The winners are:
1. Flat pick OR thumb pick
2. Thumb pick plus 2 finger picks,
4. No pick
5. Flat pick
6. Thumb pick plus 2 finger picks
Additional Bowden Comments
Well done everybody and thanks for playing.
Yes, some instruments have more than one correct answer.
Speaking to two, “no pick” for the guitar isn’t correct for the bluegrass style. Also “bow” for bass fiddle used to be incorrect, but since Tom Gray broke the mold bowing the bass on a Seldom Scene record in the early 1970s, well, the demons have been let loose and you see it occasionally in current days. I think of the amazing Nate Sabat with Mile 12 for an example. So the judges have to allow it.
Technically the bluegrass banjos is known as 3-finger picking, calling for yes, the thumb pick but also two metal finger picks. Earl Scruggs didn’t invent that — Snuffy Jenkins was the first man to put on three picks to play banjo on the radio in the 1930s. (Previously 5 string banjo was played with no picks.) Use of 3 picks originated outside of hillbilly music, with HAWAIIAN steel guitar!
The correct answers I had in mind FOR BLUEGRASS were:
guitar — flat pick, or thumb pick (plus sometimes one finger pick…)
banjo — thumb pick and two finger picks
fiddle — bow
bass fiddle — no pick
mandolin — flat pick (except one novelty number when Ralph Stanley played mandolin with thumb and finger picks, like a banjo)
Dobro — thumb pick and two finger picks
I hope everyone had fun with this one!