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Drop Thumbing

In the Level 1 and Level 2 arrangements the thumb always plays the 5th string, and only the 5th string. The Level 3 arrangements are not that much different than the Level 2 arrangements except for the addition of the drop thumbing technique. Sometimes there are notes that you are just not able to get to unless you go down and play the string with your thumb. In addition, this technique tends to add some nice variety to the sound of the clawhammer strum. It may seem difficult at first, but just like the bum-ditty it becomes a simple movement once it is mastered.

Practice the exercise below until you get a feel for it, and then practice any measures containing drop thumbing in the Level 3 songs. Note that below there is a "T" under the tablature in the instances where you need to bring your thumb down. The "T" is not on the regular tablatures, but the pattern is the same so the notes that need to be played with your thumb should be obvious with a little practice.

Most of the time your thumb will go to the 2nd string just as in the example above, but there are times that you will also play the 3rd and 4th strings with your thumb.