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#2467947 - 02/02/13 03:11 PM Electric fingerstyle?
picker Offline
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A few years back, I got to see Jeff Beck live here in KC, and I was impressed by his fingerstyle approach. Of course, I was floored by what he did with it, but I hadn't ever been as conscious of the fingerstyle approach on electric as much as acoustic guitar before that night. And it seems like since then I have run into or at least noticed more guys going that way. How many of us here are into that?
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#2467952 - 02/02/13 03:39 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: picker]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: picker
A few years back, I got to see Jeff Beck live here in KC, and I was impressed by his fingerstyle approach. Of course, I was floored by what he did with it, but I hadn't ever been as conscious of the fingerstyle approach on electric as much as acoustic guitar before that night. And it seems like since then I have run into or at least noticed more guys going that way. How many of us here are into that?


I'm a fingerstyle electric guy. Been doing that since my guitar teacher got me into classical in the late 60s. I really don't know how to use a guitar pick at this point. The downside is that if I break a finger nail, I'm pretty well f***ed.
Beck is my main electric fingerpicking hero, but Mark Knopfler & Richard Thompson are other good examples.
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#2467953 - 02/02/13 03:41 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: picker]
Fusker Offline
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Do you mean without a pick? If so, I'm in that group. I've never been able to use a pick, probably because I was a keys player starting at 9, and picked (ha ha) up guitar at 16.
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#2467969 - 02/02/13 05:02 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Fusker]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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I mix- sometimes I use a pick, sometimes I play fingerstyle, sometimes I use a pick in thumb & index + the other three ...

It depends on the song.
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#2467974 - 02/02/13 05:24 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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I'm mostly a picker but I use the pick with my little, middle and ring finger for hybrid style when I add some double stops, latin, Travis and jazz style chord picking. I play the same way when playing electric, steel string acoustic and nylon string acoustic. I keep my nails fairly short and play mostly with the pads so I don't worry about breaking nails. I do admire the guys that play with just the fingers on electrics and when playing slide guitar...

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#2468020 - 02/02/13 11:24 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: picker]
Fred_C Offline
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My second jazz teacher taught me "play single note lines with a flat pick and chords with your fingers."

When I play chord melody, I play PIMA for 95 percent of the tunes, there's a couple of tunes I play with a flat pick. I like the way you can select chord tones and play them as melodic enhancements using your fingers.
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#2468030 - 02/03/13 02:48 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Fred_C]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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100% fingerstyle/pick-less/ridin' bareback electric player here. Love it; would never trade it for a pick. I can get FAR more- and better- tone(s), dynamics, artificial-harmonics feel, and phrasing-variation than I ever could with a pick.

I often use my i (index) and m (middle) finger-nails in a way similar to that of using a pick for single-note/string picking and strumming moves.

And the ability for muting, damping, and simultaneous picking of multiple strings is far greater than that of a pick. It also allows me much better control of dynamically responsive "Slow-Volume" swell-effects and "auto-wah" envelope-filter devices, "ducking delays", and any and all dynamically controlled attack/level-sensitive effects.
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#2468034 - 02/03/13 03:05 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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I still haven't been able to do pinch harmonics consistently without a pick.
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#2468041 - 02/03/13 05:31 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
whitefang Offline
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Isn't what you're describing the same thing Chet Atkins had been doing for many a year?

I could never do that to any great degree. Kudos to those of you who can!
Whitefang
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#2468085 - 02/03/13 09:33 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsePsTEgiqU <---- I think you'll find that Chet always used a thumb pick, here he is toward the end of his life...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-c66SJPuUI <---- and here he is in 1954

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI9HGeQdFq4 <---- even when playing a classical acoustic nylon...his finger style always included a pick...

I just can't get used to those thumb picks, so I have to play hybrid...but I agree that Chet was all about playing finger style on electric guitars for most of his life...


Edited by Larryz (02/03/13 10:09 AM)

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#2468092 - 02/03/13 09:53 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Fred_C]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Fred_C
My second jazz teacher taught me "play single note lines with a flat pick and chords with your fingers."

