Pick Vs Fingers

Discussion about guitar playing from a diverse group of people with different tastes and levels of experience.
Crow
Senior Member
Posts: 554
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Crow » July 24th, 2012, 5:44 am

No one should feel they have to use a pick just because 90 percent of guitar players use them.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

cnev
Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 4906
Joined: June 2nd, 2003, 11:07 am
Location: New Britain, CT

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by cnev » July 24th, 2012, 5:56 am

Don't read things thast aren't there into what I stated, I also mentioned do what you like but the fact that the majority of players use a pick is reality, he can decide which group he wants to be in.

Statistically most people use picks thats just the facts that doesn't preclude anyone else from not using one but that is not the norm for playing guitar.

It isn't an opinion it's just the way it is.

If most are doing it it can't be that wrong.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Crow
Senior Member
Posts: 554
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Crow » July 24th, 2012, 6:11 am

cnev wrote:Don't read things thast aren't there into what I stated
Not to be rude, but this isn't all about you. TWO members have observed they felt they SHOULD use picks in spite of being more comfortable with fingers. And that "should" stuff is unnecessary.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

cnev
Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 4906
Joined: June 2nd, 2003, 11:07 am
Location: New Britain, CT

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by cnev » July 24th, 2012, 6:21 am

It's always about me..Ha J/K

Seriously though it really depends in my mind. I totally agree it's a choice and no one should feel pressured to do one thing over the other but...there's always a but.

I think they have to ask themselves why they are doing it. Are they just giving up to easily? Using a pick when you first start isn't the easiest thing but either is playing chords or most of the stuff so what do they do look for another way to play everything?

If you really like the sound of fingers or if playing fingerstyle is waht you want to do then go for it otherwise personally I'd say work on your pick skills like everything else and sooner or later it will come naturally.

These questions are always posted by beginner's that are usually having trouble using a pick so their first question is it OK to use my fingers.

Whatever floats your boat.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

s1120
Senior Member
Posts: 852
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:42 am
Location: albany NY area

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by s1120 » July 24th, 2012, 6:56 am

I do see your point, and many times had the feeling that I was "giving up". I fought for a few years and did get better with using it.... but it still felt "wrong" to me. As I got more into using my fingers....just normal strumming at the time, I learned to like the sound of it, and to me it sounded more like "me" then just copying other guitarists. So granted in my music I dont have a intrest in sounding like others, or doing note for note stuff. [not that thats a problem at all ] So to me it fits into my playing life. I like the more complex, and thicker sound on accustic, and I like being the diferent, odd man out on electric sounding a little diferent then most others on the electric. Im all about being quirky. :D
Paul B

Crow
Senior Member
Posts: 554
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Crow » July 24th, 2012, 7:30 am

s1120 wrote:I fought for a few years and did get better with using it.... but it still felt "wrong" to me. As I got more into using my fingers....just normal strumming at the time, I learned to like the sound of it, and to me it sounded more like "me" then just copying other guitarists. So granted in my music I dont have a intrest in sounding like others, or doing note for note stuff. [not that thats a problem at all ] So to me it fits into my playing life. I like the more complex, and thicker sound on accustic, and I like being the diferent, odd man out on electric sounding a little diferent then most others on the electric. Im all about being quirky. :D
That's my kind of musician, right there. 8)

I never had any problems playing with a pick once I learned how to hold it (with just a tiny bit of the tip emerging from your fist), & that you don't have to play all six strings at once. I did notice years later that many of the players I admired played with fingers -- Ry Cooder, Mark Knopfler, Tom Verlaine. And I think my playing got more serious when I dropped the pick, because I had to drop the cliches I'd learned with the pick. The old patterns didn't work anymore. Had to focus more closely.

For me the guitar is about FREEDOM. If I want to play scales & exercises & follow rules, there's the piano & violin for that kind of fun. If I'm playing for keeps, I'll pick up the bass guitar. The six-string is where I go to play.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

s1120
Senior Member
Posts: 852
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:42 am
Location: albany NY area

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by s1120 » July 24th, 2012, 7:41 am

Kinda a reach calling me a Musician. :D

I tell you, once I settled on it, I was realy inspired by Mark Knopfler also.. Him and also Derk Trucks. To see how much they can get out of the guitar is AMAZING!! To me it was that they are not being heldback by not using one, [thought Knopfler has said he does at times for rythem tracks...] but would have been held back if they DID use one.
Paul B

cnev
Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 4906
Joined: June 2nd, 2003, 11:07 am
Location: New Britain, CT

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by cnev » July 24th, 2012, 9:34 am

Quirky is OK being different is OK.

