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 Playing Advice: All Other Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Scruggshammer fingerpicks


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/340609

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  15:57:52


Hel-lo -lo -lo -lo -lo....Is there anybody out there?



I like to play Scruggs style picking mainly, but I also like to play clawhammer. I don't like to pick three fingers without finger-picks. I would love to switch between the two styles without having to put on and take off my finger-picks all the time. And I think clawhammer would sound cool with some metal picks. Anyone ever heard of such things? One pick for both styles? Remember this is the All Other Styles forum. Thanks

deestexas - Posted - 03/06/2018:  16:18:07


The great Don Stover would do both in a song. Look for his work.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  16:22:36


Thanks deestexas, great Idea. I also heard Steve Martin does it...I can't figure out how to do it with my trusty ol' Dunlops. But, I'll look into Don Stover's picking.

deestexas - Posted - 03/06/2018:  16:33:15


Lot of stuff in archives:   here's one:  banjohangout.org/archive/246874

John Gribble - Posted - 03/06/2018:  16:45:05


I clawhammer with a reversed metal fingerpick, the blade covering the nail. If you're thinking of changing styles mid-song, that probably wouldn't work for you. But a lot of people use picks of one sort or another in clawhammer.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  16:52:55


Yes John Gribble, I was hoping to switch styles midstream. Hopefully someone has invented a pick for this. I may have to practice using my ring finger or find some other technique to mimic Clawhammer. I'm not willing to give up my picks, but I will try new ones.

jbalch - Posted - 03/06/2018:  18:05:57


quote:

Originally posted by Mooooo

Yes John Gribble, I was hoping to switch styles midstream. Hopefully someone has invented a pick for this. I may have to practice using my ring finger or find some other technique to mimic Clawhammer. I'm not willing to give up my picks, but I will try new ones.






Try practicing with your ring finger.  No reason you can't learn to get a very decent clawhammer sound that way.



I actually think the thumb (and thumbpick) presents a much bigger challenge than using your ring finger. 



 

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  18:18:18


Yeah, I see what you mean jbalch, I have been trying different techniques and that thumbpick is really loud and makes a huge thud sound on the head. Perhaps with practice my ring finger can get louder and I can control my thumb volume and aim. I turned the picks around on my index and middle fingers and that evens out the sound a bit. I have also had some success with just playing clawhammer with my finger picks as they are in Scruggs style, but it's going to take a lot of practice as well.

beegee - Posted - 03/06/2018:  18:42:37


I do both, using the nail of my ring finger for the downstroke and thumbpick on the thumb. I extend the 1st & 2nd horizontally above the strings.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  18:49:25


beegee I'm having a problem getting volume out of the ring finger and it doesn't want to stay tight like my index does.

doryman - Posted - 03/06/2018:  18:58:13


I will switch mid-song, but I take the opposite approach and just play a few bluegrass licks without picks. One of my favorite players on this forum, Lew Hendrix, appears to throw in some sans-pics bluegrass licks with his playing too.

gtani7 - Posted - 03/06/2018:  19:07:37


Yes, after trying Propik fingertones and putting fingerpicks on fingers2-3 or 2-3-4, i spotted these: clawjam.com/t/finger-picks

But i modify all my picks and I haven't had time to mess around with them. They're a little quieter but they work well CH wise

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  19:30:02


gtani7, that looks like it will be the perfect pick for this. I an going to check them out. Did you get the thumb pick as well? If so, how is it? I imagine that getting used to these picks will take some time, but I am definitely interested in them. Thanks

Fathand - Posted - 03/06/2018:  20:12:55


quote:

Originally posted by Mooooo

beegee I'm having a problem getting volume out of the ring finger and it doesn't want to stay tight like my index does.






Your ring finger probably works as good as your index did the first time you used it. You will have to develop muscles and coordination in the new finger like you did the original ones.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  20:16:05


I bet you're right Rick, I am gonna work on it.

