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Sep 18, 2021 - 7:53:14 PM

dirkan

Belgium

34 posts since 1/31/2020

Have made a lot of progress on triplets since my last post. Been getting some bad pain in my thumb on the plectrum hand over the last week. Think it might be from too much tension as my thumb is always bent to hold the pick. Should I keep trying and just slow down with a focus on being more relaxed,or should I change my hold to use the straight thumb with no bend that Theresa O'Grady and enda scahill seem to do? I know some good players eg paraic macdonn and John carty do have the bent thumb.
Thanks as always

Sep 19, 2021 - 10:15:18 PM

Tony O Rourke

Australia

42 posts since 2/9/2016

What type of pick are you using?

Sep 19, 2021 - 11:45:35 PM

dirkan

Belgium

34 posts since 1/31/2020

Hey Tony I switched to an Alice 0.81 mm plectrum about 3 months ago to get more volume out of the banjo in sessions (it is only a 17 fret and it has been difficult when I'm leading a set)

Sep 20, 2021 - 12:10:33 AM

Tony O Rourke

Australia

42 posts since 2/9/2016

I thought that the pain might have been caused by using a thicker pick and thus getting too much resistance but maybe hitting harder to get more volume might be a possible cause.

Sep 20, 2021 - 12:48:08 AM

dirkan

Belgium

34 posts since 1/31/2020

Would you suggest switching back toa thinner pick Tony O Rourke r

Sep 20, 2021 - 4:38:50 AM

896 posts since 2/19/2012

Can you post a photo or video of how you're holding the pick? Have you tried not bending your thumb as much? You really don't need or want a death grip on the pick.

Sep 20, 2021 - 5:34:47 AM

dirkan

Belgium

34 posts since 1/31/2020

This is how I hold the plectrum, although it isn't actually included in this picture. I have tried in the past but I always seem to end up bending it again.

 

Edit: sorry the image didn't upload. This is a link to it on imgur: https://imgur.com/1vnHgzv

Edited by - dirkan on 09/20/2021 05:36:43

Sep 20, 2021 - 6:02:05 AM

896 posts since 2/19/2012

Got it. I'm no expert in any way whatsoever, but my grip is more open, with my thumb resting more toward the end of my index finger, just about at the first knuckle. I don't believe my index finger is curled up as tightly as yours. We're all different of course.

Sep 20, 2021 - 8:07:28 AM

896 posts since 2/19/2012

Here's a photo of what I'm doing. Happens to be an octave mandolin, but same pick hold I use with the tenor:


 

Sep 20, 2021 - 8:37:22 AM

DSmoke

USA

1066 posts since 11/30/2015

Is the pain associated with playing triplets? If you avoid playing triplets do you still get pain?

Sep 20, 2021 - 2:08:06 PM

dirkan

Belgium

34 posts since 1/31/2020

Thanks, I might have a go at it with letting my index finger curl out a bit more.
DSmoke I only get the pain when I do triplets yeah, and I think it's because I've been spending a couple of hours every day practicing them during lockdown perhaps

Sep 20, 2021 - 6:34:09 PM

DSmoke

USA

1066 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by dirkan

Thanks, I might have a go at it with letting my index finger curl out a bit more.
DSmoke I only get the pain when I do triplets yeah, and I think it's because I've been spending a couple of hours every day practicing them during lockdown perhaps


It could also be that you subconsciously tense up to play the triplet.  GOOD triplets are extremely difficult to play, especially, if not as relaxed as the rest of your playing.  I would try more focused practice on them as relaxed as possible but don't overdo it.  Hopefully, this will lead to pain-free playing.

Sep 21, 2021 - 1:01:07 AM

Tony O Rourke

Australia

42 posts since 2/9/2016

I use a Tortex .050mm, this light pick is quite common amongst Irish players. I haven't seen him for a while but that wonderful Leeds banjo player Jodie Moran was using one. London's Mick O'Connor uses a .073 nylon. Most Irish players would use something like this. When I bought my Clareen banjo from Tom Cussen back in about 2012 he threw in a selection of picks and they were all different sizes but all were either .050/.055mm Tortex or .073mm nylon. I can't think of anyone who would know more about what is suitable for playing Irish banjo than Tom........

Sep 21, 2021 - 1:08:48 AM

Tony O Rourke

Australia

42 posts since 2/9/2016

You might want to have a look at one of my YouTube clips. It came out very clear, I've got no idea why, but it should show you my pick and picking style.
youtube.com/watch?v=McwtCBGF8-M&t=147s

Sep 21, 2021 - 6:47:25 AM

896 posts since 2/19/2012

Tony O Rourke

Great video, Tony! Thanks for posting. By any chance do you have a video that highlights the bouzouki accompaniment? Maybe an inverse featuring the bouzouki with the banjo in the smaller view? I'm spreading my playing time across banjo and octave mandolin at present, so such a video would be very informative.

Sep 21, 2021 - 2:07:52 PM

89 posts since 3/24/2020

One vote for Jim Dunlop .60 either in grey or orange. When I want to punch out the volume I just grip closer to tip. I also keep a .60 tortex to mix it up a little. I like the sound that the tortex gives but l often find it a little slippery.

Sep 23, 2021 - 3:22:34 PM

dirkan

Belgium

34 posts since 1/31/2020

Thanks a lot for the replies everyone, really appreciate it. I do actually have several picks from Tom and Fintan Cussen, I was using the .63 one for a year or so before I switched to the .8 I have been using the past few months. I'm considering switching back and just spending a couple of weeks focusing on slightly modifying my hold and eliminating tension.

Sep 26, 2021 - 1:19:39 AM

89 posts since 3/24/2020

We got back into the local pub for a jam (not trad) Friday night & I immediately switched from the .60 to a .73

Sep 26, 2021 - 6:23:23 PM

DSmoke

USA

1066 posts since 11/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by martyjoe

We got back into the local pub for a jam (not trad) Friday night & I immediately switched from the .60 to a .73


I can almost feel why and I bet that felt great!

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