Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Bryan Sutton- Picking Hand Technique

This is a helpful video showing proper pick hold, etc. which has been discussed a few times here:


Thats almost exactly my right hand technique, although I’ve been trying to not let my fingers touch the pickguard anymore (but since Bryan does it may not be necessary for me to change). There’s not too many ‘wrong’ picking techniques, it just depends in what you can get to work for you. Took me a while to stop trying to mount my hand on anything, though I still catch myself doing it anyways😁. Ive heard a free floating right hand will be the fastest if you can retain accuracy, so thats what I go for.


I spent almost an insane amount of time trying to master the “perfect” pick hand technique, almost to the point of guitar being a chore to practice. I finally reasoned out that I am more than likely never going to be at the Billy Strings level, and just want to play and sing for fun, not to pay the bills. Since I came to that realization, my picking technique is what it is, and I find myself unconsciously fine tuning it as I go. Guitar is fun again since I don’t stress too much about my technique.


This is the way.


Ryan, I went through a similar process and came to similar conclusions. A big blocker for me is that it is very tough for me to unlearn bad habits (and not slowly revert back). Maybe if I get back to playing hours a day, I will get back to working hard, but until then, I’ll continue enjoying it. I am glad you are having fun again!

BTW, I do like the Sutton example.


Fun is the name of the game for me. And I see enough pro pickers, none of which have the same technique, that I would be willing to bet fun was the name of the game for them too.

But he was talking about guitar, not a “Mando”.