When I play chord melody, I play PIMA for 95 percent of the tunes, there's a couple of tunes I play with a flat pick. I like the way you can select chord tones and play them as melodic enhancements using your fingers.


I like having the pick always at the ready for leads and boogies etc., and when hitting 4 tone jazz chords using the pick and the remainging three fingers to hit all 4 notes simultaneously or a bass run while hitting 3 notes simutaneously. +1 on the teachers' advice... cool

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#2468093 - 02/03/13 09:54 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
100% fingerstyle/pick-less/ridin' bareback electric player here. Love it; would never trade it for a pick. I can get FAR more- and better- tone(s), dynamics, artificial-harmonics feel, and phrasing-variation than I ever could with a pick.

And the ability for muting, damping, and simultaneous picking of multiple strings is far greater than that of a pick.


+1. Well said/written, Caevan.

I should mention that I play electric blues with a flatpick.
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#2468191 - 02/03/13 03:29 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Fred_C]
skipclone 1 Offline
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For playing leads and cutting through a mix, IMO nothing beats a pick. But I`ve been doing more without it especially on acoustic. Wider variety of attack and phrasing.
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#2468193 - 02/03/13 03:34 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
Isn't what you're describing the same thing Chet Atkins had been doing for many a year?


Yes and no. Chet is awesome, but what Jeff Beck does is quite different overall. They both contributed GREATLY to the lexicon.

I try to dabble in a little of both.

Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
I still haven't been able to do pinch harmonics consistently without a pick.


Try THIS: lay the outer edge of skin alongside your picking-hand's thumbnail, that ridge there, on the string where you want to create a harmonic; and pick/pluck the string(s) with your i (index) and middle fingers. Quickly release your thumb from the string(s) just as you would normally with fretting-hand or "pinch" harmonic techniques.

thu rawk
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#2468228 - 02/03/13 05:52 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Registered: 03/20/05
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Try THIS: lay the outer edge of skin alongside your picking-hand's thumbnail, that ridge there, on the string where you want to create a harmonic; and pick/pluck the string(s) with your i (index) and middle fingers. Quickly release your thumb from the string(s) just as you would normally with fretting-hand or "pinch" harmonic techniques.


I use my index finger nail as a surrogate plectrum, so it's really easy to nudge my thumb down a bit to hit the string with a tiny amount of flesh simultaneously with the index nail. This allows a lot of control over how much the fundamental is deadened.

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#2468262 - 02/03/13 09:04 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Try THIS: lay the outer edge of skin alongside your picking-hand's thumbnail, that ridge there, on the string where you want to create a harmonic; and pick/pluck the string(s) with your i (index) and middle fingers. Quickly release your thumb from the string(s) just as you would normally with fretting-hand or "pinch" harmonic techniques.


I use my index finger nail as a surrogate plectrum, so it's really easy to nudge my thumb down a bit to hit the string with a tiny amount of flesh simultaneously with the index nail. This allows a lot of control over how much the fundamental is deadened.



Oh, yeah- I should have first outlined using the index or middle nail to downstroke with the flesh of the thumb on follow-through, similar to "pinch-harmonics" done with a pick...
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#2468425 - 02/04/13 09:43 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Oh, yeah- I should have first outlined using the index or middle nail to downstroke with the flesh of the thumb on follow-through, similar to "pinch-harmonics" done with a pick...


Yeah, easier to describe with a video than verbally, but that's it. Also, position of the picking hand relative to the bridge determines which harmonics are emphasized. It's the classic Billy Gibbons sound.
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#2468465 - 02/04/13 10:34 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
It's the classic Billy Gibbons sound.


