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I have a sticky thumb

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Huge
 Huge
(@huge)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 12
Topic starter  

Hi everyone,

I have been learning to play fingerstyle for about a week now, and have a bit of a weird question.

I've noticed that the last couple of days, when playing my guitar, my picking thumb gets a bit sticky. Now, I haven't changed my personal grooming habits at all, so I assume that it's from playing. It's not a huge deal, as I expect that it will either pass or I'll get used to it. So, my question is, has anyone else noticed this when they play fingerstyle? If so, did it go away, or did you do something about it? I'm just curious.

In case you need to know, I don't use thumb or finger picks. Thanks.

My new blog about learning the guitar: http://hugesound.blogspot.com/


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

some days I am all thumbs.
some days I play like a god.

I don't try to figure it out. my worst moments go away.
sure wish the best ones would stick around longer.

sticky thumb could be a lot of things. maybe some minor technical thing. hard to say.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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Dave T
(@dave-t)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 239
 

Maybe if your strings are really old you are sloughing off some gunk but they would have to be pretty dirty!

Do you mean perhaps your thumb feels like it is sticking to the strings? ie: not striking and releasing cleanly?


   
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Huge
 Huge
(@huge)
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Topic starter  

Maybe if your strings are really old you are sloughing off some gunk but they would have to be pretty dirty!

Do you mean perhaps your thumb feels like it is sticking to the strings? ie: not striking and releasing cleanly?

Actually, yes. That is exactly what I mean. I didn't think to describe it that way.

BTW, my strings are maybe 3 weeks old.

My new blog about learning the guitar: http://hugesound.blogspot.com/


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

I was looking at your avatar and wondering if you were licking it.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Huge
 Huge
(@huge)
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Topic starter  

I was looking at your avatar and wondering if you were licking it.

No I just lick microphones. That way I never have to share. Sometimes it wakes me up. :D

My new blog about learning the guitar: http://hugesound.blogspot.com/


   
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Dave T
(@dave-t)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 239
 

Huge:

Make sure the thumb nail is clipped as short as you can, unless you want to use the edge to pluck(I don't) In time a bit of a callus will build up on the edge of the thumb pad.

As usual, practice and repetition helps. Try isolating the thumb and just work on slowly plucking the E, A, D strings in different patterns while you hold an easy chord say Em till you get a clean sound.


   
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Huge
 Huge
(@huge)
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Topic starter  

I figure my thumb will get used to it. It just feels weird.

My new blog about learning the guitar: http://hugesound.blogspot.com/


   
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yournightmare
(@yournightmare)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 108
 

My advice to you is to use a thumbpick. Go to the guitar shop and try on a bunch of different brands/sizes until you find one that fits you well. You won't like it at first, but after a week of playing it with it, it will be hard to play without it. My favorite brand is National, but that's just personal preference.

Using a thumbpick gives me a lot more control over volume and timbre.

If you use a thumbpick for a week instead of the flesh/nail of your thumb, you should be used to enough to make a decision about whether you want to keep using it or not. But don't just use it for a day and decide you don't like it, that's not enough time.


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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The extra-heavy pearloid Golden Gate's my favorite.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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yournightmare
(@yournightmare)
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Posts: 108
 

Thanks Ricochet, I'll check them out if they have them at one of the local guitar shops.


   
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Huge
 Huge
(@huge)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

I'll try a thumbpick. Now I have an excuse to go to the guitar shop tomorrow. :twisted:

Metal or plastic?

How about fingerpicks? Yea or Nay?

My new blog about learning the guitar: http://hugesound.blogspot.com/


   
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yournightmare
(@yournightmare)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 108
 

I like plastic thumbpicks. I don't use fingerpicks, I just use my fingernails. I've tried a bunch of different fingerpicks so that I don't have to take care of long-ish fingernails, but I can't find any that fit well enough to use on a regular basis. The best fingerpicks I've found are the metal ProPik ones.


   
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Rahul
(@rahul)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I was looking at your avatar and wondering if you were licking it.

:lol: :lol:

He does need to change his avatar. :Cough:


   
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Tyler N
(@tyler-n)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 45
 

If it persists and annoys you.

Look into a slippery-er string of choice.

I know that the Elixir's have a coating that makes your fingers glide off of them more easier.

And some strings are more rigid and non slippery.

So experiment with that :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TxmW-rIGFA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAvejpRYsQM
my idol


   
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