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Thread: Three banjo fingerpicks plus one more on ring fingernail

  1. #1
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    Default Three banjo fingerpicks plus one more on ring fingernail

    This thread is adressed to the players who already use three fingerpicks on their thumb, index and middle finger. This setting is kind of mandatory in bluegrass banjo world, and it is one of many options used in guitar fingerpicking. While in banjo world the index and middle fingerpicks are metal ones, in ukulele world maybe the plastic ones are preferred. (Well, I stick with the metal ones.)

    I would like to introduce the extension of this right hand setting made by adding the fourth fingerpick on the ring fingernail – the plastic one that is reversed so it covers the nail and enables the downpicking and downstrumming.

    In summary, this setting allows me to use two fingers for down motion (thumb and ring finger) and two fingers for up motion (index and middle finger).

    The examples are shown at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...AktC7cZc5ilnLB

    Of course, all the rhythmic journey starts with the basic down-up strumming with thumb and index fingerpick.
    Last edited by Mirek Tim Patek; 01-12-2021 at 10:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    1) The route starts with the standard down-up strum with thumb and index fingerpicks. This shall be practiced first before any further rhythmic journey.

    -T-----I-----T-----I-----T-----I-----T-----I-----


    2) You may add the middle finger after the index in order to create the galloping rhythm heard e.g. in the William Tell Overture.

    -T-----I--M--T-----I--M--T-----I--M--T-----I--M--

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKdrFBLLatA

    Here the index and middle strokes are in fact kind of rhythmic emelishment of the main note played afterwards (on the beat) with the thumbpick.


    3) Or you may try to play the triple stroke by adding the ring finger after the thumb. Here are triple strums on the 2nd and 4th beats.

    -T-----I-----T---R---I---T-----I-----T---R---I---

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-aP14EVCw8
    Last edited by Mirek Tim Patek; 01-17-2021 at 10:05 AM.

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    4) The thumb,ring,index sequence can be used for playing the eighth notes, which causes the displacement of some thumb stroke – the syncopation. One example is subdivision of 8 notes into the group of 3+3+2. You can see that there is thumbstroke at the „and“ of the 2nd beat.

    -T-----R-----I-----T-----R-----I-----T-----I-----

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdaucE5lioo

    5) You may further fatten the rhythm by using ring,index,middle burst of three notes instead of two notes played by ring-index.

    -T-----R--I--M-----T-----R--I--M-----T-----I-----

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGIoCDoKwQw
    Last edited by Mirek Tim Patek; 01-17-2021 at 10:04 AM.

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    6) The continuous rasgueado pattern uses the default order of thumb-ring-index-middle fingers (TRIM, in guitar terminology p, a, i, m) in the down-down-up-up pattern.

    -T--R--I--M--T--R--I--M--T--R--I--M--T--R--I--M--

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W8j6WOozaM

    7) To stretch the rhythmic possibilities even further, one may play also the quintuplet (five notes in place of four) by starting the pattern with M and playing MTRIM before next T. The middle finger shall be prepared (stretched out) to start the quintuplet.

    -T----I----M-T-R-I-M-T----I----M-T-R-I-M-T-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnYFEdj0T9I
    Last edited by Mirek Tim Patek; 01-17-2021 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    That sounds pretty good Mirek, and is quite clever. Have you tried Clawjam fingerpicks, they are made for both up and downpicking. I would suggest one of the softer metals like copper or brass for your uke.

  6. #6
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    I have absolutely no interest in learning to use plectra. However Mirek's exercises work well with fingers as well and they are a good complement to the typical inside/outside finger picking that a lot of resources stress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike $ View Post
    Have you tried Clawjam fingerpicks, they are made for both up and downpicking.
    No, I play with standard banjo fingerpicks used by tens of thousands 5-string banjo players, and I have no motivation/intention to change them.

    The need for one more downstrumming finger (in addition to the thumbpick) has been fulfilled by adding the plastic fingerpick on the ring finger, turned upside down so it covers the nail.

    Dunlop plastic fingerpick.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirek Tim Patek View Post
    2) You may add the middle finger after the index in order to create the galloping rhythm heard e.g. in the William Tell Overture.

    -T-----I--M--T-----I--M--T-----I--M--T-----I--M--

    Here the index and middle strokes are in fact kind of rhythmic emelishment of the main note played afterwards (on the beat) with the thumbpick.


    3) Or you may try to play the triple stroke by adding the ring finger after the thumb. Here are triple strums on the 2nd and 4th beats.

    -T-----I-----T---R---I---T-----I-----T---R---I---
    8) The combination of the 2nd and 3rd pattern.

    The T R I strokes may be played as 16th note+ 16th note + 8th note:

    -I--M-|T-----I-----T--R--I-----T-----I--M-|T-----I-----T--R--I-----T-----I--M-|T--

    Or they may fill the space (of one quarter note) evenly as the triplet:

    -I--M-|T-----I-----T---R---I---T-----I--M-|T-----I-----T---R---I---T-----I--M-|T--

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f71Bn02zVE
    Last edited by Mirek Tim Patek; 01-17-2021 at 10:01 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default 256 rhythm patterns in 4/4 rhythm

    In 4/4 rhythm, there are 8 eighth notes played by down-up of T I T I T I T I, and 8 spaces to be (or not to be) filled-in with the additional 16th note. If the 16th note is added before T, it is played by upstroke of M (resulting into the "drag" IMT leading to the T on the beat), if it is after the T, it is played by downmotion of R (the result is triple stroke TRI).

    So there are in total 256 (two to the power eight) possibilities - they are all listed here:

    http://www.mirekpatek.com/lowGukulel...-v20210116.pdf
    Last edited by Mirek Tim Patek; 01-17-2021 at 10:08 AM.

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