Hybrid picking (Chicken picking) and the pinky ?

Armann

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May 14, 2012
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Hi.

I have been trying to learn chicken picking, now I'm wondering if you can help me out. I read in Guitar Techniques that it's not recommended to use the pinky.
Albert Lee does and Danny Gatton used to.
Do you know if Brent Mason, Paisley and other players use the pinky ?
I don't think Greg Koch does.

Why do you think most players do not use it ?
It is an extra finger... ;)

Been trying to use it like Brett Garsed does but it's hard..
What do you do ?

Thanks.
 

DSharp

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I use my pinky to anchor my hand and sometimes to dampen the high E string when I need it; it's never been a picking tool for me. Should you train yours? Why not? If you have a style that will benefit from having that extra finger, I'd say go for it.

A sort of analogous example: Years ago I taught myself to fingerpick an acoustic guitar, and I used a thumbpick and fingerpicks on my index, middle and ring fingers. Later, I learned that most people only use their thumb, index and middle fingers. I'm glad I got my ring finger involved because it made it easy for me to hybrid pick when I later adopted that style.

Do what makes sense to you!
 

transmaniacon

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Imho people favour the other fingers because they are more functional and stronger and hence make them preferable and easier to use. By all means persevere with the pinky, it can only make you better. I tend to mainly use it for comping as mine isn't very co-ordinated and I haven't got enough time to make to make it more functional without sacrificing the limited practice/playing time I have. ymmv

steve
 

BlackAmpeg

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Our lead player uses his pinky finger for chicken pickin' licks. He slowed it down and showed me how he does it, but it makes no sense to me. I think it's more about how you learn and what works for you. I personally use my ring finger when chicken pickin'; that feels more natural to me.
 

czgibson

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I've never used the pinky on my picking hand, but I know that a few players do.

Along with p, i, m, and a, I've seen the pinky referred to in some music as c, which apparently stands for "chico".
 

HC

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I think Albert Lee started out playing piano, and still does, and when he went to the guitar he was already using the pinky and I guess it felt natural for him to pick with it. I sometimes use the pinky along with the other fingers for plucking chords, but ring and middle only for regular picking.
 

Steveareno

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Dogtown So Cal
I always hybrid pick on a tele. Was shown this technique about 40 years ago by a Mexican/American friend and never looked back. I usually anchor my pinky under the bottom lip of the bridge box (sems like a perfect fit) for stability, but pull it out for cluster chords and artificial harmonics,
Swang on,
 

mohair_chair

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Santa Clarita
The pinky is hard. For me, mostly it's the ring and middle finger. I don't think I've ever seen anyone use the pinky finger, although obviously people do. But like anything else, do what works for you.
 

jefrs

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Newbury, England
I think Albert Lee started out playing piano, and still does, and when he went to the guitar he was already using the pinky and I guess it felt natural for him to pick with it. I sometimes use the pinky along with the other fingers for plucking chords, but ring and middle only for regular picking.

Yes he does play piano and usually does a couple of numbers at the piano.

Albert Lee does pick with his pinkie. He showed me but I'm still mystified at what was happening because his pinkie is hidden away under his palm.

He does use a pick between thumb and first, so three fingers spare.
Whereas I use the classical thumb plus first three fingers p+ima and occasionally the pinkie (c), no pick.

There is a problem using the pinkie because you cannot operate it independently, the third finger (a) will move as well.
 

telex76

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I use it when I need it.
Sometimes doing banjo rolls the pinkie will jump in without me planning on it.
I don't think much about my hybrid technique anymore, but at times I realise I've used my pinkie on some phrase or other.
Thats not how I learned or practice, but I guess my brain thinks its easier to throw it in there sometimes.
 




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