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Alternative to a Plectrum

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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Jeff Beck may have great tone but he doesn't play metal and he doesn't have the tone for metal. That doesn't mean he can't but he doesn't play in that genre and hence that's not his tone so I don't think he's the best choice to argue the point.

Vic there's no way in HE double hockey sticks you can play metal with your middle finger you might play alot of music that way but you ain't going to play metal like that. Using your fingers would give you a complete different tone even if you handle the extremely fast accurate picking required since the flesh in your fingers gives some give compared to a hard pick but even if you used your middle fingernail I doubt you'd be able to ever get those fast syncopated rhythms using it.

For the most part there isn't much finger picking in metal since alot of it's about fast, loud, aggressive music that has little melodic structure. Some of the genre's do have alittle more melodic lines in them and there may be some guitar parts that might be fingerpicked but the metal I'm talking about like early Metallica, Slayer Pantera and a million other metal bands I don't think can be played without a pick.

If you look around enough you'll see advertisements for picks made especially for metal. Like Ande mentioned pick type is very important for metal players. I don't think that go to great lenghts to market picks to a certain type of player if there wasn't some importance to it.

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


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(@scrybe)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2246
 

I agree that Jeff doesn't have a stereotypical metal tone - if that's what someone is after he's not the guy to copy. But his tone is often aggressive and nasty and there's stopping someone using a tone similar to his while playing metal riffs - the tone would be distinctive in that genre and might therefore succeed well, or fail miserably. It'll take someone with the inclination to test it for that to be answered.

Buy I still don't think playing fast metal riffs on a low E string is seriously doable using fingers and no pick.

Ra Er Ga.

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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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This post got me interested in trying to see if I could find any info on the use of a pick in metal. I never really found that per se other than the advertisements for particular picks made exclusively for metal, but actually Beck was listed as one of the early "metal" players as did Cream and Led Zepplin. i don't consider any of those metal...now back when they first hit the scene they might have been but we are talking 30-40 years ago.

And Beck's tone which is great I will admit is not what I would call the voice of today's heavy metal scene.

Remember this music is uber fast, loud, and aggressive and it might sound the same to you if you tried to use your finger to play some parts (if u even could) at low volumes but when you crank your amp to 11 or beyond and play those fast riffs I think it will be pretty obvious you'll never get the sound.

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


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

Everyone is talking up this Jeff Beck like he has 7 arms or something.

I think i might have to check him out!

My jaw doesn't drop easily, I've had the pleasure of either warming up for or playing sax with some of the best, but it did when I saw the video "Jeff Beck Live At Ronnie Scotts". I rented it and then bought it. Every time I watch it I learn something.

He does things on the guitar that are incredible.

Whether you like his music or not, you owe it to yourself to rent it (you may end up buying it too).

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

Since we are morphing this to a Jeff Beck thread I would agree the guys is an amazing player and I'll admit to knowing only some of his material but you can't deny the talent.

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


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(@cd-60-blk)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 30
 

Speaking of Jeff Beck, I wish I lived in London right now or could go there for February 13-14. Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton live in concert http://www.jeffbeck.com/index2.php

Where do you get your energies? Well its a vicious circle thing, If I hadn't ever played an instrument then I wouldn't ever need to play one. But now that I've been playing, I need to play. - Eric Clapton 1967 RollingStone interview


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(@greenhorn607)
New Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2
 

In regards to the OP's original question, I found that I had the same problem with catching the strings on the up strokes, but i solved the problem by using a very thin and flimsy nylon pick, it may not give the best sound, but it's very forgiving. Since I'm a lefty that's learning to play right handed, my right hand is not as coordinated(but I am noticing improvement), so sometimes "funny things" happen while strumming.

BTW, I also think Jeff Beck is awesome.


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(@hobson)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 794
 

As has been discussed a little, you might just want to experiment with different kinds of picks. There are so many out there. I usually play fingerstyle on guitar, but occasionally have the need to strum. I use a pretty thin pick on my acoustics, usually .46 mm. I use a stiffer and thicker pick on electric, which I play very little. For mandolin, I use a larger, heavier pick that is more rounded. The ones I like are 1.00 mm. When I started playing mando, I tried a pick that was more triangular with fairly sharp points. That didn't work for me. The point is (no pun intended), don't give up on picks without trying a few.

Renee


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Can you strum without a pick?
Yes, but you will get a different tone. Try using your the nail on your index finger for the down strokes and the thumb nail for up strokes. This may not work too well, if you have fleshy fingers.

You could, of course buy thumb and finger picks - I have a set of Pro-pik (or, rather, a copy of) finger picks and Dunlop thumb pick.

As for picks, there are hundreds of picks, that all have the same shape - the "standard". You'll get different results with different materials. I hate the standard sized picks, can't use them at all. I use Dunlop Jazz picks, mostly (the purple tortex ones). I have some Fender teardrops and Dunlop 206 Jazztones (must be close to 2mm thick) that I also use.

Try as many different shapes, materials and sizes as you can.

What you may be experiencing is due to holding the pick wrongly. It sounds as if you are holding it too tight on the upstroke. Could it be that you're not strumming parallel to the top of the guitar? If you're angling away from the guitar on the down stroke you may be digging in to the strings on the upstroke.

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