Lick of the Day #2

lick of the day #2

Today’s lick is a lot of fun. We are playing the basic frailing strum and adding a phantom hammer.

I tend to play this lick crisply. Not so fast that it all becomes a blur, but quick enough to keep things light and snappy.

We start by playing a basic frailing strum. As we strike the third string we play a phantom hammer on the third string at the second fret. We keep this pattern going as we move to a C chord in the second measure.

The count for both measures is 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.

The timing and volume of the phantom hammer is essential to making this lick work. You should be able to get almost as much volume from the phantom hammer as you do with the strike – and making that happen is a blend of technique and setup.

Technique: Hammer the string with enough force to make the string vibrate from the fret to the bridge and maintain constant pressure to keep the string ringing. This takes practice.

Setup: Make sure your banjo is strung with light gauge strings, check head tension and don’t stuff your pot.

Beyond the tab, I like to play with my dynamics on this lick by playing the strike and phantom hammer loudly and cutting back on the volume for the strum.

Lick Ingredients

  • The basic frailing strum
  • The C chord
  • Phantom hammers
  • Dynamics

Where else can you apply one or more of these techniques?

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