Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

872
Banjo Lovers Online


Page:  First Page   1  2  3   Last Page (3) 

Jul 8, 2021 - 4:28:06 AM
like this

2814 posts since 11/15/2003

The only time i ever ask earl scruggs a question...
Spbga..1998, standing in a line with 500 other pickers wanting to touch his hand like the pope...( thank god snuffy pulled me to one side to play his fabled yellow boy granada)..i ask earl
" mr scruggs, what guage strings did you use"?...he replied in his thick Carolinian accent, " i THINK i probably used mediums"!

Warp!

Jul 8, 2021 - 7:24:43 AM
likes this

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by brententz

Steve, Easy does it...where did you get the idea I said everyone had to set theres up just like JD's? I'm just reporting what he said he mostly plays and to back up facts to help answer original question and Jim Mills has backed this up as well. You placed your opinion out there too so is everyone supposed to set theres up just like yours? Answering that you like heavy strings does not support the fact of what the Bluegrass pros like. The facts clearly show the majority play lighter strings than what you play.


Everyone has their own prefernce,irrespective of what a majority trends.Bill Keith's 11 11 15 22 11 set is what I changed to in 1985 for the reasons presented by the tone in his playing.Others like John Hartford's low-tuned banjo.

Lots of favorites out there.The original question is "thicker picks and heavier strings".I don't know about heavier picks,though I like Dunlop 25s and a National tortoise XL thumbpick and would probably play 30s if Dunlop made them.

I don't care how anyone sets up their banjo or what the average among pros is.I only want to satisfy my ears.

Jul 8, 2021 - 12:52:20 PM

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

I meant to say Dunlop XL tortoise thumbpicks.

Jul 8, 2021 - 4:47:05 PM

234 posts since 3/2/2013

Steve I agree everyone has their own perspectives on what they like and no one here is saying you are wrong to like what you like. You may not care what the pros play but many of us here understand that the OP does in fact so we are merely helping to answer his question about the pros. He stated if you read his opening post that he isn't looking for recommendations about what we like. Earl may have liked mediums but again that was not the op's question and no one is arguing that. And the question to be exact was not "thicker picks and heavier strings" it was "why do pros (apparently) like to use heavier picks and thicker picks". I was merely trying to help op understand that it's a misconception that pros lean toward heavier strings, thats all.

Edited by - brententz on 07/08/2021 17:00:01

Jul 9, 2021 - 11:24:41 AM
likes this

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

The Masters of the 5" book came out in 1984 with great info.
What are the pro preferences today.
It would be quite a long list with a lot of variables.

Jul 10, 2021 - 3:38:05 AM
likes this

4363 posts since 12/6/2009

I use mainly Vega mediums.....but on occasion I do find the Vega lights do bend and stretch easier for different playing styles and sounds. I like thin thumb picks and sand the backs of the blade when new. Of course then again I ain’t a pro....but Don Reno used thin strings....I’m sure every pro has his own favorite whatever, thin or thick. Some pros pick with heavy hand, and some with light touch.

Jul 10, 2021 - 5:14:04 AM

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

And everything in between.
I want to be able to play from very lightly,almost a whisper to knowing I can play as hard as I want just in case I need that big voice such as at a contra dance with no PA.

Jul 17, 2021 - 9:54:04 AM
likes this

690 posts since 2/15/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Josephpetrie

Hi,

I am looking to understand the specific reason why pros are supposed to prefer thicker picks and heavier gauge strings? Is it just for volume?

 


Uncle Joe told me cowboy guitarists of the 20s and 30s used the heaviest picks and strings they could find for increased projection. 

I'll  add to it by saying it was well into the 70s before quality/portable  PA become affordable for the gigging musician.

Sonically, light gauges sound better when taste tests were conducted with pros, and quite a few of them did not desire make a switch from .010 to .008, but a number of them did.

On guitar I like .008 with a flat pick, and .010 for barenekked playing, but thats just me.

I use .010 on Banjos, primarily without picks, if I use finger picks it's not as controlled and years of electric bass and classical style guitar make my approach  a bit more than strict finger articilation. I slap, pop, pinch, percussive strikes etc... because it suits me to do so. 

Jul 17, 2021 - 10:13:14 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

rvrose

USA

818 posts since 6/29/2007

I like lighter strings for a brighter sound. Also I find that I get much cleaner hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides and chokes with the lighter strings. It is more noticeable when doing these techniques on the 3rd string in songs like Reuben's train in D tuning.

Rick

Jul 18, 2021 - 3:49:49 AM
like this

4363 posts since 12/6/2009

proving once again there are no set rules. American roots music is , what ever you want it to be. Thank God we have variety. I'd hate to have had 500 hundred recordings of only Earl Scruggs sounds.

Jul 18, 2021 - 6:35:03 AM
like this

234 posts since 3/2/2013

Again..... the question was....Why do more pros (apparently) prefer heavy guage strings and picks? Answer is....THEY DON'T. 

