Finger Pressure and Dynamics

A topic I often discuss with students is Finger Pressure.

Learning the proper finger pressure to use at the right moment on each strings is something that is quite difficult and should be practiced as soon as one gets the basic string sequences of their rolls.

The banjo by it’s nature involves playing A LOT of notes along with the melody that isn’t the melody.  If the proper note is not accented or brought out, it gets lost in the sea of notes.  It’s now only the notes but how they are played.

1)Take a Simple Roll (Forward, Forward Reverse) and try to play them as soft as possible, next gradually increasing the volume until you are playing them as loud as possible.  Don’t Break a string!  You should be creating a volume swell from soft to loud.

2)Take one Roll and try moving the accented note to different notes within the roll.  This will help you develop the ability to emphasize any note within the roll at any time.

These things will help you get from sounding mechanical to sounding musical



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Jody Hughes Written by:

I am a full-time banjo and acoustic guitar teacher, performer and composer. I have performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman Auditorium. My interests include developing educational materials for the advancing banjoist and composing Original Music mixing my background in Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical and Latin Music.

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