Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Fat fingers

learning the banjo cords but fingers touching other strings and not getting a crip sound. How do I correct this?

1 Like

Larry…The same way you get to Carnegie Hall.


I am not experienced enough to address your question… but I did want to acknowledge your very first post here on the best Forum.

I encourage you to be active and visit/contribute often!

I couldn’t resist being a smart alec. :roll_eyes:

Actually though, really curl your fingers, and try to land your fingers on the strings almost up to your finger nails. To the point where it stings a bit.

Hey Larry! Welcome to the board!

First, make sure the neck of the banjo is resting in the web between your thumb and index finger. That helps get the right angle on those fretting fingers.

Second, make sure you’re using the very tips of your fingers.

Third, if steps one and two didn’t help, record a video of your fretting hand while playing a song, upload it to YouTube and post a link here. Ben is known to record video advice for folks to help them improve, and there are several seasoned pickers here that may be able to see your problem and help you identify and correct it.

@llandel - Welcome !
This does not cover big fingers but it is an important tip.
If you are following one of @BanjoBen lessons, he will almost always show and explain the tricks of finger and hand position for the difficult licks. The detail is in the subsequent videos.

Hi Larry, Welcome to @BanjoBen 's Forum. Let me just say right off the bat I suffer the same fate. This is a great question and there will be others seeking similar reassurances on this topic for sure.

I would encourage you to watch and listen carefully to the advice Ben gives out in the beginner section. I can’t remember which lessons he talks about avoiding other strings but it’s in there somewhere.

You should be aiming to put the tips of your fingers (not the pads) on the strings, with fingers pointing down, not flat across the strings which we all have a tendency to do when learning, To do this you need to angle your wrist slightly and in some cases position the thumb behind the neck. It’s hard to explain in words which is why I encourage you to work through the beginners learning path.

Trying to correct this can seem really frustrating at first, however I encourage you to stick with it. Accept the fact that your gonna make mistakes and play bum notes, lots of them. Once you understand this and learn to relax you will make better progress.

1 Like

Have you watched this lesson, @llandel?