Banjo For Beginners

The ultimate guide to banjo for beginners.

Intermediate Scruggs Right Hand Technique

A good analogy for right hand technique is a functioning car. If your technique is good, it is like all the pistons are firing, and the alignment is right, and the brakes work. If something is off, it messes with the overall car performance. If your car has bad brakes, it negatively effects the whole car. Similarly, if your ring finger is off, it means you can’t play as fast or accurately. In this article, we will go over the intricacies of Scruggs right hand technique, and how exactly to test that your technique is good.

Lets start with the arch in the right wrist. It should be loose, a natural extension of your arm. If your arm is tense, make sure to relax it. A way to do this is loosely flop your wrist up and down. After doing this for a little bit, put your hand back in place. Your arm should be resting on the edge of the banjo. The placement of the ring finger is also important. Your playing fingers (thumb, index and middle) should have easy access to the strings. Make sure that your ring finger is not too close that it impairs the 1st string. Your pinky finger should be next to your ring finger, and not straying from it while playing.

It will take some time to feel comfortable with all of this. It is a lot to be conscious of. Play slowly, and make sure to quickly correct any errors that pop up. Take some time to watch the videos that I posted in the first article. Both banjo players have great form that has been perfected over many years. Over time, your form will slowly settle in. There is nothing that can quickly give you great form. After more practice, your form will seem more and more secure, to the point where it seems natural. Don’t get me wrong, it will feel awkward at first. But eventually this will become instinctive. If you have any questions about form, feel free to send an email or leave a comment below. Happy picking!

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