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Nine Pound Hammer

Updated: Sep 30, 2018

Nine Pound Hammer has been recorded by just about every country and bluegrass artist imaginable. The earliest memories I have of this song were played by Merle Travis, followed by Chet Atkins and too many others to mention here. Early in my teenage years I started listening to bluegrass and heard it recorded by Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs. Jim and Jesse McReynolds.

Alan Shelton always played an unforgettable version with his wonderful bounce. Alan Munde played a great version with an up the neck break as I remember. Sonny Osborne added to the mic with his reliably brilliant arrangement of this tune.

Many of today’s players are having tons of fun with this song. A google search would probably reveal hundred of other banjo players which always include Nine Pound Hammer in their

list of songs to play and sing— there’s just something about this fun little tune. I conjured up this version based on Earl Scruggs’ and Allen Shelton’s playing.

I’d rate my arrangement of this tune at intermediate level.

Have fun with this old chestnut…

Banjo NewsLetter, November 2012

Jack Baker.


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