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Jan 27, 2021 - 3:52:46 PM
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jermo

USA

5 posts since 1/27/2021

I had seen on youtube to get my wrist up (away from the banjo) and move my thumb away from my hand to essentially have each finger be able to move without hitting the others. This was presented as an ideal to build speed. The issue I'm having is my fingerpicks not being flat against the strings so they make a chipping sound. So I'm guessing my hand/finger position isn't ideal.
If anyone has ideas or suggestions I'd appreciate it.,

Jan 27, 2021 - 4:08:01 PM
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Brian

USA

3520 posts since 1/21/2003

My suggestion is to look at any really good player and emulate their hand position and how they wear their picks. If that doesn't work for you, try another person or make small adjustments to what that person is doing. I've seen endless hand positions and pick configurations that people make work just fine.  Earl and Butch are decent (lol), their thumbs aren't way out front.  Noam Pikelny does alright (lol) with a relatively flat wrist.

Edited by - Brian on 01/27/2021 16:19:58

Jan 27, 2021 - 7:16:13 PM
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20 posts since 11/21/2017

What is your right arm doing when you play? It should be relaxed and sort of 'disinterested'. . .and not rigidly sticking out. I think a relaxed arm helps position your wrist in a more ideal spot for your body, which improves attack angle of the strings. It is a problem I had starting out.

Jan 28, 2021 - 3:53:52 AM

jermo

USA

5 posts since 1/27/2021

now that I'm paying attention my arm is helping play. From Brians's suggestion, I started watching videos of others playing and notice that only their fingers move. The pics still aren't' hitting flat but it's better than it was.

Jan 28, 2021 - 4:38:50 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

25466 posts since 8/3/2003

If you're having trouble hitting the strings straight on, try moving the neck of the banjo up or down until you get the right angle and then remember it and use that angle.

Jan 28, 2021 - 9:27:20 AM

RB3

USA

929 posts since 4/12/2004

I would echo what Brian said about emulating accomplished players, but I would also suggest that you specifically look at Earl Scruggs. There are lots of YouTube videos of the old Flatt & Scruggs TV shows that have some close up views of Earl's right hand. No one ever got better tone out of a banjo than Earl Scruggs. He's the bench mark for tone.

Jan 29, 2021 - 7:21:12 AM
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86 posts since 3/10/2006

Sherry makes an excellent point about adjusting the angle you hold the banjo. You can also slightly twist/rotate your finger picks so that you are always hitting the string in the middle of the blade. You may have looked at your finger picks after picking for a while and noticed lines or "wear marks" from where the pick hits the string. Ideally these should be in the middle of the pick blade. Just my two cents...

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