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Two steps back

Friday, May 26, 2017

Every once in a while I feel like I have it all figured out. Picking seems easy and natural, and really not even enough of a challenge.

Right after that high, of course, comes the next low. I start to feel like I can't do anything right, nothing feels natural and everything takes effort.

In reality, each new low is higher than the previous low. It just feels so bad because we have raised our standards, without realizing it.

So this is my new low: I noticed recently that sometimes my right ring finger jumps around, instead of staying down and pressing on the head like I want it to. This happens more often when I first start playing and am not warmed up. But it can possibly happen at any time.

Does it really matter? I am not even sure. It can still sound ok while the ring finger is dancing around. But I suspect it is not as good, and I just don't like it because I seem to have no control over it.

I just keep playing, and then eventually the ring finger plants itself down and stays there. It feels a lot more stable to me that way, with 2 fingers down.

So now of course I have to wonder what is the cause and what is the cure. I don't like just leaving things up to chance.

Several months ago I had a different problem, where I sometimes could not get into the right rhythm. It was haphazard, and I hate that. So i focused intently on that problem for months, and pretty much figured out how to fix it.

Then I briefly felt in complete control of my banjo destiny, but of course it did not last, and I noticed the jumping ring finger problem.

Still working on it every day, getting a little better but still mystified. I think I will eventually get it though.

Ya know, aren't there enough problems in this life without worrying about our banjo picking? Yes, but worrying about banjo picking takes our minds off the big problems that we can't solve. Banjo picking is something where we keep getting a little better, day after day, year after year. I personally love it.


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Playing Since: 2003
Experience Level: Novice

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My Instruments:
Deering Goodtime 2
Deering Goodtime Midnight Special
Deering Goodtime Parlor open back
Recording King Madison RK-R35
Recording King Madison open back

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Visible to: Public
Created 1/28/2009
Last Visit 2/2/2019

Played guitar, including folk and classical, for a long time, and started banjo in 2003, had 2 open-backs. Got my first bluegrass banjo summer 2008, and finally started learning Scruggs style. Got a Recording King Madison RK-R35 10/5/2011, my first banjo that has a bluegrass style brass tone ring.

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