ClawJam - Posted - 03/06/2018:  20:44:02


Mooooo Hey Mike. gtani7 tagged me on this (thank you Gene) and he just ordered a set from me. I haven't been pushing these too aggressively as i can only hand make so many, and it seems that most folks aren't that interested in combining styles or deviating from the norms of the prescribed styles, and I get that....these picks are definitely NOT for everyone....but your title of "scruggshammer picks" cracked me up....and your description of what you're looking to do pretty much sums up my picks in a nutshell. I'm actually finishing up a new batch tonight....shoot me an email and I'm happy to answer any questions.
robb@clawjam.com

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  20:55:13


ClawJam Thanks Robb, your picks look like just the thing I am after. I will send any questions I may have to the link you have provided. I was looking at your products page and was hoping for a video, but i see you are in the process of adding one. Hopefully more people will be interested in these. To me, they seem like some genius solution for anyone who wants to play both at the same time.
You are welcome to use Scruggshammer, or maybe you can save that name for when I become really famous for picking both styles with your picks. But then, i will take a pair of sterling silver ones. I'll be in contact.


Edited by - Mooooo on 03/06/2018 20:56:02

ClawJam - Posted - 03/06/2018:  21:10:09


Thanks Mooooo . There is some video on the ClawJam.com site under "videos/tutorials" and also some here on the hangout....but am trying to get something better together....I'm just not that good yet!
Nothing genius about it at all, but thanks.....just seemed logical to me. And I actually waited 2 years to release them because I couldn't play well enough to demonstrate them....still can't!! Sent picks to many "famous" instructors who seemingly are interested in both styles so they would hopefully demonstrate, possibly endorse ....but haven't heard anything back....so I'd be happy to have you as my first famous picker!
Talk to you soon.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/06/2018:  21:28:30


Can't wait to become famous. Thanks again.

John Gribble - Posted - 03/07/2018:  05:20:49


It just occurred to me you can do what I did back when starting out. My teacher, a Bluegrasser, put picks on me, then started me through the Pete Seeger book with the "basic strum," now called up-picking. I picked up with the index, brushed down with the back of my ring finger, and hit the fifth string with my thumbpick. In other words, bum-ditty. Rhythmically, all the moves of clawhammer are available, including double-thumbing the fifth string and drop-thumb, but in this style you're now playing index-lead two finger. 

Mooooo - Posted - 03/07/2018:  20:40:06


I am practicing using my ring finger for the down stroke and the brush John Gribble. My right hand ring finger is very wimpy compared to all of the other fingers though. That's the one I really don't use very often on its own. I will continue to practice until I can afford the picks that Robb is selling. I think those picks are exactly what I am looking for. I have heard his video and they sound as good as any picks.

hokelore - Posted - 03/08/2018:  04:32:03


What about those wire picks that sitar players use? Those are designed for a back and forth motion, so I'd think they would work.

m ellis allen - Posted - 03/08/2018:  07:40:59


I've been playing around with a similar style for a bit now, only I'm playing on a plectrum banjo. I'm still using finger and thumb picks to play three finger/ two finger style, but I also throw in some clawhammer-like playing as well as strumming. I've found a short modified thumbpick from propik ( the guitar style derilin one) works nice to not be too loud. I had looked at clawjams picks before but forgot to follow up on them. Thank you for bringing up this topic, and reminding me of them.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/08/2018:  09:01:23


m ellis allen, you are using a thumb-pick are you using any fingerpicks? I would like to have the tone and volume of metal fingerpicks.

hokelore, I will look into the sitar picks, hopefully they have some at the local acoustic music shop. If I had money to throw around, I would just order them because it seems they might work well, but I don't.

Thanks for the suggestions guys

m ellis allen - Posted - 03/08/2018:  09:18:30


@Mooooo yes I am also using finger picks, I've been using my middle finger with the pick turned backwards for the clawhammer-like playing, but it's not up to par, and it's impossible to switch mid playing. During those times I just stick to a two finger with claw style attempt.

Most of my current playing tends to more downstroke strum through a chord with the thumb, and Melody and emphasis of notes with up picking fingers.

I just ordered a clawjam pick to see where that can take me.


Edited by - m ellis allen on 03/08/2018 09:19:24

Mooooo - Posted - 03/08/2018:  09:36:00


quote:

Originally posted by m ellis allen

@Mooooo yes I am also using finger picks, I've been using my middle finger with the pick turned backwards for the clawhammer-like playing, but it's not up to par, and it's impossible to switch mid playing. During those times I just stick to a two finger with claw style attempt.



Most of my current playing tends to more downstroke strum through a chord with the thumb, and Melody and emphasis of notes with up picking fingers.



I just ordered a clawjam pick to see where that can take me.






That's great that you are going to try these picks out. I am sure there will be some getting used to and everything won't change overnight, but they seem like great picks and useful too. Good luck with them.