Yhup! smile cool
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#2468472 - 02/04/13 10:44 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
whitefang Offline
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Whenever I do that(which isn't often) I use index finger and pluck with my thumb. My right hand thumbnail is a bit longer than need be.
Whitefang
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#2468525 - 02/04/13 12:53 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: whitefang]
Terrell Offline
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Registered: 07/28/08
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Loc: Austin, TX
Hybrid here... I love both kinds of pickin'

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#2468551 - 02/04/13 02:13 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Terrell]
Guitarzan Offline
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i am primarily a pick user, but i can go without and often do. i can use my index finger as a pick to do the heavier rock stuff and thumb and fingers to do more chord and bass note stuff.

i usually have a pile of big stubbies and my metal tipped Dava pick in my pocket. pickless does seem more personal and free but there are things i prefer to use a pick for. as for finger players like Jeff Beck and Knoffler i dig the hell out of those guys.
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#2468682 - 02/05/13 06:29 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Terrell]
SEHpicker Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Terrell
Hybrid here... I love both kinds of pickin'


yes, me too - best of both worlds - except when playing slide - then I go pickless.
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#2468688 - 02/05/13 06:42 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: SEHpicker]
Eric Iverson Offline
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Actually, much as I live to hear good acoustic fingerpickers, I don't play fingerstyle much on my acoustic, because of the nail question. But on electric, I do it a lot more.
I'd like to get a nylon string with my next big paycheck, and revisit some simple classical guitar pieces from college. Just to have some repertoire for playing solo; maybe learn some jazz chord melody pieces, or something by Chris Proctor.
If I decide to take a few classical guitar lessons, the first thing I'd ask would be how to take care of my right hand nails, since I just don't like fingerpicks; maybe I haven't found the right ones.

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#2468716 - 02/05/13 08:09 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Eric Iverson]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: Eric Iverson
I don't play fingerstyle much on my acoustic, because of the nail question.


What is the nail question?
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#2468720 - 02/05/13 08:10 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: Eric Iverson
I don't play fingerstyle much on my acoustic, because of the nail question.


What is the nail question?


To Nail or not to Nail, that is the question. laugh
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#2468725 - 02/05/13 08:24 AM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Fred_C]
Larryz Offline
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I know two good acoustic players that have been having their fake nails done for decades, but I just can't do it...Funny thing is they won't let you use a pick on their guitars as you might scratch it. Their guitars are scratched up 100% more than any of mine where their little sharp nailed anchor pinky digs in... crazy

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#2468958 - 02/05/13 04:38 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Larryz]
skipclone 1 Offline
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My fingerpick style doesn`t really involve nails, if anything I think they would get in the way. Besides there`s no way my own nails would last through that. There are those brush-on nail strengtheners, don`t know if they help.
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#2468971 - 02/05/13 05:27 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: skipclone 1]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
My fingerpick style doesn`t really involve nails, if anything I think they would get in the way. Besides there`s no way my own nails would last through that. There are those brush-on nail strengtheners, don`t know if they help.


OK, this REALLY works:

Apply a tiny little dab of waterproof sport sunscreen that has colloidal silica onto each nail; rub in til it is absorbed and disappears.

Follow this with a similar but more generous application of deep intensive hair-repair type conditioner.

Do this several times a week, perhaps every day for a week or so, letting up after a while; continue to do so a couple times a week. Your nails will become thicker, stronger, more durable, and produce better TONE if you file and buff them properly. thu
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#2468980 - 02/05/13 05:54 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: skipclone 1]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
My fingerpick style doesn`t really involve nails, if anything I think they would get in the way.


It's just a matter of what you're used to. Plus, fingernails are great tools. They're really useful for opening kitchen cabinets which don't have door knobs, scraping old tape off stuff, nose picking, & I can personally attest that scratching your significant other's back with good guitar-picking fingernails will earn you a lot of loving.

Quote:
Besides there`s no way my own nails would last through that. There are those brush-on nail strengtheners, don`t know if they help.


I broke my middle fingernail a couple days before a gig last year. So I went to a local nail salon & had the lady build an acrylic false nail to match the others. Cost me $5 & got me through the gig. I never even knew it was there.
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#2468994 - 02/05/13 06:53 PM Re: Electric fingerstyle? [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
...& I can personally attest that scratching your significant other's back with good guitar-picking fingernails will earn you a lot of loving.


Troof! grin thu cool

Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
I broke my middle fingernail a couple days before a gig last year. So I went to a local nail salon & had the lady build an acrylic false nail to match the others. Cost me $5 & got me through the gig. I never even knew it was there.


I am sincerely glad that worked for you; personally, though, I cannot stand artificial nails, their being on the ends of my fingers feels horrible to me and I find the tone they yield to be lacking.
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