When going from Finger picking to strumming...
Do you lay down the pick when you fingerpick, and pick it back up to strum? Or do you hold it a different way until you need it again in the song? I cant strum with my fingers because it hurts them. So I was just curious. I usually lay the pick down on my leg, and when I need it, I just pick it back up. But it takes a few seconds to do that so... Im needing help with that.
I'm not any good at finger picking but the trick I was taught was to palm it between your pinky and your palm.
Or in my prehistoric and gross habit, I'll pop it in between my teeth if for a short duration.
At least no one is asking to borrow my picks.
"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"
Or in my prehistoric and gross habit, I'll pop it in between my teeth if for a short duration
+1, I do that all the time (even when I'm not playing - its become a habit!)
Any way you look at it, putting down the pick, then picking it up again is going to take time, which you may or may not have for certain songs.
When you say I cant strum with my fingers because it hurts them why does it hurt? Are you hitting the strings too hard? It takes a bit of practice to get it right, and it can make your thumb a little sore, especially using steel strings.
You could try using your nails to strum with instead of the pick (hard to explain the technique for this), or look into Finger Picks such as this ( http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/details1.asp/ProductID/4158/sid/331/dunlop-clear-plastic-fingerpicks.htm ) which are basically picks that you can wear on the end of each finger; you can use them to fingerpick with and then strum using the one on your thumb.
ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"
I don't play with a pick. Strictly fingertips and nails. To strum, I use the fingernail of my index finger for downstrokes, thumbnail for upstrokes. Have you tried strumming with your nails?
i have a callus on the half moon on my index finger from playing the guitar with it, its permanently black....
but mainly i use a pick, on some dvds iv got such as keith urban, he holds the pick in his hand somehow while fingerpicking then all of a sudden its back in his fingers, any ideas as to how he does this? iv tried between the fingers and between the pinky and the palm and it doesnt work :S maybe its just tricky and not somehting you can pick up really quick?
coleclark: You're going to recognize this answer, practice doing it slowly... unfortunately I don't know just what IT involves, using classical guitar fingering there ain't many places I could move a pick in my hand without dropping it, and then getting it back into playing position again without making a pretty big movement of some kind (or using another hand)... I think first you have to figure out for sure what fingers he's using to play or if he's using hybrid picking (pick never leaves the picking position, he just adds a few more fingers to the mix).
I'm a fan of strumming with fingernails using index going down and thumb going up, I've seen people recommend acting like you are holding a pick but to me that doesn't make sense, I do kind of a wrist rotation so when I'm going down my palms turn downward as I strum down and upward as I strum up, similar to hold a pick but with my index pointing out more. I'm cursed with string blackening hands but blessed with strong nails, so I'm not sure what you are doing that strumming with your fingers hurts unless you are using just one finger to do all strumming (ie thumb for down and maybe up as well or index for anything upward...). A side note is I watched a victor wooten bass clip yesterday when he talked about a double thumb technique where he'd play a note on the up motion too... it's kind of rough on the thumb where it meets the nail but I'm sure with practice callouses will be good... a guitar being thinner would probably just murder me doing the same technique.
I hardly ever use a pick. I haven't been able to master the simple art of palming my pick when I switch to fingers, so I strum with my fingers if I'm gonna do any fingerpicking.
no offense to all the people that play just with their fingers (i use them sometimes as well, especially when picking cause its hard to hit bass notes regularly with a pick) but it really is a good idea to learn how to use a plectrum most of the time, and learn how to pick with a plectrum. playing with your fingers is all well and good but it is very limiting in certain situations and the longer you program yourself to do it that way the harder it is to use a pick. both styles are usable but its important to master both, the sound quality of playing an electric guitar live with your fingers is...well...poor. watch the crossroads guitar festival where jj kale and another hugely famous player (old blues player and i feel bad for forgetting his name :S ) use their fingers as opposed to everyone else using picks and it make you really think about it...
I don't play electric guitar.
Coleclark: Generally when I finger pick I'd turn up a bit, even when I'm strumming using my fingernails which is similar to using a pick the volume isn't the same (angle of attack is less and I kind of brush the strings). I agree that people should learn to play using both a pick and fingers, each has trade offs, it's really hard to do palm muting while playing fingerstyle but really easy to play complex melodies... Dicky Dale's Miserlou fingerstyle... that one's hard enough using a pick and pretty much strikes me as the ideal song for convincing someone that sometimes a pick is better (I am getting to where I can almost play it on my bass.... not quite fast enough yet... maybe if I practiced that song).
the pick and the fingers have vastly different sounds so you just have to choose the method to suit the song. its easy to get into the habit of never using a pick but after a while of forcing myself to use one i fell in love with the sound of the clicking of the pick on the strings...mmmm...arent us guitar players nerds!! haha :P just in a cool way :D
I was perusing another website when I came across this article on switching which you may find helpful