Hello - just asking for help on alternate picking in Queen of the Burlesque. In the first measure, there are two triplets and I am finding the fingering difficult on the second one.  The section I am finding difficult starts on the seventh note:  F and then the triplet starts E on the first string, C on the second string then open G on the third string.  I'm guessing that the correct fingering would be index, middle, index, thumb.  However, my finger naturally wants to hit that F with my middle finger (ii) and it keeps doing it!  So it would be middle, index, thumb, index.  Is that okay or should I train my finger to use the first method.

Thanks!

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Thank you Jody. I didn't know that you could slow down Youtube videos like that!  Very useful tip.

Carrie,

QOTB has been in my repertoire since forever and I went back to see how I got over the problem you mention.  It seems I subscribe to Jody's suggestion of thumb on G, second on F, first on E, then slide the first over to C.  Then it's back to G with the thumb.  There is a similar first-finger sequence in the second bar.  

Playing consecutive notes on adjacent strings with the first finger is one of those tricks that comes up again and again and it's well worth perfecting.  Like frailing, it seems impossible at first, but you wake up one morning and it's like you never played any other way.  The hardest part is controlling the speed as the temptation is to play the second note too soon. 

Note that Eric plays the opening chord as a roll - it's not marked that way, but I was taught that four-note/four-string chords were played open every time using thumb, first, second and third finger.   That means that the second/middle finger becomes available to play the A, then it's a TMIT roll from G to G.  Starting the first chord as a roll has all the RH fingers moving from the start and not closed up in a pinched chord. 

I also agree with Jody that it's a good idea to break sections down into forward and backward rolls, particularly if you can use them to get the emphasis right.  Some tunes, such as the third section of Jacko on Parade, are essentially proto-bluegrass and benefit from breaking them down into a series of bluegrass rolls.  It's the only way I can ever remember how to play that piece as the music itself gives no hint about the RH fingering, and if you get the sequence wrong there is no way to recover. 

In short, there is no right way or wrong way to finger a banjo piece (the markings are often wrong), but if you are finding that what you are doing is difficult and complicated, you should be looking for another way of handling it.  Or you have found a sequence that needs working at.  That's the joy and the curse of the banjo: it's not an easy instrument to play at the best of times, but it's made more complicated by having so many possibilities for strings, frets and fingers.  But, in the end, it's definitely worth the effort. 

Regards

Tony

Thanks for your input Tony.  That was how I was approaching it but I was worried that hitting the C with the index again was 'wrong.'  I like Ian's suggestion of playing the F to E with a snap (and in the next bar) the E to open D. Interesting suggestion regarding using a roll instead of the pinch on the opening chord.  Just goes to show there are many ways of approaching this piece!  

To be clear, and not quibblesome, though it may appear that way, using the index on the C would not be using the index "again".   It would be the same stroke that played the previous string.  Just drag it from string one to string two. It is a glissando, a glide, or to be really technical, a reverse glide. It does not feel like a new stroke to the player.  It's the equivalent of dropping the thumb from string 4 to string 3, a common move in classic banjo playing. 

If you truly made another new stroke on C with the index that *would* be wrong.  Doing it that way would encourage the creation of a right hand move that would inhibit smooth playing at higher speeds. 

carrie horgan said:

Thanks for your input Tony.  That was how I was approaching it but I was worried that hitting the C with the index again was 'wrong.'  I like Ian's suggestion of playing the F to E with a snap (and in the next bar) the E to open D. Interesting suggestion regarding using a roll instead of the pinch on the opening chord.  Just goes to show there are many ways of approaching this piece!  

Not quibblesome, that's helpful Jody.  That makes sense.  Thanks!

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