This question pops up frequently – do we really need to use picks? I often get messages from folks who don’t play with picks, and feel that they don’t play as well and end up with sore fingers when they use them.
To this, I have to reply, “I agree.” Picks will hurt your playing (and your fingers) when you first start using them. However, this is a necessary hurdle in order to get the best value out of a banjo’s sound. Without the amplification and articulation of picks, you won’t be able to pull the true tone and volume out of your banjo and will be easily drowned out in a jam setting.
So if it’s crucial to our sound to get accustomed to wearing picks, what kinds of picks do we use as banjo players?