Finger Picks? (little Tele content)

inertian

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I was a fingerstyle acoustic guitar player long before my first electric guitar and my introduction to (and frustration with) standard guitar picks.

On most six strings (Teles included), I can get away with using a pick or my fingers, but I'm having a heck of a time playing my RIC 12 cleanly with just my fingers. Should I grow my right hand nails long (they're pretty strong anyway)? Get some kinda fingerpicks? Any suggestions welcome.
 

Mitch Roberts

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Finger Picks

Hey Ian - I thought I detected some real fingerpickin know-how when you were playing my Keb Mo! It was clear you knew your way around with those fingertips. As for a 12-string, I don't know how you could do it. You might try the link below for a modern version of a finger pick at Elderly's. They have many other styles as well. Never tried, them, but they look more promising than the old National metal style.

http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/PK40-L.htm
 

The Bone

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I too started as a fingerpicker

I'm glad I did, because it has given me the ability to use my other fingers in conjunction with the relatively new (one and a half years) flat pick technique. I have tried the thumbpicks and I don't like them. They hurt to wear, and the angle of the pick part doesn't seem right. I wish it were more towards the tip of my thumb. Same with the finger picks. Uncomfortable. Can't speak for the 12 string, though. Good luck.
 

Baard

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Get a thumbpick

and grow your fingernails. Than you can pick with good definition with all your rh. fingers. When you practice a bit, and use a not too thick thumbpick you can also do the flatpick thing with the thumbpick. It took me 2 years to be able to flatpick as well, with the thumbpick, like when I was using the flatpick. I´ve only recently got´ten used to that. The thumbpick finger thing took only a month or so to get used to, because i was already doing fingerpicking w.o. thumbpick. I needed the thumbpick for the attack. But that said, i saw a fantastic musician in germany when I did a gig there a couple of months ago. He played a strat with a flatpick. Twangiest snappiest picker I ever saw. He used flatpick and fingers, and had tremendous speed. He also played violin and banjo just as well. :cry: Dang. Some guys have all the "luck" :rolleyes:

BerndHarry.JPG

He was not even that old....

So what´s my point...dunno, I guess there are no rules. Du what you like best and build it on what you already know....




Baard
 

Rob DiStefano

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As a continuing fingerstylst I rarely use a pick but rely on bare fingers and somewhat short fingernails on the pointer, middle and ring fingers, with never a thumb nail (just flesh). I've failed for decades to adapt to fingerpicks of all manner and sorts - I'd rather use nailess fingers.

fingers.jpg
 

rod

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Everyone seems to have their own approach to this situation. For 12-string maybe Roger McGuinn's solution of a flatpick and 2 fingerpicks would work.
Personally, I like to use a flatpick and bare fingers.
 

Bob Rogers

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I'm with McGuinn

For years I was an acoustic player/fingerpicker and used a thumb pick and fingerpicks on my index and middle fingers. When I picked up an electric I moved to a flatpick with finger picks on my middle and ring finger. I alway felt like I was "cheating" until I learned that McGuinn did the same thing. If you can get used to fingerpicks, they really make a RIC 12 sing.
 

inertian

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Once upon a time...

...I used fingerpicks, think they were the standard metal ones. Seems to me that was what McGuinn used. Anything better around now?
 

tdp46

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I saw him.....

McGuinn, a couple of years ago and he was still using metal finger picks then. That's how he gets the "sound", strangely enough on the up-pick which in a way negates the Rics different stringing of the 12 string. :?:
 

takeout

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I've been experimenting with these:

f-tone_split.gif


I'm still not completely comfortable, but they're still better than any of the other ones I've tried thus far.
 

slauson slim

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Try Fingers and Nails

Never had much luck with plastic or metal finger picks on electrics - always clanking or clucking them on some thing - pickups, body, bridge. Thumbpick and fingers or flat pick and fingers more accurate and work best for me. On acoustic, I dig the ringing tone and volume from metal finger picks. Tried a metal thumb pick once...too much clang.
 

Telecaster

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Thumb pick and fingers for me most of the time

I really wanted to get the thumb pick and fingers thing down, but the Dunlop and National thumb picks were either too tight for extended play time or too big and bulky. I was talking to a local pedal steel player and he turned me on to Fred Kelly thumb picks. They are fantastic. Check out the link http://www.fredkellyspicks.com/speed.htm

As far as longer nails or fingerpicks go, I have tried both and while I liked to go see Melonie :rolleyes: :eek: at the nail shop for the acrylic nails, I realized they weren't needed. Neither are the fingerpicks in my opinion. I use the flesh of my fingertips
 

Cliff

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Finger picks

:D I started out as an acoustic finger picker after seeing Fahey play in 1965. He used a thumb pick and two metal finger picks. I believe Kotke used the same arrangement and was pretty successful on a 12-string (fast, too). For me, the finger picks didn't work on the acoustic, but I needed a thumb pick for that thumping bass in Travis style finger picking. I routinely file down and shape my thumb picks so that they better match the length of the nails on my fingers, which I keep pretty short. You may consider modifying your thumb picks with a file and sandpaper, length and shape.

As far as comfort, I've found that thumb pick sizes vary widely. Even the same make and model. I try on a ton of them before buying.

I'm now playing electric lap steel, and I found that I needed to convert to finger picks, as I couldn't get a consistent attack using just a thumb pick and my fingernails. It was a real transition, and I still don't think I have the feel and accuracy as I did with just fingernails, but it has been necessary. The metal finger picks come in a variety of different guages, and, to me, they all feel different. If you go this way, try the different guages. One last thing. The latest thumb pick that I use with the lap steel is Dunlop Zookie. These have angled tips (10, 20, or 30 degrees, I think). It's been working well for me. Good luck...and be picky.
 

spyder

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Ho...fingerpicks are used by banjo and steel players...mostly for the high end they help promote.....takes some gettin' used to though....most fingerpicking guitar players use the nails...they don't have to be real long to do the job....if breakage is a problem...use some hardener...or that stuff they use for horse hooves....Kelly thumbpicks are about the best around....pretty much in EB territory....sturdy too... thats why I use 'em....the EBs break at the top after a spell....lotta guys have problems with thumbpicks....the thumb is natures tool for handiness...its stuck on our hands for one reason....to help/ support the fingers...kinda like a marriage....might say the thumb is a natural born guitar player as well...just gotta give it a chance to do its thing....later, spyder
 

Rob DiStefano

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spyder said:
....the thumb is natures tool for handiness...its stuck on our hands for one reason....to help/ support the fingers...kinda like a marriage....might say the thumb is a natural born guitar player as well...just gotta give it a chance to do its thing....later, spyder

A fingerstylist's best friend is an educated thumb. Pick is optional. 8)
 




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