Hey all,

After jamming around on my new "reso" CBG, I am finding it much more difficult to play. I wanted it to sound like a banjo, and I got what I wanted...it sounds awesome!!! But, it's tuned to DGB and the strings are the thinner with alot more tension than my GDG-tuned CBG. As a result, I find it alot harder to play with bare fingertips. It's also harder to play loud and fast. It's funny, when I switch back to my GDG-tuned CGB I can really fly on it because of the looser strings. Soooooooo, my real issue now is "fingerpicking" this thing, as I find it very difficult with the high-tension, thinner (painful) strings.

I bought some Dunlop thumb and finger picks, and am totally clumsy, and can't play well with them at all. I'm tapping/hitting the git body (which isn't good because it has a piezo pickup under the hood), and just making all kinds of scratchy/scraping sounds with the picks, and getting stuck on strings and fumbling all over them, LOL. What's hilarious is when I first started using them I had them on backwards. So I watched a YouTube video and found out how to wear them, but they squeeze my fingertips like a vice. Some folks push them way up...some turn them slightly. I can't find anything comfortable about them so far.

These Dunlop fingerpicks are hard plastic and they don't bend. I feel like I want to bend the tip a bit more over towards my fingernail so that I'm actually hitting the strings the way I normally do with bare fingers. So, I'm thinking these plastic Dunlop fingerpicks have gotta go. Can anyone recommend a good brand of adjustable, metal fingerpicks? I want to be able to play this reso banjo style, as it sounds like a banjo to me.

Views: 243

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

what is the scale length on the git that requires so much tension?

remember that as a reso if the tension on the cone is too little it wont work properly...

Hi I use thumb pick all the time, all guitars, and fingernails. Pick string so that it runs off the fleshy fingertip and then off the nail. I also cut my thumb pick very short, to minimise hitting the guitar top.

On my resonator guitars I use same plastic thumb pick and steel fingerpicks, I must have had them for over 30 years, (Dunlop) and have bent them for a comfortable fit. I know if I've put one on the wrong finger, it hurts. 

It will, like most things new, take time to get used to them.

cheers Taff

I am exactly where you are now with finger picks, I have tried most of the types, some good, some bad. I have now fitted myself up with those Stainless Steel ones. I can bend them to fit all over the place, which is difficult due to swollen joints (Arthritis). These picks are just shy of the finger tip on the soft side, the fold round bit just nestles over the knuckle bit. I have to say that experimentation and time resolves the issue though. Practise makes perfect.....

I built a box resonator guitar with a "proper" cone and that did require high gauge strings to give the pressure needed to make the cone resonate.  I really hated that guitar. 

I then built another resonator using one of the cones made for cigar box guitars and it resonates using electric 10s.  I have it set up with a low action - the same as my regular guitars and finger picking is easy without the need for special picks.

Snuffy as you are tuned DGB (unless you have a scale length different to the regular 24.75" - 25.5") it might be worth trying the DGB strings from a set of electric 10s or even 9s and see if the improved playability makes up for any reduction in resonance. If the CBG has a piezo you can easily compensate by turning up the volume. 

Also how low are your strings?  Often to make up for a less than perfect fret job the strings are left high (plus on good fretwork but the CBG is set up for high slide playing).  If you are able to lower the string height (assuming it is high) This will make finger style much easier.


David L.

I love the way this thing sounds. Truly. I think it's just a matter of me NEVER having played thinner/higher/tighter strings, period. I don't have the strength or stamina for fingerpicking steadily on this new git yet. I'm fine playing my other GDG git though.

My neck is 25.5". I'm playing with D'Addario NYXL1046 Nickel Wound Electric Strings .010-.046 - I'm using the DGB strings - one wound and the other two steel. I am using the Charles Atchinson 5.5 reso cone/cover...combined with my box, I could not have asked for a more beautiful sounding reso. My builder told me this build is one of his favorites so far (his #66). He told me he almost did not want to let it go. He set this git up with low action since I am more of a fingerpicker and not playing slide...so the strings on this git are lower than my other CBG tuned to GDG.

I was jamming around lastnight, and I think I'm going to be okay without picks. I am much more agile and faster without them right now...and it just feels more comfy. But the tighter strings are a workout, LOL. I think with time and practice I'll be okay. It's like anything else, you just have to get use to it.


The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Piezo pup handling noise

Started by Kevin Keating in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat 9 hours ago. 5 Replies


Started by Jeremy Wade in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by the anonymous pick yesterday. 1 Reply

Neck mortising jig

Started by Rough Cut Tom in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Rough Cut Tom on Wednesday. 2 Replies

Ukulele & piezo

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Timothy Hunter Jan 11. 1 Reply

Blog Posts

Dual lap steel

Posted by Ron Lutz on January 9, 2020 at 2:42pm 2 Comments

My 3 Gitty Kits

Posted by Poorness Studios on January 8, 2020 at 9:20am 2 Comments

My CBG details

Posted by Paul scofield on January 1, 2020 at 9:22am 2 Comments

Latest Activity

Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked BUGGY (C)'s video
2 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked BUGGY (C)'s video
2 hours ago
BUGGY (C) commented on BUGGY (C)'s video

Funky Jam Dognut

"Thanks UJ, Will send some pics soon havent forgotten, just been a bit manic lately"
2 hours ago
the anonymous pick commented on the anonymous pick's video


"Lol , Yup , Although i don't partake , i'm startin off 2020 on a "high" note…"
2 hours ago
Downtown Vinnie commented on the anonymous pick's video


"Thats dope...uh uhhuhuh."
3 hours ago
Downtown Vinnie liked the anonymous pick's video
3 hours ago
the anonymous pick commented on BUGGY (C)'s video

Song for Nancy

"OHHH Nancy kat .. :'-(   We pet owners  know this feeling all to well ....... but…"
3 hours ago
Ernest Gusella commented on Uncle John's video

Sunday AM Gospel~ When That Train Comes Along.

"Nice sounding dog bowl resonator there! Good song too! Strum und Twang!"
4 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik left a comment for Clark Huffman
"Clark Just wanted to let you know Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane meets at the Airway Heights…"
4 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik left a comment for Ed Parry
"Ed Just wanted to Remind you Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane meets at the Airway Heights…"
4 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik left a comment for Craig W.Solomon
"Craig Just wanted to remind you that Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane meets at the Airway…"
4 hours ago
Doug Thorsvik left a comment for Larry Wright
"Larry Just wanted to let you know Cigar Box Guitar Slingers - Spokane meets at the Airway Heights…"
4 hours ago



© 2020   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->