Saturday, July 13, 2019

all metal vs all plastic picks

Most 3-finger banjo pickers use two metal finger picks and a plastic thumb pick. Have you ever wondered why?

Your thumb is stronger than your index and middle finger. If your picks are all the same, all plastic for instance, the notes played with your thumb will be louder than the ones played with your fingers. Many times, the thumb is on an upbeat. This means when you tap your foot, the thumb is playing when you have your foot raised up, the upbeat, not when it taps the floor, the downbeat. In most music, we want the stronger beat to be the downbeat.

Many people wonder why Earl Scruggs' rolls were so smooth and flowed together so well. He developed his rolls to start with his index finger on the stronger beat and was able to define the beat better. During his time, rolls would start with a finger and then alternate with the thumb. Banjo pickers would use all plastics picks or all metal picks.... so, any note  played with the thumb on the upbeat was louder. The music was hard to follow or didn't flow correctly. The beats sounded choppy and the rolls were not as smooth. Many pickers changed to metal finger picks and a plastic thumb pick.

There are many types of finger and thumb picks out there. Check back for information on the different picks and why I recommend the ones I use.

To pick up one of my books locally, go to Arbor Music in Magnolia Tx, or  click here  to order them.  There are 3 volumes that are simple and easy to read. Check them out

No comments:

Post a Comment