Do all banjo players use finger picks?

Do all banjo players use finger picks?

Almost without exception, the consensus is a resounding, “Yes, you need to use banjo fingerpicks if you are going to play Scruggs-style bluegrass.”

Can you finger pick a banjo?

Of course it’s possible to play many other styles of music with fingerpicking technique on the banjo including Classical and Old-Time fingerpicking styles. Some old 2-finger picking styles are very popular and it’s possible to replicate the sound of those old styles with three finger picking techniques as well.

What is Scruggs style banjo?

Scruggs-style banjo is played with picks on the thumb, index and middle fingers; the pinky and/or ring fingers are typically braced against the head (top) of the instrument. The strings are picked rapidly in repetitive sequences or rolls; the same string is not typically picked twice in succession.

Can you play an open back banjo with finger picks?

Yes, many great fingerpickers, indeed some of the best that ever were, used openback banjos.

Which banjo style is easiest to learn?

The 5 string banjo is actually the easiest stringed instrument to get started playing.

What is bluegrass banjo?

The bluegrass style is characterized by a flurry of fast, brilliant-sounding notes and is the sound behind all-time banjo classics such as Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and “Dueling Banjos.”


Before Earl, 19th-century musicians played the banjo by using fingerpicking techniques borrowed from the guitar.

What are the two styles of banjo playing?

Clawhammer to Classical: Banjo Playing Styles and Sounds

  • Clawhammer. This “traditional” style of banjo playing produces a mellow sound; players make down-picking movements on the strings with the index or middle finger, and they “pop” the 5th string with the thumb.
  • Bluegrass.
  • Irish Folk.
  • Dixieland Jazz Style.

How long does it take to master banjo?

Some banjo instructors claim that it should take about 2,000-hours of work to get to the point of playing banjo where you can reasonably be expected to do pretty much anything on it. We tend to agree with this. A good solid 2,000-hours of work should allow you to play the banjo with incredible ease.

What is an Irish banjo?

The four-string tenor banjo is played as a melody instrument by Irish traditional players, and is commonly tuned GDAE, an octave below the fiddle. It was brought to Ireland by returned emigrants from the United States, where it had been developed by African slaves.

What is a banjo finger pick?

Banjo finger picks consist of two parts – a band that goes round the finger (or thumb) and the blade part that you play with. The blade part goes on the opposite side to the fingernail. Everybody’s fingers are different, so you may need to try several different types of picks to get a good feel.

Which finger do you rest the banjo on?

You will be resting the Pinky and Ring finger on the head (skin) of the banjo for stability. A lot of people find it difficult to keep both fingers anchored, if this is you, just rest the Pinky. A lot of top professional players only rest the Pinky.

What is a roll pattern on the banjo?

This is called a ‘roll’ pattern and the choice of rolls is key to getting the distinctive banjo picking sound that many beginners want to achieve when they first take up the banjo. Of course it’s possible to play many other styles of music with fingerpicking technique on the banjo including Classical and Old-Time fingerpicking styles.

What are decoration notes on a banjo?

These decoration notes are typically drone and harmony notes that fill in the spaces in the melody, creating the banjo’s signature “wall of sound” effect. In fact, the typical banjo arrangement has MORE notes in it that are not part of the melody than notes that are.