Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

330
Banjo Lovers Online


Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Jul 10, 2020 - 5:47:41 PM
66 posts since 2/23/2019

I’ve been playing for about 1.5 years and still find certain fretting positions difficult, especially when it comes to my pinky finger, such as on FMBD high break or Bugle Call Rag at E minor/9th fret with 11th fret pinky frets/chokes.

I have a Huber Lexington banjo which measures at around 1 3/16 “ nut. I’ve read that Huber’s tend to have a little narrower necks. Perhaps with a wider necked banjo it might be easier? If not, I’d welcome other advice. I’m sure it’s just a matter of continual stretching will make it easier eventually.

Thanks

Jul 10, 2020 - 6:52:40 PM
likes this
Players Union Member

rbfour5

USA

1054 posts since 11/9/2010

I don't believe a wider neck will make the stretches easier for you. Keep working on finger stretches, build dexterity, it will come around. Unless someone else knows of a "work around" put in the dexterity work.
BTW- Great choice of banjos!!

Jul 10, 2020 - 7:07:55 PM
like this

chuckv97

Canada

50785 posts since 10/5/2013

I had to get my thumb right square behind the neck and kick my wrist out to get that e minor triangle & fretting the second string at the 11th fret. It took a while to get it ,, patience, patience.

Jul 11, 2020 - 4:39:27 AM
like this

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24613 posts since 8/3/2003

You might check your hand position. Try keeping it straight with the fretboard with your thumb on the back of the neck (very similar to what Chuck said above). If your hand is cradling the neck, it's difficult to reach those frets you need to reach. If your hand is angled it leaves less room to move up the neck to those frets. Try different hand positions and see what works the best for you.

Jul 11, 2020 - 9:38:35 AM
likes this

66 posts since 2/23/2019

Good suggestions, yes it seems like I can get increased range of motion when I have my thumb on the back of the neck vs. cradling my hand around the next. Glad to hear it's not just me :)

Jul 12, 2020 - 11:07:41 AM
likes this

chief3

Canada

1105 posts since 10/26/2003

Don't know if this may make you feel better but I recall that in a printed interview (I believe it was "Frets" magazine) Earl Scruggs stated that he had a lot of difficulty making that same stretch for "Sally Goodin'" (he had rather small hands) but he said he practiced hard until he finally got it to sound right. My best advice is to follow Earl's example and get after it.

Jul 13, 2020 - 6:45:34 AM
Players Union Member

pickn5

USA

1491 posts since 8/8/2012

I had trouble on Cumberland Gap 11th fret pinky stretch. The advice I got was slow it down and keep practicing. This advice, and working on my F and D chord shapes helped with getting the stretch.

Jul 13, 2020 - 10:19:25 AM

66 posts since 2/23/2019

quote:
Originally posted by chief3

Don't know if this may make you feel better but I recall that in a printed interview (I believe it was "Frets" magazine) Earl Scruggs stated that he had a lot of difficulty making that same stretch for "Sally Goodin'" (he had rather small hands) but he said he practiced hard until he finally got it to sound right. My best advice is to follow Earl's example and get after it.


Yes that does make me feel better! 

Jul 13, 2020 - 9:44:24 PM
likes this

54 posts since 12/5/2015

Keep your Huber, they're awesome.

Practice doing pull-offs and hammer-ons to build strength.
---Do a bar with your index and pullOff/HammerOn 2 or so frets above.

I teach banjo and notice when students struggle with this, their thumb is pointing straight towards the peg head.

If this is the case, try moving your thumb closer to the chord position...on the opposite side of the banjo neck. When I do this, my thumb is pointing to my face. I have attached a photo.

Keep practicing the Scruggs lick (up the neck at the 9,8,9) and reaching to the 11th. It will come eventually.

I do not have large hands/long fingers. I am average at best. You will find the magic spot.


 

Jul 14, 2020 - 7:55:02 AM

66 posts since 2/23/2019

quote:
Originally posted by pperkins

Keep your Huber, they're awesome.

Practice doing pull-offs and hammer-ons to build strength.
---Do a bar with your index and pullOff/HammerOn 2 or so frets above.

I teach banjo and notice when students struggle with this, their thumb is pointing straight towards the peg head.

If this is the case, try moving your thumb closer to the chord position...on the opposite side of the banjo neck. When I do this, my thumb is pointing to my face. I have attached a photo.

Keep practicing the Scruggs lick (up the neck at the 9,8,9) and reaching to the 11th. It will come eventually.

I do not have large hands/long fingers. I am average at best. You will find the magic spot.


Good advice, thanks, the pic was helpful too. I have decent sized hands being a tall guy and I’m actually getting to where I can make the fret with my hand cradling the neck but I think bringing my thumb closer to where you have it seems like a more flexible position.

I am doing some HO/PO exercises right now but not with a barred position, though I should try it because there is an E suspended chord in a classical piece I have that requires a similar setup.

Thanks for the kudos on the Huber! I am really satisfied with it. I went to Nashville last year to try a bunch of different types of professional banjos. After trying 20-30, I was torn between the Gibson Granada and the Huber Lexington but decided on the latter because I liked the newer look better.


Edited by - dan_the_man on 07/14/2020 07:56:43

Jul 14, 2020 - 2:30:09 PM

54 posts since 12/5/2015

I have always had a spot for Huber banjos. I had a banjo student in 2005 who usually had nice instruments. I can't remember the first banjo he brought in, but the second was a Gibson Blackjack (JD Crowe?) with copper flashing. He loved that banjo.....Until he came in with his Huber Lexington.

He said he paid 2300 for the banjo. At the time, I had a parts banjo (1800 in cost :Huber tone ring, neck/resonator from JDMC and Tony Pass rim). After playing his Huber, I ordered one in 2006. I have a Gold Vintage RB3 Wreath Inlay Huber. This was before the TruTone. I had the TruTone upagrade in 2016 and I love the banjo! It is so easy to play and it fills the room.

Huber has a VRB4 on his website, a banjo student of mine is the proud recipient of that banjo. I REALLY want to play it. Don't know if its proper to ask in a time like this. Anyway, pick on!!

Jul 14, 2020 - 3:07:19 PM

66 posts since 2/23/2019

That sounds a like a good deal on that Lexington, paying 2300. I bought might for a bit more but still a good deal. It’s an ‘05, flamed maple, speed neck. Did you notice a significant difference between the engineered tone ring vs. the HR-30/TrueTone? I’ve been contemplating on buying one from Steve.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1875