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Oct 22, 2019 - 9:30:19 AM
482 posts since 8/14/2015

Does anyone use finger picks to play a tenor or Cello banjo?

I’m just wondering because I’m not happy with my tone (too snappy) with flat picks. The other night, I tried finger picks, and it sounded some better.

I’ve been trying Dunlop Prime Tone and Nylons - different sizes.

Oct 22, 2019 - 9:49:40 AM
likes this

5493 posts since 3/6/2006

I think quite a few people do. Here is Paul Roberts - I think he uses plastic fingerpicks.

Oct 23, 2019 - 2:23:06 AM


Czech Republic

94 posts since 11/15/2018

I sometimes play banjo on my banjo and sometimes finger pick.
Here is the recording with your fingers.


So far I have only recorded Finger pick on CGDA Tenor Guitar.

Oct 23, 2019 - 8:07:47 AM

6247 posts since 8/28/2013

You should play as YOU feel is best and not worry about whether someone else is doing it (chances are, someone else IS). Some interesting ideas and new techniques and sounds have been developed precisely because someone used an unconventional method.

Oct 23, 2019 - 5:50:50 PM

482 posts since 8/14/2015

I wasn’t trying to fit in with other players. I was trying to figger out what the heck I could do to improve my banjos’ tone. The finger picks seemed to improve their tone some, so I thought that they might be the answer.

It turns out that I was using too light a pick. I moved on up to a thicker one and pulled out my darned hearing aids, and now the tone is satisfactory.

An old dog can learn new tricks. It just takes him longer.

Oct 24, 2019 - 7:51:14 AM

6247 posts since 8/28/2013

Too light a pick can certainly cause a "snappy" sound. But fingerpicks are not forbidden.

The fact that you asked whether others used them could indicate that you did, in fact, have a desire to "fit in."

I am glad you have found a solution to your tone issues, although I still say, play any darned way you want to! Old dogs don't learn those new tricks because in too many cases, they don't try them. It's not because they take too long to learn.

Oct 24, 2019 - 8:26:40 AM

482 posts since 8/14/2015

I have never really been much of a fitter inner. I’m mostly a loner. However, I didn’t want to make a big change, work on it and then find out that I’ve taken the wrong path.

I disagree with the idea of just playing any darned ol’ way one wants. A five year old can do that. There are ways to do things correctly at least while one is trying to learn. When I can play like Bela Fleck, mebbe I’ll go off on my own path and try sumthin’ new . . .

As for learnin’ new stuff, I’m eighty three, and everything new that I do takes me a while to learn. First I hafta learn it, then, the next day, I hafta learn at least half of it again, and, then, two days later try to learn just a bit more. Two weeks later I look at it and say: “Oh! A new tune to play!” The Golden Years ain’t easy . . .

Oct 24, 2019 - 11:20:28 AM

6247 posts since 8/28/2013

I agree that some foundation is needed when considering how to play. Howevere, you seem to have at least a bit of knowledge about how things work. I certainly would not give the advice "play any darned way you like" to someone new to the instrument.

I've always been a bit of a rule bender, but of course a person needs to know the rules before he can bend them.

And a word of encouragement: even a number young whippersnappers don't say "Oh, A new tune to play!" after only two weeks. You're doing fine!

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