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Picks and fingerpicking

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(@welshman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 99
Topic starter  

You know I've never been much of a one for using a guitar pick and as I mainly play an acoustic it has never seemed that essential. In fact, I love to practice fingerpicking so all my picks were pushed to one side for whenever I used my mandolin. However a couple of days ago I cut my thumb on the pad and at such an angle that I couldn't strum or pick with it. Everytime I tried all I would do is open the wound and while blood on the strings does have a certain air of martyrdom and glory about it, I'm not sure it does too much good for the tone.

So begrudgingly I went to my picks and picked up the electric (for a change) and started to play. Now the guitar was as wonderful as ever, unfortunately the useless ******** playing it was shall we say a tad out of practice with this odd piece of plastic in his right hand. It felt like I was almost back to basics - which of course in many ways I was. So I did my usual warm-ups and played a few scales and by the end I had stopped swearing so much but the sound was still leaving a lot to be desired. I was clumsy, slow and generally inaccurate. As if that wasn't enough I couldn't seem to get the precise angle with the pick so it ended up with a slightly raspy sound rather than a clear ring.

So I have decided to accept that my use of a pick needs practice just like every other part of playing a guitar - something I had forgoten and become complacent about. Undoubtedly in a couple of days I will go back to concentrate on my fingerpicking but I hope I remember the lesson I've learned over the last 48 hours ... assume nothing and practice everything - no matter how simple it may seem.

D

What did the guitarist do when he was told to turn on his amp?
He caressed it softly and told it that he loved it.


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

It's very rare I use a pick - 99.99% of the time I strum with my finger. However, I always carry one around - there's always the chance the nail will break on my index finger. I was never a boy scout, but I do believe in being prepared for any eventuality.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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

I use both pick and bare finger at the same time.
while holding the pick with thumb and index, middle and ring are used to grab notes
or counter beat.
I could never get used to finger and thumb picks when i had a pedal steel.
I felt like I was hovering over the strings instead of 'feeling' a closer contact.

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


   
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(@coleclark)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 417
 

grrr...to dogbite!! thats what a few good guitarists do and i cant do it...makes covering there songs very hard!
i got used to playing without pick and with one, different styles call for different things so its good to be able to keep in practice with both if possible


   
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(@welshman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 99
Topic starter  

Serious question dogbite - how did you learn to use both? Is there anywhere online you can recommend for some tips? Or was this the usual sweat and tears job until it came right?

What did the guitarist do when he was told to turn on his amp?
He caressed it softly and told it that he loved it.


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

my picking with pick and finger came out of not understanding how to fingerpick and get that alternate bass note.
so I starting using my middle finger and pick and developed my own version.
Chety Atkins was big when I first started guitar.
his style was impossible to get down, but I had to try.

just stick your middle finger out and grab a string and pull on it. catch it with the fat part of the finger tip.
eventually, ya, sweat and tears, you will get the groove.

you could watch merle travis videos. he used a thumbpick and finger pick. two fngers. he was good.

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


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

Unless I'm misunderstanding his description, "dogbite" picking sounds like what is more commonly known as hybrid picking, and is a very good, flexible method for switching among and closely approximating many styles: strumming, Travis, Atkins, Montgomery octaving ... lead, rhythm, chord-melody ... and on and on. It's definitely a useful picking method to learn well.

-=tension & release=-


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

   
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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 554
 

Welshman, I know the feeling. I've been mostly a finger-picker, even strumming with fingers. Recently I started using a pick for some single note stuff, and found that it felt totally strange.


   
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