Lew H - Posted - 03/09/2018:  08:30:12


I thing JanetB here on BHO use Alaska picks for clawhammer. I use them for fingerpicking guitar and dobro. They clip around your finger with a bit of your nail sticking through a slot, and by this simulate nail extensions, or harder nails to pick with. The Fred Kelly Freedom picks are somewhat like this, but without the slot for your nail. If you can use your nails to pick 3-finger banjo, either of these might give a bit more volume. I found the FKF pick to be too loud for my clawhammer picking, but I pick kind of hard.

JanetB - Posted - 03/09/2018:  08:57:21


Lew above is right.  I use an Alaska plastic pick if my nail is broken or if it's making a nicer tone for recording.  You can use fine sandpaper to really smooth the pick.  I know Earl Scruggs himself used a file to work on his metal picks--he knew the tone is definitely affected.  Usually I trim the Alaska pick by cutting off the first section, then smoothing the edge.  It fits right over my nail and then I forget it's even there.  Highly recommended!


Mooooo - Posted - 03/09/2018:  09:17:21


Thanks Lew H (can't tag you for some reason) and JanetB. I have tried the Fred Kelly Picks and they really dig in to my cuticle, plus the tone from a plastic pick is not what I am looking for when I up-pick. The Alaska picks look more comfortable in the cuticle area but seem like they are pinching the fingerprint area of your finger, another problem that I have with the Fred Kelly picks. Do you find it this way too? Maybe you have gotten used to this and it doesn't bother you any more.

JanetB - Posted - 03/09/2018:  10:45:16


<blockquote id="quote">quote:

<hr height="1" id="quote" noshade="noshade" /><i>Originally posted by <a href="/myhangout/home.asp?id=113457" id="newtag-113457">Mooooo</a></i>



<p>Thanks Lew H (can't tag you for some reason) and <a href="/myhangout/home.asp?ID=40352" id="taglink">JanetB</a>. I have tried the Fred Kelly Picks and they really dig in to my cuticle, plus the tone from a plastic pick The Alaska picks look more comfortable in the cuticle area but seem like they are pinching the fingerprint area of your finger, another problem that I have with the Fred Kelly picks. Do you find it this way too? Maybe you have gotten used to this and it doesn't bother you any more.</p>



<hr height="1" id="quote" noshade="noshade" /></blockquote>



<p>The Alaska picks come in sizes. I use a large. I often adjust the tightness of a new pick by putting it on the round handle of a wooden spoon and placing it in very hot water. I can adjust the size. If it’s too tight it does bother me, but I get them all adjusted just right. </p>


Edited by - JanetB on 03/09/2018 10:46:12

Mooooo - Posted - 03/09/2018:  10:46:48


Thanks Janet. I guess it's similar to any plastic thumb pick in that regard.

Lew H - Posted - 03/09/2018:  11:59:58


When I tried the Fred Kelly picks, I found them to be very uncomfortable. I used a small file (a good nail file would work) to round the corners where the pick grasps my finger. That helped some--but they still played too loud.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/11/2018:  10:39:15


If only they were a bit bigger and didn't fit exactly where my cuticle is, I would try something. As it is, every time I pick, it puts pressure on my cuticle and pushes it into the skin behind it and tries to make its way underneath like the Chinese Bamboo Torture.

Lew H - Posted - 03/11/2018:  12:59:42


Mooooo That's what happened for me too. I think I rounded of the edges toward my nail and finger with a needle file so that the sharp edge of the pick wasn't grabbing the skin quite as much. Still didn't help a lot though. I bought two sizes. One seemed to small, the other too big.

Mooooo - Posted - 03/11/2018:  13:24:38


quote:

Originally posted by Lew H

Mooooo That's what happened for me too. I think I rounded of the edges toward my nail and finger with a needle file so that the sharp edge of the pick wasn't grabbing the skin quite as much. Still didn't help a lot though. I bought two sizes. One seemed to small, the other too big.






I am going to try to file them up a bit, since I don't use them, it won't be such a great loss if I ruin them. But, I am going to hope for the best. Still, I think I am going to save up for the Clawjammers.

jon - Posted - 05/29/2018:  13:07:38


I have been working on an “all style” approach for some time- Scruggs/Claw/Reno, using a Blue Chip thumb pick for the single string picking, it works well except it’s clumsy in the change over. I called it Crosspicking but I found out that is a mando style of picking (McReynolds).
I would like to hear a review of the Clawjam product.
Single string picking would work great if it could be done with the index finger.

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