Videos

 

Right Hand Warm Up #2

 

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Warm Up 2 will exercise and strengthen the independence of your index and middle fingers. For this exercise, we will concentrate on the 1st & 3rd and 1st &2nd strings with the index and middle-fingers. The first line in the study works the 1st and 3rd strings and the second line the 1st and 2nd. The last line is an alternation of both string pairs.  Earl Scruggs will sometimes bring his thumb down on the second string instead of using the index ( ie., "Foggy Mountain Breakdown") whereas players such as Doug Dillard would favor the index and middle fingers in many of his instrumentals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right Hand Warm Up #2

 

Video not playing? Click Here

Warm Up 2 will exercise and strengthen the independence of your index and middle fingers. For this exercise, we will concentrate on the 1st & 3rd and 1st &2nd strings with the index and middle-fingers. The first line in the study works the 1st and 3rd strings and the second line the 1st and 2nd. The last line is an alternation of both string pairs.  Earl Scruggs will sometimes bring his thumb down on the second string instead of using the index ( ie., "Foggy Mountain Breakdown") and players such as Doug Dillard would favor the index and middle fingers in many of his instrumentals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right Hand Warm Up #1

 

 

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This is a basic right hand warm-up that incorporates the Home Position in a rhythmic context. Each line has four measures. In the first line, play 3rd string with your index-finger followed by a pinch on the 1st & 5th strings with the middle finger and thumb. In the third and fourth measures, play a 3-1-5 pattern 4X ending a 3rd string and a 1&5 pinch. The second line is identical except the second string is played instead of the third string. The third line (last 4 measures) use the index finger to alternate the third and the second strings with the same pattern.

 

 

 

 When you feel you can do this exercise with clarity and precision, proceed to:

Right Hand Warm Up #2 

 

 

 

Right Hand Home Position

 

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One of the most important beginning skills is the development of a natural feeling of string location in the right-hand. This is feeling where sounds are located on unfretted strings and a tone linked to that feeling.

Developing a solid and stable right-hand that plays with as little movement as possible over the strings is the primary goal. The position is natural with just a slight bend like holding out a tennis ball at arms length. The right-arm or wrist should not touch the banjo head. The mid-arm anchors at the arm-rest and the ring and little close to but not touching the head near the bridge. This forms a bridge for the poised right hand developing a flat-plane of activity under the fingerpicks over the strings.  All motion comes from the knuckles of the fingers.

 A good way to start getting a feel for the location of all five strings is the "Home Position." This involves the third, first and fifth strings. By adapting this position, all other string combinations using two fingers and a thumb are adjacent and close by. Place the thumb on the fifth, the index on the third and the middle finger on the first is the home position. Look at your fingerpicks and make sure they are touching each string flush. Feel the tension of the strings and with a short grasping motion with the first two knuckles pluck each of the three strings together. Listen for a balance. Each string sound should be present and listen to hear if any strings stand out from the others. The idea is to put an equal amount of energy in each string so that a three note chord is produced.