Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Wildwood Flower- Using the Pinky

https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/wildwood-flower-using-the-pinky-banjo

The pinky is weak, but we shall make it strong! This is a basic version of “Wildwood Flower” in the Key of C, but we’re going to play it in open G tuning make that pinky do what we tell it to do!

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Any advice for measure 15? I keep deadening the middle G string when I put my pinky on the D string.

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HI @jsmbrown Joe

If your pinky is touching the middle string whilst your fretting the forth string then you need to move your hand round more on the fretboard. It may help to position the thumb in the centre of the back of the neck. A lot of trial and error to figure out the best position. Look closely at your fingering and adjust till the muting stops.

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Once I hit the fourth string, it does not mute the third string, but in the process of getting there, it touches it. Hard to get the finger to reach that high without touching. I have fairly long hands/fingers also so I wonder how people with shorter hands manage. I am already curling a bit. So much that my ring finger is really scrunched and almost using the nail on that finger to fret. I will work on it some more though and post a picture if I still cannot get it.

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Observation, adjustment and lots of practice. I don’t always play it clean but knowing how to spot and rectify - self assessment is the key to progress. If your ever in doubt post a video and let @BanjoBen analyse the problem

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Hey bud, I bet it’s a wrist angle issue. It would really help if I could see some video or pictures of your hand/wrist position. Thanks!

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I posted a video on the swap section. I have only practiced that song a few different times so my timing is bad. Just trying to get the finder movements at this point.

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After working on this lesson, I went back to “She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain”, and it went much better with the pinky tricks and the F change on the revisit!

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Glad to hear your making progress Mark. It really is tough trying to control that pinky. Cumberland Gap is a good tune to practice that pinky.

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I confess, after all these lessons, I still struggle with the counting in the solo mp3 files. You start out with a slow “one…two…” and then go to a faster “1, 2, 3, 4” but those faster beats are all half notes in the tab. So for each count, we play 4 8th notes (ore one square roll, for example). Why are we counting half notes instead of quarter notes?

And then the backing track mp3s are confusing too. If it says 140bpm, is that 140 half note beats per minute? Or something else? The half-note counting I guess confuses me. Is there a lesson video somewhere I missed on how to use these?

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You are right that for this particular lesson I’m counting in half notes and I have meant to standardize it to match the rest of the rhythm tracks. Thanks for letting me know! But the BPM labels are actual beats per minute in quarter notes.

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