.


Worried Man Blues

As heard on my music page. Clawhammer Banjo in standard G.


More Good Stuff  (back to top)

This next section contains some tutorial files and videos to aid in learning basic Clawhammer banjo.

Clearhead Video

Here is a link to a short video from Donald Zepp of Zepp Country Music.This is shot through the clear head of a banjo and shows the clawhammer stroke as done by Zepp from a seldom-seen angle. (Notice he uses his middle finger, and seems to get more finger movement than I do.)

CH Clearhead

Basic Clawhammer Tutorial

A short explanation of how to perform the basic clawhammer stroke on the 5-string banjo. The tune used for this tutorial is "Skip To My Lou," and the tab is available above in the "Tabs" section.


Download the Tutorial

This is a ZIP file containing both of my tutorial videos (which you can view on my music page), the tutorial .txt file, and both the .pdf and .tef tabs for "Skip To My Lou."

Double Thumb Practice

After you have worked your way through the above lesson and feel comfortable doing the basic clawhammer "Bum Ditty," look at this next tab. This is the old children's counting song "This Old Man," or "Knick Knack Paddy Whack." The style of the song is the "Double Thumb." This lick allows you to cut 1/4 notes in half, and make the song sound faster than it is. To perform this lick, you strike the first finger stroke as usual, then follow it on the "&" count with a thumb pluck of the 5th string. The fingering for the right hand is shown under the tab.


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updated 2022/02/16