We’ll discuss anchoring with our pick hand and how to position our fretting hand!
This lesson helped me to realize why my left shoulder has been sore when practicing. I have been holding my fret hand (and whole arm) back so far that the neck is pointing slightly behind me. Moving my hand forward a few inches to a position that is more natural and more parallel to my sitting position has relieved this shoulder discomfort a lot. Probably been holding the neck at this awkward angle to see the frets and the strings better. Not playing with a strap at the moment. A strap may have helped put the Banjo in a more proper position as well.
Thanks for this Ben! very helpful
Thank you for the comments about anchoring with the pinky only in your case. I am right handed (RH) as well and have a similar situation with my RH (picking) ring finger wanting to follow with my middle. I actually tried tying my RH pinky to my ring with an elastic band in an effort to train my ring to stay with the pinky in an effort to anchor with both. After several hours of practice, this did not prove to be successful for me. It caused extra strain and fatigue in my case, so I decided to try anchoring with the pinky only. In my case, I don’t have particularly large hands and I feel it helps me arch over the top of the strings better. I may change my mind later, but for now, I’m anchoring with the pinky only (every once in a while I look down and see the ring only anchoring instead!)
I’m running into an issue with my right hand. It wants to roll back onto the bridge anythime I’m not 100% focused on where it is. I am still trying to determine if I am a one finger or two finger planted player too. Any suggestions on how to curb this rolling back of my RT hand? Any advise is appreciated. Thank you
Howdy Brian! Tough for me to give concrete advice if I can’t see what’s happening. Please go to the Video Swap category and post a short video of what’s happening. I’ll then watch, analyze, and suggest the fix. Thanks!
I just started playing with Dunlop banjo finger picks, and have been playing with Ernie Ball picks since I started. The tone is not as crisp as my thumb, this might be because the picks and not flat on the strings. Is there a right or wrong angle for this? I noticed Ben didn’t cover it in this video. I mostly notice it on finger pick heavy songs like John Henry.
Yes, there is. Watch my lesson called “Pickin’ your picks”: https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/pickin-your-banjo-picks-banjo
Great Information on hand position. I have just started playing (50ish years old) and my fretting hand is not the most agile or limber. Do you have any advice on exercises that will help to strengthen and allow for more flexibility when not playing?
Hi William to @BanjoBen 's Forum
I am sure Ben wont mind me giving his banjo teacher a plug…
Check out this DVD on Alan Munde’s website. https://almundesbanjocollege.com/dvds/
THE BLUEGRASS BANJO WORKOUT DVD
In ten information-rich lessons, master teacher Alan Munde de-mystifies many right and left hand playing techniques. Work with these lessons will add to the player’s dexterity, will increase left hand stretch, solve difficult left hand fingerings, increase speed, and help with the visual organisation of the fingerboard.