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Jun 8, 2024 - 6:26:58 PM
671 posts since 11/2/2009

If I told you that I have started putting a strip of two sided-tape (thickness of regular Scotch Tape) on the banjo head, just in front of the bridge and parallel to the strings, to remind me to keep my ring and pinky together and it has made a big difference for me, would you promise not to tell anyone on the Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Style forum?

The stickiness wears off after about three-four hours of playing, but you peel the tape off and put on a new one. It's a little too sticky when you first put it on, but that initial stickiness wears off.
Remember: Shhhh! I can't imagine the slings and arrows! "That's not how Earl did it", would just be the start!

Edited by - gcpicken on 06/08/2024 18:29:00

Jun 8, 2024 - 6:44:50 PM

5839 posts since 5/29/2011

If it works, have at it. I used to have a banjo that didn't sound its best when I picked it right at the bridge, so I glued a piece of flat toothpick about a 1/4" in front of it to anchor my finger. That put my picking hand at the spot for the best tone. Whatever works.

Jun 8, 2024 - 7:26:10 PM

11387 posts since 4/23/2004

Considering that Earl didn't really plant his ring finger all that much, I think you're safe. Besides, who wants to play in the same place all the time anyway? Earl didn't do it...I don't either. devil

Jun 8, 2024 - 7:40:41 PM

671 posts since 11/2/2009

So my goal here is to build up the muscles so ends of the fingers will eventually stay together on their own, because they really don’t want to. I guess I could have molybdenum magnets implanted.

Jun 9, 2024 - 4:59:44 AM
like this

RB-1

Netherlands

4004 posts since 6/17/2003

quote:
Originally posted by gcpicken

So my goal here is to build up the muscles so ends of the fingers will eventually stay together on their own, because they really don’t want to. I guess I could have molybdenum magnets implanted.


Like said, relaxation is the key here, NOT muscle strength.

When your ring finger wiggles, your ring finger wiggles...

What you're trying to fix, needs no fixing.

Seems you've been lead astray by the "two finger plant is the holy grail" bunch....

Things that want attention instead are:

"How is my rhythm?"

"How is my tone?"

"How are my dynamics?"

"Where is my hand when plaÿing up- or down the neck?

To name a few...wink

Jun 9, 2024 - 12:24:46 PM

671 posts since 11/2/2009

quote:
Originally posted by RB-1
quote:
Originally posted by gcpicken

So my goal here is to build up the muscles so ends of the fingers will eventually stay together on their own, because they really don’t want to. I guess I could have molybdenum magnets implanted.


Like said, relaxation is the key here, NOT muscle strength.

When your ring finger wiggles, your ring finger wiggles...

What you're trying to fix, needs no fixing.

Seems you've been lead astray by the "two finger plant is the holy grail" bunch....

Things that want attention instead are:

"How is my rhythm?"

"How is my tone?"

"How are my dynamics?"

"Where is my hand when plaÿing up- or down the neck?

To name a few...wink


Thank you, Bruno. I hear you, but when they are next to each, they stay at a constant height, and do not collapse. That keeps my pick attack more constant, also. At least thats what I am seeing at the 3 year point. My feeling my change about that, as it has about other things (but I am always "right" smiley), as I move through my banjo journey. But I am pretty good about being open to input (which is why I post here), and try to be mindful and appreciative of what has been offered during that journey. Again, thank you.

Jun 9, 2024 - 2:18:48 PM
Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

30320 posts since 8/3/2003

I worked for months to keep both fingers planted because I was told that was the way to be a "real" banjo picker. My brain and fingers eventually did get together and it became easier. I used a rubber band wound loosely around the pinkie and ring and that worked for me.

Now? Now it's not a problem until I go up the neck and play in the higher realm. For some reason, my pinkie now comes up but the ring finger stays down. Doesn't affect my playing and I don't let the fact that I don't sound like Earl bother me. I enjoy picking and singing and that's what's important.

Jun 9, 2024 - 2:29:10 PM

RB-1

Netherlands

4004 posts since 6/17/2003

quote:
Originally posted by gcpicken
quote:
Originally posted by RB-1
quote:
Originally posted by gcpicken

So my goal here is to build up the muscles so ends of the fingers will eventually stay together on their own, because they really don’t want to. I guess I could have molybdenum magnets implanted.


Like said, relaxation is the key here, NOT muscle strength.

When your ring finger wiggles, your ring finger wiggles...

What you're trying to fix, needs no fixing.

Seems you've been lead astray by the "two finger plant is the holy grail" bunch....

Things that want attention instead are:

"How is my rhythm?"

"How is my tone?"

"How are my dynamics?"

"Where is my hand when plaÿing up- or down the neck?

To name a few...wink


Thank you, Bruno. I hear you, but when they are next to each, they stay at a constant height, and do not collapse. That keeps my pick attack more constant, also. At least thats what I am seeing at the 3 year point. My feeling my change about that, as it has about other things (but I am always "right" smiley), as I move through my banjo journey. But I am pretty good about being open to input (which is why I post here), and try to be mindful and appreciative of what has been offered during that journey. Again, thank you.


yes

Jun 9, 2024 - 5:22:17 PM

671 posts since 11/2/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I worked for months to keep both fingers planted because I was told that was the way to be a "real" banjo picker. My brain and fingers eventually did get together and it became easier. I used a rubber band wound loosely around the pinkie and ring and that worked for me.

Now? Now it's not a problem until I go up the neck and play in the higher realm. For some reason, my pinkie now comes up but the ring finger stays down. Doesn't affect my playing and I don't let the fact that I don't sound like Earl bother me. I enjoy picking and singing and that's what's important.


Thank you for that. Until the tape, for a few years I wrapped  piece of velcro around my ring and pinky, but it didn't really help hold them together, so they would separate and collapse (curl). I feel like I am finally getting somewhere with the "mindfulness" that this stickiness brings. I feel like its finally happening, so I wanted to share. The loose rubber band idea makes sense for those same reasons - because its 'loose' your fingers still have work to stay together, and the band reminds you to do so, and doesn't let get things out of hand.  Before this, if I didn't use the velcro, my pinky would find its way behind the bridge!

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