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Thumb picks?


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Preee-zent: THUMB! :thu: A-dopt: THUMBPICK! :D

 

That's just because you don't happen to be Tommy Emmanuel. ;)

 

Don't feel bad, Steve Vai has the same problem, too. :thu:

 

Personally, I don't like to wear a thumbpick, and I can't STAND fingerpicks! I don't use any picks...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I'm never without a thumbpick on my person(musical emergencies, doncha know?) :rimshot:

 

Johnny Winter inspired me to try one decades ago, and I've never looked back. Seeing other great thumbpickers like Chet, Nils Lofgren, Tommy Emmanuel, Frededie King(who also used a fingerpick on his index finger), Colin James(on occasion), Roy Clark(on occasion),etc. reinforced my determination to explore it further.

Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I guess if you really want to use a pick...AND...also be able to play freely with your other fingers...then a thumb pick is probably the way to go.

 

I've only messed with one a few times...though I never really practiced useing one...but I'm very intersted in that combi (or whatever it's called) picking style.

Though I've seen guys do similar pioc/figer stuff, but with a regular pick and they only use their bottom three finger for the finger-pickin'....

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Sometimes I use a thumb and fingerpicks on acoustic, but not much on electric. I guess it would make using your thumb in playing fingerstyle a bit easier because you don't have to bend your thumb to strike the strings.

 

Using a pick of any sort is an unnatural act. But finger picks seem especially unnatural. They also lay a secondary learning curve on top of the learning curve for fingerpicking, and that makes it that much harder to learn.

 

Thumb and fingerpicks can provide a different tonal color, which is always a nice thing to have at your command. But picks are more for getting volume out of acoustic instruments than anything else. I never met anyone who uses fingerpicks(and most of them were banjo players) that didn't say they were really hard to get used to, but they needed them to get the sound and volume they wanted.

 

Jeff Beck's approach to playing fingerstyle on and electric has had me thinking about leaving any picks behind. He gets such amazing tones that way, as did Wes Montgomery; he just used a thumb, and better and faster than a lot of guys use a pick.

 

I tried to use these Dunlop Hercos for a while. But, the body heat of my thumb made the plastic strap that holds them on loosen up and they'd move around on my thumb, which made them useless.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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I fingerpick with my pinky finger on the guitar so I have four nails out of ten that are long and I get some funny looks now and then. People that don't play much have no clue why I am so lazy that I don't cut those four fingers..LOL....It is sort of freaky I guess.

When my nail breaks I have to use a finger pick but it takes a day or two to get used to it. I would suggest that you get used to the finger picks and don't do the finger nail thing like me even though you will get MUCH better control with nails. Depending on your style you may have to use nails eventually as you progress like spanish styles etc. Just my take on it.

If I had to do it all over again I think I would practice all the different techniques equally. Flat pick, hybrid, nails, thumb/finger picks, etc. You will be glad you did in the long run.

William Von Luhmann

www.pickpunch.com

 

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Jeff Beck's approach to playing fingerstyle on an electric has had me thinking about leaving any picks behind. He gets such amazing tones that way, as did Wes Montgomery; he just used a thumb, and better and faster than a lot of guys use a pick.

 

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelcome to my little world! :thu:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I like playing just with fingers...though I prefer to use my forefinger as my "pick" rather than my thumb...I feel I get much more control with the forefinger.

 

That said...I don't find the tone any "better" playing with finger instead of pick....it's just different, which is why I like to change up during the riffs from pick to finger to pick...etc.

 

Sometimes I really like the bite of a pick...which can also be altered many ways, depending how tight/loose you hold it and the angle...

...other times I like the softer attack of the finger, as it takes out a lot of the "pluck"...and you just get the note blooming out.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I played for quite a while fingerpicking without the nails (because I used to bite my nails) and I did find that some of the picking patterns are easier to be consistent this way than using the fingernail but you can't down(away)-pick very well without using the nail or fingerpick so speed is sacrificed for the really fast techniques at least they were for me anyway.

William Von Luhmann

www.pickpunch.com

 

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...I tried to use these Dunlop Hercos for a while. But, the body heat of my thumb made the plastic strap that holds them on loosen up and they'd move around on my thumb, which made them useless.
Those are the kind of picks that I must use, because of the nerve damage in my left (picking) hand. I had the same problem; but discovered that only the colored ones have it. The faux tortoiseshell ones don't, and also don't break nearly as easily. One tortoiseshell Herco pick will last me years (if I don't lose it).

 

 

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I play the okie hybrid style using a pick between the thumb and forefinger and using the bottom three (mostly two, bird & and ring fingers)...I'm lost without a pick..I use mostly up strokes with the fingers and have avoided using my nails and just use my finger pads as I kept wearing holes in my fingernails especially if using downstrokes..can't get used to the thumbpick or the Chet Atkins or Merle Travis picking style though lord knows I've tried...also can't handle the thumb and finger picks cutting in to my fingers (uncomfortable)..tried the the metal finger picks a'la Richard Burton and they were a little more combfortable but more wear and tear on the pickguard so went back to the Brian Setzer rockabilly style..have noticed jazz dudes doing this also (disclaimer: still love listenting to Chet and Merle and all other finger pickers)
Take care, Larryz
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I use the hybrid technique where I hold my pick regular (perhaps like Larryz), and then use my other 3 fingers including my pinky. This technique works well for my style, but I wish I was able to use finger pix. I have tried them before and they felt so awkward it was like playing basketball with a hockey stick.

 

I also can use only fingerstyle if I want, but the attack on the alternating bass notes is different if you are doing the travis picking style--which I am not sure I am. The limit of this technique is when you want to finger pick very fast. I simply can't play up to speed as I can with my fingers.

 

A good example of this technique that I am using can be heard on our Gifthorse link the title track Tumbleweed on our CD uses it. Sounds really easy to play, but it isn't unless you know the right hand pattern--which is very deceptive. Sounds easy, but it really is trickier than it sounds.

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Gifthorse,

usually I give the normal bs or don't say anything to keep from offending anyone but........I can honestly can say that I like your music......which of the members in the video on youtube are you?

Von

 

Thanks, well we only have 1 video on Youtube, I am the one with the 12 string.

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Before I took up hybrid picking, some obsessed old dude tried to talk me out of it, saying I should use a thumbpick instead. One of his reasons was that he had trouble holding onto regular picks. He also assumed I just wanted to play fast. Can't account for what goes on in folks' brains sometimes....

 

I ignored his advice and started working out of the book "Hybrid Picking For Guitar" by Gustavo Assis-Brasil. So far it's been working out great for me.

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