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Pick-less/Bare finger support group needed (one day at a time)

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Mike Eskimo, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's been a week !

    I was a pick-aholic, but - no more.

    I tried all kinds and liked some but - no more.

    Plus - if there's any guitar that could stand to lose a little attack definition it would be the Telecaster.

    I'm keeping my wooden flip-top box of 100's of picks within reach to test myself. Kinda like a drunk getting a job at a bar I know, but so far so good...

    My sensei :







    And of course :




    Who's with me ?!

    *crickets*...
     
  2. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Hi Mike! Welcome! I've been pickless since the beginning of the year. I'm a lefty who plays righty, and I've always struggled picking arpeggios, skipping strings, etc. I decided, as an experiment, to put my pick down for a year and see what happens. I'm thinking that maybe I'll get to know where the strings are a little better if I feel em directly. My hero is Andy at GPS; I'd love to be able to play like that. If I end up going back to a pick next year, at least I oughta have better hybrid chops by then.

    Keep coming back, it works!
     
  3. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    I lost my only pick about 48 years ago and have played with fingers only since then. It was more I couldnt be bothered to buy another than any conscious decision Strangly I have been messing around with some hybrid styles for the last month or so when I got a free pick with a string set .
     
  4. tiskit86

    tiskit86 Friend of Leo's

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    Hi Mike. My name is Tiskit86 and I have a fingerstyle and pick problem too. I absolutely can't play acoustic guitar with a pick. I got introduced to fingerstyle early on and have never been able to shake it (despite my love for bluegrass runs). BUT, I have the reverse problem with electric. I never feel like the attack is sufficient when I play fingerstyle on my tele. Thus, there is a pick or two somewhere in pretty much every room of the house.

    Here's a little screening test I used to use in assessing possible abuse/dependence problems, and that others can use to see if they may need help.

    C: Have you ever felt that you needed to Cut down on your pick use?
    A: Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your pick use?
    G: Have you ever felt Guilty about using a pick?
    E: Have you ever felt you needed to use a pick first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or get rid of the urge to use?

    Two "Yes" answers suggest a problem and the need for further assessment.
     
  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I've been considering it, too.
    I practice a lot, and I have started playing chord melodies sans pick.
    I still use a pick on my gigs, though.
    I have a rehearsal later today, I am going to see how well I do without
    my beloved Dunlop EJs.
    This one is a country/swing band.
    Might be fun.
     
  6. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    seems to work fine for Knopfler

     
  7. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    There's things I can do with a pick I can't do with my fingers, there's things I can do with my fingers I could never pull off with a pick.

    I can't imagine giving one style up completely.
     
  8. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I played without a pick for many years. I still do but I've started to use them again some recently. As above somethings work better with a pick.
     
  9. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    What he said. Finger-picking bare handed, chord melody either/or. Rhythm and lead with a pick, although I use different picks for each.
     
  10. dman

    dman Tele-Afflicted

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    I fall in the middle...hybrid style, mostly. Horses for courses.
     
  11. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thumb downward or index finger upward for single note stuff.

    It's as much (or more) about tone as it is about technique for me.
     
  12. bender-freak

    bender-freak Friend of Leo's

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    This describes me pretty well, except I haven't used a "flat" pick in close to 40 years. It's thumb pick and nails for me. I've done it that way for so long I really can't hold on to a flat pick. When I try, it flies off into space to never be found again. I sometimes just sit and noodle with no thumb pick, just bare thumb and fingers, but for a gig or jam session, thumb picks are going with me.
     
  13. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I really wish I could get comfortable with a thumb pick, it seems like the best solution for me, but I absolutely hate the way they feel...

    Hybrid picking seems to be the best medium for me, but there's times it's just gotta be all fingers or all pick...
     
  14. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess my decision came down to my ear over which was appropriate for the situation.

    In this instance "sucking" actually made things easier !

    I suck w/ a pick and I suck bare-fingered so why the hell not go w/ the one that sounds better (to me) ?:lol:

    BTW - you can't get the Gatemouth tone above w/ a pick...
     
  15. skillet

    skillet Tele-Meister

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    I tried in the past but kept getting very inconsistent tone and grew frustrated, so I went back to a pick. As an engineer 'in real life', I like to know how things work, why I'm doing what I'm doing, and how to be the most efficient (meaning, I used to over analyze exactly what finger/thumb to use on which strings, etc).

    In recent months, though, I've been playing a lot more without a pick and not trying to think about it too much; I just do it -- for instance, I had a lesson a few months ago and about halfway through, my guitar teacher asked if I'd like a pick; I had no idea I'd been playing the entire time without one. At home practicing, despite having dozens of picks scattered all over the house, there never seems to be one nearby, so (out of pure laziness because I refuse to get up to find one) I haven't been using one much of late. Still awkward at times and my tone can suffer occasionally, but I do feel it is more natural and that if I keep at it, it could become my preferred method.

    Been on a North Mississippi All-Stars kick of late; Luther Dickinson plays without a pick a lot, though he does switch between pickless, pick and hybrid I've noticed in live videos. To add to some of the other great music included in the thread, here's Luther laying it down without a pick:

     
  16. ThreePlyGuy

    ThreePlyGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I became a bass player in '69 and left pics in the guitar cases since then. Thread is timely as I have for a time been picking up a pick for some hybrid, I guess for something new. Still feels awkward on the guitars but been fun. I have always fingered teles anyway, fits for me. As for thumb pics, if I want to refinish a tele I'll use more appropriate tools thanks.
     
  17. smsuryan

    smsuryan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    been pickless about 6 or 7 years...you know youre used to fingerpicking when you walk into a guitar store, pick up a telecaster, and the staff member hands you a pick and you give him a puzzled look like "why are you handing me that?" then they give you a funny look back..then you smile and say "oh yeah, i dont use a pick!"
    true story...
    gatemouth's "pressure cooker" and "chicken shift" are awesome tunes too! or richie kotzen's new video for "24 hours" ....no blade! and he still plays like that...the end of the video has a closeup of the tele headstock, love it!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  18. mal paso

    mal paso Banned

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    I have the exact opposite problem. Started out fingerpicking on an acoustic, and have been trying to incorporate a pick more with my electric playing.


    If I could do it all over again, I would practice both in the beginning, because like Jazztele said, there are advantages to both styles.
     
  19. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I have been using my fingers for many years. I cannot say how many, but for quite a long time now. I happen to like the sound much better without using picks, especially on acoustic guitars. I used to mix it up, playing with and without a pick since I started playing a guitar as a kid, but eventually I simply gave up the pick altogether.
     
  20. bender-freak

    bender-freak Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not understanding this statement at ALL......"as for thumbpics, if i want to refinish a tele, i'll use more appropriate tools, thanks"....:confused::confused:

    I've got teles that are over 25 years old that I've been playing with thumbpicks from day one of ownerships and they don't have a mark of ANY kind on them, not from a thumbpick anyway!

    Just a little puzzled by your statement, not trying to argue...:)
     
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