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Mar 3, 2024 - 12:15:53 PM
4 posts since 1/11/2024

When you're playing thumb lead do you use picks? Are there pros and cons or is it just something that isn't done?

Mar 3, 2024 - 1:02:07 PM

971 posts since 12/19/2010

I generally do not wear a thumb pick, but many people do. Personal choice, or it could also depend if you are in a situation where you need to cut through better.

Mar 3, 2024 - 1:15:47 PM



3263 posts since 8/7/2008

Completely personal choice, I don't use them...

Mar 3, 2024 - 1:46:06 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27885 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

Generally not—because I will switch from two-(or three-) finger to clawhammer in the same tune. I also have very strong nails. .... This example is three-finger, but it makes the point. Just couldn't work wearing a thumbpick. (The seconod break is fingerpicked.)

Mar 3, 2024 - 2:07:01 PM

3330 posts since 5/2/2012

I started my banjo with a short lived attempt at claw hammer, then discovered 2FTL. Nobody I watched in the (few at the time) videos used picks, so I didn't even think about picks. Bonus is that your playing isn't overly loud, so you don't need to worry about offending any one else's ears. Now I mostly play Tony Ellis tunes, where there are parts of a few tunes that are arranged for 2FTL, and I just leave my picks on. I have Eddie Collins book of fiddle tunes arranged BG/Scruggs style, and I pick those bare fingered on the open back banjo I leave in the living room.

Mar 3, 2024 - 4:05:31 PM

banjo bill-e


13739 posts since 2/22/2007

Currently play TFTL without picks but I'm trying to learn to use them as I am now playing in some acoustic jams with my guitar and would like to bring the banjo for a tune or two but it would get lost without picks. My greatest difficulty so far is that my 5th is way too loud right now when playing with a thumb pick.

Mar 3, 2024 - 11:37:11 PM
Players Union Member



42741 posts since 3/7/2006

I don't use picks, because I often change between finger picking and clawhammer.

Mar 10, 2024 - 9:14:33 PM



104 posts since 9/13/2017

I don't. Actually, it's weird. The moment I put on finger picks, my brain goes into three-finger picking mode and I start to use the middle finger for the first string even when playing a two-finger piece. Without picks, I automatically use the index finger on that string. It doesn't really make sense, but that is what happens.

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