Also I wasn't sure what you meant about the note for note thing not sure what that's suppose to mean? If you play with your fingers you don't play the correct notes or what? What does that have to do with how you play a song.
I was realy inspired by Mark Knopfler also.. Him and also Derk Trucks. To see how much they can get out of the guitar is AMAZING!! To me it was that they are not being heldback by not using one, [thought Knopfler has said he does at times for rythym tracks...] but would have been held back if they DID use one.
This is kinda of what Diceman was alluding too it's funny that once you decided to go with your fingers you got inspired by Mark Knopfler and the amazing things he could do but what about the 8 million other guitarists that can do amazing things with a pick?

Not trying to bust you just like to play devils advocate.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

s1120
Senior Member
Posts: 852
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:42 am
Location: albany NY area

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by s1120 » July 24th, 2012, 10:54 am

Very true, and dont feel like your busting on me at all. I wasnt clear on the note for note thing. I was refering to note, for note, tone for tone trying to copy a song. Agean, not that thats bad.. just not me.

And good point about the other players. Im pretty random on guitar players ive looked up to over the years... some played with, some without, some bolth... heck.. some play with fingerpicks. :D
Paul B

cnev
Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 4906
Joined: June 2nd, 2003, 11:07 am
Location: New Britain, CT

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by cnev » July 24th, 2012, 12:16 pm

NP it's all just a good debate. Yes tone will definitely be different using your fingers but the actual notes are up to you on how you want to play a song I won't get in my rant about covers/note for note stuff.

As for tone and using your fingers maybe the reason I never really tried was I don't particularly like any of the artists (all 3 of them) people seem to want to use as the poster boys for not using a pick.

Although all are very technically competent players none of there music does much for me, although I seriously doubt it has anything to do with them not using a pick but they would not be people I'd want to emulate.

But this again is similar to a golf analogy not everyone has the same swing on the PGA Tour but doesn't necessarily mean they can't play because all of them play at a very high level and you can always find exceptions to everything.

Personally I had a lot of trouble with a pick at first maybe for about the first 3 years until I finally started to get comfortable with it. I would drop it all the time I thought I'd never be able to play but I never really wanted to play with my fingers so I just kept at it. I haven't dropped a pick in a few years now. There alot of different ways to hold a pick to get a different tone out of it. You can hold it looser when strumming and tighten up and shorten it when soloing etc.

For the music I like to play I don't see getting the tone out of my fingers
Last edited by cnev on July 25th, 2012, 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

Diceman
Full Member
Posts: 410
Joined: May 3rd, 2004, 6:58 pm
Location: Marion , NY

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Diceman » July 24th, 2012, 7:19 pm

The only reason I replied to this post in the first place was that I was seeing it start to get dominated by the very vocal minority of non-pick users . I didn't want the beginners to be swayed by a minority view presented as the majority .
There are certainly advantages to playing without a pick , and I'll leave it to the fingerpickers to point them out . I do know that in my own case , being righthanded , there have been many times when a finger injury to my right hand would have made it difficult , if not impossible , to play the guitar with only my fingers . As an avid basketball player and doing mechanical work for a living , finger injuries were pretty common . The bottom line is , do what is right for you but don't give up on anything because you can't get it easily . Just keep playing !
If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

Moonrider
Guitarnoise Denizen
Posts: 1335
Joined: April 28th, 2004, 3:59 am
Location: Midlothian, VA
Contact:

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Moonrider » July 25th, 2012, 3:15 am

guy1 wrote:What do you think guys?
I personally find it easier playing without a pick, but it feels like sometimes the guitar sounds sooo much better using a pick :roll:
I use both. Sometimes in the same lick. As my old guitar teacher once said, "Use what gets it done." I learned hybrid picking from day one - it's the only way to fly ;)
Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation

Crow
Senior Member
Posts: 554
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Crow » July 25th, 2012, 5:34 am

I find it interesting that a strongly expressed minority opinion makes some people so insecure. The jackbooted Fingerstyle Police are not coming to take anyone's picks away.

It's much more likely that a new player might be led to think he has to use a pick than to think he has to play fingerstyle. (See posts upthread.) A beginner certainly should work with the pick, because ultimately the more technique you have, the more you'll be able to play, but if one has no affinity for the pick, it's not a sin to drop it & play the other way.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

Diceman
Full Member
Posts: 410
Joined: May 3rd, 2004, 6:58 pm
Location: Marion , NY

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Diceman » July 25th, 2012, 7:42 am

I find it interesting that a strongly expressed opinion makes the expressor think it's right . The Jackbooted Fingerstyle Police are nothing but an unruly gaggle of superior feeling guitarists who take delight in being different for the sake of being different . Great , you are unique , just like everyone else .
If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

Crow
Senior Member
Posts: 554
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Re: Pick Vs Fingers

Post by Crow » July 25th, 2012, 7:54 am

Diceman wrote:I find it interesting that a strongly expressed opinion makes the expressor think it's right .
Where exactly did "right" and "wrong" come into this discussion? Please be specific.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

Post Reply