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Oct 9, 2021 - 7:26:14 AM
251 posts since 9/14/2019

I'm trying to refine my stroke and attempting to strike on the 10 o'clock part of my nail. I watched the video of Reed Martin that 1981 Crowe put up trying to learn what I could. However, I noticed that his nails are pretty flat, while my nails really curve from the middle to the side. It's very hard from me to strike in that area since my nail is curving away from the string as I come down.

I'm thinking about trying a pick, but if that doesn't work what other options do I have?

Thanks,

John

Oct 9, 2021 - 3:55:46 PM
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4194 posts since 10/13/2005

Work with what you got. That's why every CH player is always a little bit different than anyone else – different bones, muscles, wiring...and fingernails! banjered

Oct 10, 2021 - 12:22:09 PM

251 posts since 9/14/2019

quote:
Originally posted by banjered

Work with what you got. That's why every CH player is always a little bit different than anyone else – different bones, muscles, wiring...and fingernails! banjered


I understand that, but thought someone here with the same finger shape might have some pointers.

Oct 10, 2021 - 12:33:14 PM
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Players Union Member

Lew H

USA

2689 posts since 3/10/2008

I had a class at a banjo camp with Adam Hurt, who gets wonderful old timey tone. He recommended striking at the 2 o'clock position. I think he tilts his hand to get that position. I can't do it, but I'm an example of the variation in nails you are talking about. My frailing finger twists toward the pinky about 20 degrees, That is the nail is positioned toward the side of my finger, so striking at 2 o'clock is impossible.

I also saw Reed Martin at a banjo camp. I don't remember his nails specifically, but his hands are huge, and his fingers wide. So likely his nails are very wide as well.

I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all for hand position and striking position. Try twisting your hand, try different trailing fingers, try different striking points of your nail. Then use whatever sounds best to you.

Oct 11, 2021 - 9:38:37 AM

JeroenJ

Netherlands

54 posts since 1/7/2014

I have curved fingernails and I am very happy with them. I think using the curve of the fingernail to strike the string with, rather than the edge of the nail, gets me a nice tone and saves my nails.

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