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.
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.
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.
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.