Question and Answer with Mike. Check out the pic and then read the great banjo question below!
Can you check out the photo attached and see if these picks are formed correctly? I am a relative novice (less than a year) and can play the basic songs around 3/4 speed.
Every once in a while the picks get tangled up in the strings and I want to make sure I’m not trying to compensate for the picks. Of course, they may be fine and it will just take more practice.
I really enjoy the lessons. I have been struggling with the typical DVDs and books, but this has taken me further and it a lot less time!
Great question! First off, your picks look great. That’s exactly how I bend my fingerpicks. I purchase the propik angled picks from First Quality Music Store and I just bend them a bit more right out of the box.
I personally feel like this angled bend (like you have) produces more speed when it comes to really picking up the pace with your banjo picking.
The “tangled up” problem is fairly common with beginners and it will occasionally happen to you all throughout your playing. You’re right practice will cure a lot and jamming or playing with others will even improve your playing multiple times more.
The most important thing is that your picks fit snug on your fingers and that they are not thin and flimsly. They need to be very strong and somewhat tough to bend with your fingers.
A strong heavy gauge pick will produce a higher quality tone. It doesn’t allow the vibrations of the string to be transferred to your finger and thus muted. You want all of the vibration to remain in the string and you want to transfer all of the power from your finger to the string that your finger has to offer. This allows you to get the most out of your picking and muscle movement.
The short answer is your pick shape looks very good. I can’t tell how tightly the pick fits on your finger just make sure it’s snug and be sure that you’re using a stout pick that will not flex when picking. Looks like you’re on the right track.
Keep up the good work. Send me some samples of your picking if you get a chance.