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  3. Getting Started with Bluegrass Banjo
  4. Right Hand Position

Right Hand Position

And How To Wear Fingerpicks

Where your banjo is positioned in your lap will help you find the correct right arm and hand position. Make sure your feet are planted flat on the ground and you're sitting with nice, upright posture. Place the banjo in the center of your lap and rest your arm on the armrest. Your wrist will hover above your bridge and you'll plant one or two fingers (ring/pinky) on the head right under the first string. Don't rest your fingers on the bridge as this will dampen the sound quite a bit.

For bluegrass banjo, we wear two fingerpicks and a thumbpick. To correctly position the thumbpick make a fist with your picking hand and place the thumbpick on so the blade is pointing down. Most thumbpicks are shaped so they fit your thumb comfortably. The fingerpicks go on your index and middle fingers and you want the blade of the pick to curve up along the flesh of your finger. This is so you can easily stroke up on the string using your pick without it getting caught. Watch the video below for a visual aid.

Right Hand Position Video Tutorial

Make sure your picks are comfortable on your fingers and don't be afraid to bend their shape a bit to fit your fingers better. Once you feel like you have a good fit, move on to the next lesson, where you'll learn your first right hand roll pattern.