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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:15 pm 
Heres some of the stuff I got from other pickers over a long time on Guitar or on Tenor Banjo, which, now that we have a place to air it, I would like to share with all the rest of the Chiffy Stringy people.

In general it is best not to hold a pick tight and best if it is so lose that one has to keep rotating it back into position - as I do most of the time.
(which BTW is a wee trick you need to perfect ) The idea is to let it flip just a bit when striking the string.

If you practice picking lightly along the string away from the bridge, it will make a better picker in the end.

When going over the ' 4 frets in a row' chromatic exercises - most books I see have some variant of these in them - do all four of all downs, and ups, then doubles ie down up - down up. These can be varied such as DUDD going down a string or the other way around if comming back towards your face from the treble end, ie UUDU.

You can also adapt a piece of - for 3/4" - plastic pipe and make a pick such as was popular amoung Irish travelling people years ago. ( it is gripped losely between one finger tip and the thumb ) It works fine just so long as you don't try to lean too heavily on the strings - mention of which reminds me.

Tenor Banjos - and Mandolins / Mandolas as well - need to be properly set up before you can get anywhere playing melody on them, esp Irish tunes. The tighter the string, the better! The top/plate of the instrument must be adjusted to have the correct amount of bounce in it, else you'll be forever crashing into the strings where you CORRECTLY assumed they should be when playing a series of 1/16 or 1/8th notes. It pays to have the top tensioned every once in a while by somebody who knows what they are doing. This wee problem also helps explain why some Guitars are great for flatpicking eg Hofner Gibson Martins, and others not, Taylor Ovation etc.

Whichever you play on, when you find one that is properly set up you will wonder why you put up with a bad instrument for so long! A good Tenor Banjo properly set up will almost play itself, badly set up it cannot be played at all except for chording.

Last edited by Guest on Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:14 pm
Posts: 4092
Location: In a ditch, just down the road from the pub
Good stuff, toasty. Actually, you've reminded me of some picking issues I need to address. But I'll start another thread for those rather than monopolise yours ;)

Y're right about set up. It's the difference between playable and junk.

And whether the blood be highland, lowland or no.
And whether the skin be black or white as the snow.
Of kith and of kin we are one, be it right, be it wrong.
As long as our hearts beat true to the lilt of a song.

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