Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

thumb pick

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by valleyartsman, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. jdfoosh357

    jdfoosh357 Tele-Holic

    Oct 7, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    for strickly rhythm........i wouldn't use a thumbpick.
  2. tcouch

    tcouch Tele-Meister

    Jan 12, 2004
    Put me in on the Thumb Pick, i have been playing the Thumb Pick and 2 Fingers Style for 20 years, i guess its what you start out with but its like starting over when i try a Flat pick.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  3. RHytonen

    RHytonen TDPRI Member

    Since I started on steel string acoustic (Folkie/ragtime/dreadnought-D18) in the early 60's, I've been using a thumb and fingerpicks. Right in the beginning I decided, intuitively, I wanted the fingerpicks bent minutely "hooked" at the very tips. It has served me well to this day, for chicken/popping etc., even with the Tele (my first elecric, at 73!) At this age I found, with my RH CTS, I also need to "leash" the fingerpicks with rubberbands, and I can "brush"-strum (as fast as I like, Carter "church-lick" style,) because the "hooks" also keep them from hanging up on the backhand stroke. And I never lose a pick in the 'box'...or across the room.... IMG_1536.JPG IMG_1534.JPG
    1955 and JustABluesGuy like this.
  4. Dadzmad

    Dadzmad TDPRI Member

    Sep 17, 2014
    Wisconsin USA
    Yes I use a thumb pick even on a tele. I favor the Golden Gate yellow striped picks.
  5. dustoff

    dustoff Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    May 23, 2005
    Glenview Illinois
    That's how I learned to play. I have a hard time with a flat pick.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  6. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I use a thumb pick or no pick.
  7. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    I've tried to use a thumb pick, but just haven't been able to keep it from rolling around on my thumb.

    I also find it very difficult to do alternate picking with a thumb pick. My cousin is a very good thumb pick picker, but has as much trouble using a flatpick as I do with a thumb pick.

    I use my thumb and fingers, or pick and finders, or just pick. Thumbpicks and slide have so far eluded me for the most part. I guess I need to do some intensive wood shedding...
  8. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    My cousin is great with a thumb pick. I wish I could use one as well.
  9. murdude

    murdude Tele-Meister

    Jun 16, 2017
    Brantford, Ontario
    Thumb picking really does open up a different world and I love it. I have been using them for about six months and have pretty much adapted to playing most music that I do. I had trouble using them with a Tele' at first because I would pick too deeply and hit the guitars body. But, thanks to Fred Kelly Slick Picks, I can manage pretty well now. Playing shuffle and Rockabilly type rhythms, is a challenge that I haven't totally figured out yet and find easier with a flat pick. But, I'm sure I will work it out with practice.
  10. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

    Sep 22, 2017
    northern CA
    Do you really pick with your little finger?
  11. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Meiners Oaks CA.
  12. SonsOfMoog

    SonsOfMoog Tele-Meister

    Jul 22, 2017
    I used to use Fred Kelly bumble bee picks. Pricey jazz picks with a loop. These days, I'll use any kind and adjust my technique.

    I mostly hybrid pick Danny Gatton style but use a thumb pick on banjo exclusively.
    Crobbins likes this.
  13. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    May 6, 2012
    Just grow your thumbnail, no?
  14. OldManAP

    OldManAP TDPRI Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Coopertown, TN
    I’ve struggled to use a thumb pick on electric off and on for years, but I haven’t tried very many. I use white Nationals or Dunlops with no issues on banjo, dobro, and lap steel, but they feel terrible on guitar for me. A little too strong of an attack, and I can’t use it to double as a flat pick at all. I’m thinking maybe a Fred Kelly Slick might work out for me, but the flat Hercos look like they might also be good. Not really sure what thickness would be best. The Nationals and Dunlops always seemed heavy for electric, but I usually use the heaviest Tortex flatpicks, so I’m not really sure.

    The other issue is balance with the fingers, where on the other instruments I always use metal finger picks, which sound atrocious to me on guitar. But I also have never had usable fingernails. I started a thread in Bad Dog about my current struggle with trying to stop nail biting. I think if I can manage to stop biting and get just a little bit of length, and then do gels on the right hand nails, I might stand a chance with this.
  15. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    I'm finally getting on top of steel thumb and fingerpicks, for playing my resonators but prefer the softer attack of fingers, on a Tele. Or a very thick flatpick, like a Big Stubby......
  16. OldManAP

    OldManAP TDPRI Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Coopertown, TN
    Just saw something in an older thread where someone said they always used thumb and finger picks on dobro and lap steel but couldn’t get comfortable with them on guitar because of the playing angle. Kinda got me to thinking about something similar I noticed when I was studying percussion in college. There is almost no reason left to use the traditional drumstick grip (left hand turned palm up), since we generally don’t carry drums on slings anymore. But for whatever reason, when I played drum set or concert snare drum, I was completely uncomfortable using a matched grip (even though I used it just fine on literally every other percussion instrument that you play with two sticks or mallets). It just always felt awkward, so I would play those instruments with the traditional grip, and tilt the snare drum to one side to compensate for the angle of attack. I guess, by the same token, I’ve always been uncomfortable playing bottleneck slide (although I continue to work on it), but “overhand” dobro and steel playing came completely naturally.
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