Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Long Neck Banjo

Join This Group

... for those of us who prefer the tuning and singing differences the LN provides. All questions & help welcome!

253 Members, Created 1/30/2011 -

Administrators: TonyS (owner) , Gary Blanchard , pastorharry , vega long neck

< Back to Home

Picks or No?

From TonyS on 6/3/2022 2:31:16 PM

Which do you use? Pete? Can't get used to the thumb pick...maybe one National ?


kwfolk1 says:
6/3/2022 3:57:55 PM

I might be the odd man out, but I don't use picks when playing banjo. Guitar - yes! Banjo - no! Did once upon a time back in the 60's & early 70's (3-Finger picking). I don't with clawhammer, PS's Basic Strum, Double-thumbing & a bunch of misc. fingerpicking styles I use of 3/4 & 6/8 tunes.

TonyS says:
6/3/2022 4:44:20 PM

Thanks! I feel better now lol!

phdm says:
6/3/2022 4:53:16 PM

I started out on the banjo religiously following Pete’s guidance in his book “How to Play the 5-String Banjo “. In it, he described using three finger pick. The first two, on the index and middle finger, facing inward, and the last one on the ring finger, facing outward, covering the nail. That reverse pic he used for the down stroke on his Basic Strum. He also describe using a thumb pick. But, over the years, I discovered that Pete rarely if ever used a thumb pick. Many times he didn’t use any pick. One of the things that banjo instructions seemed never to discuss was the common practice of growing your fingernails on the ring, middle, and index finger of your right hand and picking with your natural nails. I have never achieved that, though 45 years after following Pete‘s pick instructions religiously, I decided I would try to learn clawhammer, and was able to grow the fingernail of my middle right finger for the the down stroke. If you start using pics on the thumb index and middle finger, while adding a third pick in reverse on the ring finger, and you play Seeger style, you will easily be able to use those picks should you decide to go to Scruggs style, though the ring finger pick will be unnecessary.

reese158 says:
6/3/2022 8:28:39 PM

Pete’s banjo book discusses finger nail length.

I’ve seen photos of Peggy Seeger occasionally playing with a thumb pick. I have assumed she used it when she wanted to do some fast and clear drop thumb.

I have played with nothing but long fingernails for thirty years.

TonyS says:
6/4/2022 4:11:03 AM

Thanks all!

rands says:
7/3/2022 1:52:08 PM

I prefer to play without picks but I have a problem with my middle fingernail splitting. It’s as if a fault line runs straight to the quick. At first, I could not stand to wear picks. Softer ones are easy to shape but difficult to keep in place. Harder ones tend to stay put but can be very painful. I used pliers to adjust the metal picks and really hot water for the plastic ones. I suggest you take the time to make them comfortably functional and then make another set or two for back up. I still usually play pickless just because.

TonyS says:
7/4/2022 5:49:29 AM

Thanks Rand

Post a Comment

You must be logged in and a member of this group to post a comment.

Linked Content

Forum Post: Low tuned banjo with radiused fingerboard
Linked by TonyS 2 months ago

Blog Entry: Longneck Banjo Gig Bags
Linked by TonyS 2 months ago

Tablature: Black Lung - The Dead South
Linked by robpezkaos 5 months ago

MP3: Wayfaring Stranger
Linked by phdm 9 months ago

MP3: Well, Well, Well
Linked by phdm 9 months ago

Click for Details

Banjo neck profile template
Linked by LJ 10 months ago

Click for Details

I want to buy some old style FIVE-STAR 5th string Planetary Tuners.
Linked by John Bowlin 1 year ago

Click for Details

High quality like New! Engraved nickel plated 11 inch Banjo Tension Hoop.
Linked by John Bowlin 1 year ago

Click for Details

1964 Gibson Long Neck and Lifton Case Pending Payment
Linked by LNP 1 year ago

Classified: I want to buy a used BROOKS fretted banjo Spartan model with the clown shape peg head.
Linked by John Bowlin 1 year ago

Page: 1  2  3  4  Last

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories