David's Instruments
Old Time Banjo
I Got A Bullfrog
Activity and Study Guide
How To Play the Spoons
How to Play the Jaw Harp
"The Roots of Mountain Music"
Music Mentors and Friends


Let's start by holding the bottom spoon. Put it between your pointer finger and your middle finger. Wrap your middle finger around the back of the spoon and press the edge of it against your palm. All you are trying to do here is to get a good grip on the back of the spoon. Let the handle of the spoon rest on the middle joint of the middle finger...just as it is in the photo.

Now, hold the top spoon between your thumb and your first finger. It should go across the middle bone of your pointer finger...as in the photo. The pointer finger wraps around the back of the spoon and holds it tightly against your palm (just like your middle finger is doing with bottom spoon). The thumb should press down on top giving you a firm grip.

The bottoms of the spoon bowls should be back to back. Basically, you're making a fist around the spoons to hold them tightly in your hand...Don't let go when you start to play!

There should be a space of about a half an inch between the bottoms of the spoons so that when you hit down on your leg they will click together. Put your opposite hand, palm down about seven inches above your leg. Start playing by hitting your spoons down on your leg and up on your palm. Go back and forth, hitting down on your leg and up on your hand, getting a click going each direction. Put a slight accent on the 2 and 4 beats by hitting a little harder on those beats.

rollTo make a roll, spread the fingers of the opposite hand wide apart and make them rigid. Let the spoons bounce down across each rigid finger in a rapid motion letting the last beat hit on your leg. Use the roll as an occasional flourish, always going back to the basic rhythm.

Remember, if you are having trouble keeping the spoons in line, you are probably not holding them firmly. Keep your index and middle fingers pressed against the edge of the spoons and pressed tightly against your palm. HAVE FUN!!

Learn more about playing spoons, bones, hambone and washboard with David's Folk Rhythms Video

  About David | Music | Storytelling | Store
Schedule | Photos | David's Links | What's New