Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Right Hand... Ring Finger Anchor

This may bean “old bit” worn-out discussion topic… but…

Should I be concerned that I don’t anchor my ring finger with my pinkey? We probably all know that the great, late Earl was definitive on this point… but many strong modern players don’t.

I am interested in Ben’s thoughts principally- but always welcome others “wisdom”… banter… and feedback.

As one who struggles to plant it, should I re-dedicate to correct now… just under 2 years intomyplaying?

I don’t know any pickers that anchor their ring finger, and I know a lot of fantastic players.

I’d say if it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it.

You know one now, although it’s not on the head constantly, sometimes I rest just the pinky, sometimes just the ring, but mostly both are in contact with the head.

Do not, I repeat, do not fret if you don’t anchor it. Try it for 30 minutes. If it feels better and seems to help your playing, then switch. Otherwise, no.


Same Here Archie, and I’m usually not aware of which one I’m anchoring with. I believe (if I remember right), that I noticed just a small spot of wear on your head, which I would guess means you’re quite consistent on how you’re anchoring. :+1:

Correction Archie, not HOW you’re anchoring, but that are very consistent in the fact that you are anchoring.

One last feeble attempt here. I believe I noticed your banjo head has a very small spot from anchoring, which to me says that you are very consistent in your anchoring be it with you pinky or your ring. Man! I do get scatter brained! :roll_eyes:

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Sounds about right: :sunglasses:

That I’m Scatterbrained? Agreed. :rofl:

I have such a spot from my pinky. All in all, I understand that 2 reference points should - in theory, make the 3 fingers find their strings easier… but well, I appreciate Ben’s input… and perspective.

The head marking isn’t everything. You’ll notice that none of my banjos have it because of the finish type.

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I didn’t say I agreed with that description, none the less if the :cowboy_hat_face: makes you comfortable I run with that

No Sir, I agree… only to suggest that well… my pinkey does anchor it seems… in a SOMEWHAAT repeatable position… since the mark formed so quickly.

I don’t know about the skins and the quality or grade. Seems mine was starting to mark quickly. This may be morphing into a new topic: Banjo Head.

Are they pretty generic or do they have better or “cheaper” ones? Should they be replaced? Do the greatly affect sound?

My Banjo was inexpensive- Epiphone MB-100 Hallowback but the head does say Remo.

I like the way Ben put it in the “Pick Hand Anchor Techniques” video

“We are all made a little differently. The good Lord fashioned us together a little bit differently and some peoples fingers work a little bit differently than other people’s fingers…” etc

Great video that helped me tremendously.


Quite often, I find self deprecating humor a comfort. :grin:


I was just about to ask this exact question. Did a little searching and found my answer. I don’t want to pick up any bad habits. Thanks

Me too…

Oh wait… that was a silly, corny thing to say! :rofl:

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