I started playing CH back in June. Have been practicing a lot and it is going well. However, sometimes I feel like I'm flicking the strings. I don't know if I am or not, but sometimes something feels different. I'm not trying to do it consciously but I worry it has happened on it's own....
How do you detect and stop the flick if you are doing it?
If it sounds good I wouldn’t worry about it. There are a lot of subtle variants and nuances that can take your playing to the next level.
However, if it’s something you want to eliminate, slow down your strike/stroke to see what’s going on.
You might try watching yourself play in a mirror or record yourself. That should help you detect if you are flicking.
The key is that the hand operates as one unit (which I think you already know as you mention flicking). Getting rid of a bad habit is overcome by getting in lots of practice doing things the right way. As already said that will entail slowing down a fair bit and staying slow until the correct movement is ingrained enough not to slip when speeding up. Then everything can be speeded up gradually. I had an 'overbent' wrist problem which I had to get rid of. It took a fair bit of time.
Get a hold of rocketsciencebanjo pdf download and have a read of the 'basic stroke'. It's also explained in a video. The pdf contains lots of double thumb and drop thumb exercises which will be useful to practice. A case of 1 step back for 2 steps forward, it will probably feel at first like 50 steps back.
Flicking is just another part of playing. One more item in the toolbox of tone.
The modern concept that you must only have one rigid hand motion is so limiting. I'm not gonna say it's wrong, anyone can play however they want. But why limit yourself to one motion? It's very restrictive .
If you're just starting out you should understand that a lot of modern clawhammer teaching is very limiting and focused on doing things "the right way", while ignoring the huge variance in style that exists in traditional banjo.
Free your mind and your hands will follow.
think booger - it's not polite to flick