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Oct 24, 2019 - 8:04:33 PM
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5330 posts since 10/13/2007

Look at this show at 31:20. It is about as good a video of Earl's right hand as I have seen. A great view of how he shaped his picks. His thumb pick strike was a square hit and his fingers stay real close to the strings. Good players will probably see more into this than i can.


Oct 24, 2019 - 8:26:24 PM
Players Union Member



553 posts since 8/30/2012

Wow that's awesome. Good find.

I'm not a good player but one thing I notice is that he seems to press the string with his thumb before picking it. Like he's not just hammering through or across the string with his thumb pick, he presses the pick into the string and then plucks it. Maybe I'm just imagining things.

Thanks for posting. I'm gonna download and slow it down.

Oct 24, 2019 - 9:08:45 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


22530 posts since 6/25/2005

Note also that Earl is unconcerned about the sound of his picks hitting the head.

Oct 24, 2019 - 10:29:09 PM



43 posts since 4/8/2019

I noted Earl's pick marks between strings often up towards the neck where he was comping rhythm licks or playing softer. As a beginner I worried about that less after seeing that. Earl's deal worked for Earl, fingers being different sometimes you have to find your own stroke/setup. Still in that search but I'm honing in on it lol.

Oct 25, 2019 - 2:31:46 AM
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950 posts since 3/22/2017

Thanks for that! Here's an early one where camera focused on his RH technique

Here's a good recent one of JD

Edited by - gtani7 on 10/25/2019 02:43:52

Oct 25, 2019 - 6:47:36 AM
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2255 posts since 1/16/2013
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Nice Ken!
Also notice he's playing the old "Granada"... You can see that dull gold tone ring.

Oct 25, 2019 - 9:26:09 AM
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1831 posts since 10/17/2013


That’s really crisp footage of the man who could do it the best.

Oct 25, 2019 - 10:42:46 AM

5330 posts since 10/13/2007

Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Note also that Earl is unconcerned about the sound of his picks hitting the head.


In "The Book" Earl talked about trimming the length of his thumb picks. From what it looks like to me, this thumb pick is not trimmed but is full size. And his thumb strike seems to be very deep, so maybe in the old days the trimmed picks did not hit the head, or maybe he did not have time to trim this thumb pick. Just speculating.


Oct 25, 2019 - 11:55:21 AM



44575 posts since 10/5/2013

Not to criticize, but Earl in this video is older and his accuracy might not be as good as it once was.

Oct 25, 2019 - 9:04:17 PM



327 posts since 2/25/2011

It's interesting around the 33:00 mark you can hear hit thumb repeatedly hitting the head and see the mark on the head left by the thumb pick over time.

Oct 26, 2019 - 8:33:11 AM
Players Union Member



40023 posts since 3/7/2006

Is that an essential part of the Scruggs style, or doesn't it matter if I miss the head with the thumb pick? laugh

Oct 27, 2019 - 4:20:21 AM

64 posts since 9/1/2018

I do it too. I was thinking that it was a bad thing that I needed to stop. Not now, ain't gonna worry 'bout that no more!

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