Edited by - brententz on 07/18/2021 06:36:48

Jul 18, 2021 - 6:40:59 AM

234 posts since 3/2/2013

And Steve unless you have some documentation of whether the list of pros would show a wide field of variables than thats just an assumption. It could be a fact but need to see some reliable sources. Not saying it's not possible but i wouldn't be so dogmatic about todays pros preference without some data to back it up. Certainly there would be a lot of differences but which way do the majority lean was sort of the OP's question. Masters in 1984 showed a leaning towards lighter. What do todays pros preference "lean" towards? Data? Proof?

Edited by - brententz on 07/18/2021 06:45:22

Jul 19, 2021 - 9:06:51 AM
like this

4182 posts since 10/18/2007

Gotta say that after reading this thread I changed from mediums to 10 11 13 21 10. And I really like them . They make my 2 Stellings sound crisper without much, if any, loss of power.

Jul 25, 2021 - 8:07:33 AM

Thor

USA

4229 posts since 7/5/2003

When I was learning, heavier strings certainly helped with my finger strength, clean fretting, and right hand technique. I now use .10, .12, .14, .22, .10. These gauges provide the best intonation and tone for my banjo/setup.

Jul 30, 2021 - 3:00:29 PM
like this

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

I don't like my banjo to be too bright.
I rarely play close to the bridge,preferring the deeper,thicker tones when picked halfway to the neck.

Jul 30, 2021 - 9:01:22 PM

74 posts since 5/20/2020

more of a bass tone.

try fake fingernails from a nail salon on you 3 fingers of your right hand

Jul 30, 2021 - 9:02:31 PM
like this

74 posts since 5/20/2020

quote:
Originally posted by steve davis

I don't like my banjo to be too bright.
I rarely play close to the bridge,preferring the deeper,thicker tones when picked halfway to the neck.


tune to F C F A C for deep tones on any banjo

Aug 3, 2021 - 6:55:26 AM

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

I play most keys out of G tuning and want all the lows I can get with that tuning.

Aug 15, 2021 - 7:13:21 PM

kg4muc

USA

31 posts since 3/11/2006

Very interesting thread! I've noticed Earl used Vega strings quite a bit back in the '60s. I used to go with medium-light but my hands and banjo seem to prefer something along the lines of the GHS PF140's. The peghead has been snapped off my 75 and was repaired rather hastily so it might not be a good idea to be too close to it strung with medium-lights LOL I tend to stick with the nationals mostly but I always felt that if a fingerpick had a little metallic jingle to them if you dropped them on pavement that they were good uns and would sound fine. I think I learned that from Kenny Ingram. It actually does work out well for me. Has anyone tried the Kyser fingerpicks? They seem to work ok. I think they may have had a pewter coating to them. I remember back in the '70s and 80's I was always shooting for an archtop sound from a flathead. I know my ears have changed but the keen thin sound just doesn't do much for me now that I'm an old fart! Besides changing heads every week gets expensive these days LOL

Aug 16, 2021 - 4:01:52 AM

4363 posts since 12/6/2009

It should be noted though, if you have a lesser expensive banjo it’s probably a good idea to use light gauge strings. I have a cheap banjo my son pulled from a dumpster. I set it all back up and it played really good and had an respectable sound for a practice type thing I keep near the computer for when I get quick ideas. Well when I first got it running again I put a little heavy mediums on...after a while I noticed the neck lifting so now I’ll probably have to shim it to get the action back where I like it.

Aug 18, 2021 - 6:27:04 AM

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by brententz

And Steve unless you have some documentation of whether the list of pros would show a wide field of variables than thats just an assumption. It could be a fact but need to see some reliable sources. Not saying it's not possible but i wouldn't be so dogmatic about todays pros preference without some data to back it up. Certainly there would be a lot of differences but which way do the majority lean was sort of the OP's question. Masters in 1984 showed a leaning towards lighter. What do todays pros preference "lean" towards? Data? Proof?


Who has this "list of pros" and what they like...whoever "they" are?

I'm a "pro" and I know what I like.

Aug 18, 2021 - 9:20:23 PM

HarleyQ

USA

3174 posts since 1/31/2005

laugh

Aug 19, 2021 - 8:27:05 AM

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

cheeky

I wish I could find one of these for being high.

Aug 19, 2021 - 12:05:08 PM
like this

68 posts since 7/26/2009

I prefer heavier gauge strings myself and I've never felt that picks were thick enough. Manufacturers make them in several gauges up to .025" thick. That's an optimal thickness for the manufacturing process but not necessarily the best gauge for tone and power. Most serious players use the thickest picks available which tells me there is a need for thicker finger picks for more power and better tone. So I developed my own.

These are made from sterling silver and the blades are twice as thick as 'regular' picks. The thick blades provide a very solid feel. The tone is outstanding which is why there is a growing number of contest winners and recording artists now using Landis Picks. They also stay on thanks to the Patent Pending gripper teeth that line the bands.

landispicks.com






Edited by - Ron Landis on 08/19/2021 12:08:18

Aug 20, 2021 - 8:19:43 AM

74970 posts since 5/9/2007

If I use picks that are thinner than 25 the wrap flexes and gets loose.

Page:  First Page   1  2  3   Last Page (3) 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.296875