Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Guitar lesson: Alternating Thumb Fingerstyle- Lesson #1

I started playing finger style twenty-five years ago, mainly Travis style. I loved that style so much that most of what I play is acoustic finger style. I wish this lesson would have existed back when I first learned. It took nearly two weeks of hammering the muscle memory into my hands to get the coordination of the picking pattern to smooth out. Once I got over that hurdle it was on to learning how to play “Freight Train”.

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I only use flesh and nail for my guitar finger picking. After extended picking sessions I find that the tips of my nails wear thin and eventually break off. It’s all a part of finger style playing. I just couldn’t ever get comfortable with picks on my fingertips even though I use them for my banjo picking.

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Fun lesson.

Ben, are you planning on doing follow-on lessons? Finally something I can do with great ease. :slight_smile: All those years playing classical guitar and lute were good for something.

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Hello Dan. Ditto for me on the nail trouble. What solved my problem with my fingernails was Ping-Pong Balls. Yes, you heard right. I read that Chet Atkins used Ping-Pong balls super-glued to underneath his nails for a repair. Well lo and behold, on the internet, you can find all sorts of instruction on how to perform this job. I find it makes my nails about 300% stonger and provides an ablative surface to greatly reduce wear. I guess it’s a common technique for classical guitar players also. That said, it’s probably not for everyone :open_mouth:

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I have lots of knowledge of basic fingerpicking but am really enjoying this lesson. I can’t wait for the more advanced stuff. Great job!

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strong text*Thanks for this lesson I have tried before but never had the basics laid out so well. I will never be great at it but I believe I can draw some good attention to my playing if I apply myself . I will have to use the amp to get it to sound better because my hearing has about left me, I have hearing aids but it is not the same, I still hear it good enough though .

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Nice beginning. Now how about some elementary tabs for tunes expanding on what you’ve taught?

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Welcome to the forum Tommy! I believe that is the intention, but it’ll be a week or two before they start coming out

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Yep, we’ll do that for sure.

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Ben, I play some fingerstyle, but I try to Travis picking using a flat pick and my fingers (hybrid). Is there anything different or particular that I need to do vs. using my thumb or a thumb pick?

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I think that’s really cool! I’d love to hear some of your playing!

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Just started taking Banjobens guitar lessons, good stuff! I think I will need an extra 4 hours a day to cram it all in with the Banjo and my bass guitar :cowboy_hat_face::dizzy_face:

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That’s a fun technique! Do you use your ring finger also or just the middle?

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