Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Fly Away finger

I been playing banjo several years and continue to have trouble with the “fly away finger” problem. Tried several ideas including an add on device for my banjo.
Really drives my crazy
Any ideas or suggestions?

Not clear on what finger on what hand your talking about.

Venturing a guess, is it one of the fingers you are anchoring on your picking hand?

I forgot to mention the finger. It is my index finger on the right picking hand.
It just wants to lift up - beginning to question if it is physical or mental
My anchor fingers stay in place. I’ve tried one of the banjo “fly away finger” contraptions with little success
not sure if some kind of rubber band would work either
maybe I’m just doing something wrong?


Without seeing it happen it’s hard to tell.

How much tension is your hand under? Have you tried slowing down and concentrating on relaxing while using minimal movement? I find this helps me a lot with right hand issues of different kinds. I know it sucks to play really slow but after a while I can get into it and it really does help me to relax and correct problems.

How much does it affect your playing? Does it cause you to miss notes/strings? Is that finger out of control timing wise? If these are not and issue, and it is just the aesthetics of how you think your hand should look when playing I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The important thing is are you getting what you want out of the instrument.

a little story:
I remember Missy Raines when she was quite young playing with the “Young Blades of Bluegrass”…Although excellent on the Bass she couldn’t keep her tongue in her mouth while she played. It waggled and wiggled and waved all over the place during their shows…it was quite a site, and distracted from what the band was doing on stage. She has since grown out of that and is a top notch musician and performer. Many players have physical quirks that happen when they play, or problem areas they have to work on regularly. Myself I have trouble hitting the string with my first finger, doing a straight forward roll, and I sometimes drool on my banjo when concentrating hard. :unamused:

Thanks - it is better when I go slow. I’ll continue to try and work up to speed and see if it helps.

I know nothing about banjo, but I have had issues with finger independence. It’s like my finger has a mind of its own at times. Piano folks sometimes do drills specifically for this. Try a uTube search for “piano finger independence” and see if anything looks helpful. Best of luck!

— Begin quote from "fiddlewood"

I sometimes drool on my banjo when concentrating hard. :unamused:

— End quote

That’s extra style points right there!

The piano option makes sense. I’ll take a look. Ben offered an idea in a video. I’m hopeful that things will improve. You might want to try the banjo and discover problems you never knew you had.