Watch the Pete Seeger Plus online guitar lesson by Matthieu Brandt from Modern Mountain Banjo: Clawhammer & Up-Picking
In this lesson, we're going to explore the mix of regular "bum ditty" patterns with up picking, often referred to as Pete Seeger Style. Adding double thumbing and drop thumbing to this already potent mix will get you almost unlimited possibilities for melodies and grooves.
Clawhammer "bum ditty" playing has certain limitations because of the structure of the banjo, with the short pedal string played on the off-beats. No matter what tuning your banjo is in, it makes certain melodies very hard to play. Adding drop thumbing, double thumbing, open string pull-offs and hammer-ons only gets you so far. Adding Pete Seeger style up picking is like opening up a huge new toolbox with almost endless melodic options while you keep your basic groove going. You literally don't have to skip a beat.