Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Wildwood Flower- Using the Pinky

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!

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

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.

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.

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

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!

1 Like

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.

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!


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.