Hammer-Claw Finger-Picking Technique

Hammer-claw finger-picking is a technique used in country, jazz and sometimes blues music where the guitarist plays with their fingers rather than a pick. In this style your thumb is the “hammer” and your fingers are the “claw”. Your “hammer” is intended to play the bass strings, (E, A and sometimes D), and replicate the job of a bass guitar, while your “claw” plays the chords on the higher strings. The really cool thing about this technique is it can replicate more than one instrument, which can thicken-out a solo performance remarkably.

Below are the charts for the 4 chords you’ll need. Although other notes are used between these chords, these are the shapes you’ll be holding down the majority of the time.

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Here is the tab and notation, broken up into each figure as discussed in the video.

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Backing track.