How to Wear Your Banjo Picks

When it comes to playing the banjo, one of the most important things to consider is how to wear your banjo picks. Banjo picks are small pieces of plastic or metal that fit over your fingertips, allowing you to play the strings with greater precision and control. Here are some tips on how to wear your banjo picks for maximum comfort and effectiveness.

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How to Wear Your Banjo Picks

  1. Find the Right Size The first thing to consider when choosing banjo picks is finding the right size. Banjo picks come in different sizes, and it’s important to choose picks that fit comfortably on your fingers without being too tight or too loose. It’s a good idea to try on different sizes before making a purchase to ensure a proper fit.
  2. Use the Correct Finger Banjo picks are typically worn on the index and middle fingers of your dominant hand. This allows you to pluck the strings with greater precision and control. Make sure you’re using the correct finger for each pick to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  3. Adjust the Angle The angle at which you wear your banjo picks can also make a big difference in your playing. Try adjusting the angle of the picks to find the most comfortable and effective position. Some players prefer to wear the picks straight on, while others angle them slightly to the side.
  4. Experiment with Different Materials Banjo picks come in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and even natural materials like bone and shell. Experiment with different materials to find the ones that work best for you. Some players prefer the lighter weight and flexibility of plastic picks, while others prefer the durability and responsiveness of metal picks.
  5. Use Adhesive Strips To keep your banjo picks securely in place, you may want to use adhesive strips or tape. This can help prevent the picks from slipping or sliding around on your fingers while you play. Just be sure to choose an adhesive that won’t damage your picks or your skin.
  6. Practice Regularly Wearing banjo picks takes some getting used to, so it’s important to practice regularly to develop your technique and improve your playing. Start by practicing simple exercises and gradually build up to more complex pieces.
  7. Take Breaks Wearing banjo picks for long periods of time can be tiring on your fingers and hands. Take breaks often to rest and stretch your fingers. This can help prevent fatigue and injury.

In conclusion, wearing banjo picks is an important aspect of playing the banjo. By finding the right size, using the correct finger, adjusting the angle, experimenting with different materials, using adhesive strips, practicing regularly, and taking breaks, you can improve your technique and make the most of your banjo playing experience. With time and dedication, you’ll be able to play your favorite banjo tunes with confidence and precision.

In this video from Banjo Ben Clark, we show you everything you need to know about how to wear your Banjo Picks.

Video text:

0:00:08.6 –>
howdy and welcome to Banjo Ben Clark today we’re going to talk very important to us banjo players it’s something that you’re going to encounter very soon after you start to learn how to play the banjo and that’s how to wear your picks today we’re going to talk about how to wear oh why you should wear them the best way to make them fit and maybe the best type of picks to use so I know that whenever I first started playing the banjo I didn’t have anybody to watch play and I made some of the silliest mistakes you can ever make when you’re trying to wear your pick so I’d like to keep you from making those and shed a little light on the subject first issue that I’d like to talk about is do we even need picks I get messages all the time from folks that say I don’t play with picks but whenever I do try to play with picks I don’t play as well and they end up hurting my fingers and which

0:01:01.8 –>
I have to reply I agree when we do first start using picks it generally is going to hurt our playing if we’re used to playing without them and it’s also going to hurt our fingers but those are things that we simply just need to get over if we’re ever planning on really getting all their money’s worth out of our banjo you see without those picks to amplify your finger strokes you’re never going to get the real true tone and volume that your banjo is built to put out plus if you ever play in groups nobody’s really going to be able to hear you that’s why we’ve got to use these metal finger picks and these plastic thumb picks and so the pain that you experience whenever you first start using these picks is part of just part of the process it’s just like when you first start riding the horse your butt’s gonna hurt you so bad you can’t hardly sit down in the cushioned chair but after a few days you start getting used to it before long you don’t even think about it and that’s exactly what we’re gonna go through and we get used to wearing our pits let’s talk about those

0:02:00. –>
different kind of picks alright guys the first pick that I’d like to talk about is our thumb pick there’s tons of different thumb picks out there I bet I’ve been through every one of them I know a lot of you have too but for those of you who are just getting started it’s important to find one that fits you and I found a particular one that I like the best and I’m going to just show it to you it’s called a golden gate thumb pick that’s what it looks like and they come in different sizes I personally wear a large I believe maybe it’s an extra-large but the key is to find one that’s big enough to where it doesn’t cut your circulation off and your thumb and turn the tip of your thumb blue and but it’s not so big that it wants to spin around with you whenever you’re playing because this we get to play and go faster and faster we tend to play a little louder a little harder and so you want it to where you can put some pressure with that thumb pick on the strengths and it not flip the the thumb pick around your hand I’d like to go ahead and put it on and kind

0:03:01.1 –>
of show you how far down my thumb I wear it that’s the front view giggle maggie’s and then the back view like that okay I see some people whenever they put the thumb pick on its resting right on the around the tip of their finger maybe like that if that’s the case it may have a tendency to come off and a lot of people not put it way down too far on their thumb maybe something that’s not too far but they’ll put it down close to that joint and it will also inhibit your playing okay so we want to find just a happy medium there to where it’s it’s right in the middle of that first thumb joint nice and even nice and level and just like that let’s move on to the finger tips all right let’s talk about finger picks one of the most common questions that I get about finger picks is what kind do I buy what thickness which brand which style for that I have

0:04:01.2 –>
to say there’s not a clear and concise and always correct answer for that we need to really try them out for ourselves and they’re not that expensive generally these picks run about a dollar apiece if not less than that so I say go buy several brands several different sizes and then you can try them out for yourself you’ll probably end up landing on a particular style that you like now I have several different styles here and I’d like to explain to you the difference this particular one I have right here in the see here is a Dunlop like I say there’s several different great brands out there I’m not endorsing one over the other here’s a Dunlop with thickness of point zero one eight when you buy these especially online you’ll see the different thicknesses and what that is that means 1800s of an inch thick is the wall of the metals so then the bigger the number that you have the stiffer that the pics going to be now there’s a couple good things and bad things about that the stiffer that the pick is the

0:05:02.8 –>
more tone it will generally draw out of your banjo and the harder you can play without the pick giving way okay so those are good things about using a stiffer pick something like a point zero two or point zero two two or point zero two five the bigger you get the stiffer they’re going to get however for your new players you may find that the really stiff and rigid picks do hurt your fingers more than the others and especially as you go to try to mold these picks to fit your fingers they don’t come pre fitted so as you go to start to mold them the stiffer picks will give you a you know a harder time to mold those and I’d like to go over with you right quick how to mold those to your fingers how exactly to wear those picks to give you the best contact and the best plane possible.

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