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Playing technique: hating the plectrum

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Omag, May 28, 2011.

  1. Omag

    Omag TDPRI Member

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    Hi everybody... i've been messing around with guitars for a good 1,5 years now and loving it every bit of the way, though I'm no where near as good as I would like to be. But that doesn't stop me.

    Anyway, since the beginning I've been trying to use plectrums in various thicknisses. But no matter what, I still have a lot more control over my playing by just using my fingernails, so no plectrum.

    i'm fearing this will be handicapping my abilities later on, but I was wondering if any of you have the same problem or just play without plectrum too.

    I do like plectrums when it comes to more solo-like licks, but (power)chords and barrés... nono... lol

    Plus, using my fingers seems to make my tele twang more...

    Your opinions?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  2. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I spent a lot of years playing fingerstyle guitar after starting out with a pick. When I ended up using a flatpick again, I found it awkward and limited, so my solution was to use the thumbpick pictured in the link below. This allows me to swith effortlessly between flatpicking and fingerstyle at any point. I recommend trying this type of pick.

    http://www.elderly.com/accessories/items/HE114.htm
     
  3. voodoostation

    voodoostation Friend of Leo's

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    Never seemed to limit Mark Knopfler, or countless other guitar players out there. If you don't like playing with picks, then don't. I'd say its pretty split here on the forums. Personally, I play about 50/50. Just a matter of preference, style or sound you're aiming for.
     
  4. Ptrallan01

    Ptrallan01 Tele-Holic

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    Started with fingers, tried a pick but never liked the clicking sound on the strings. I used to smoke so what I did was fold the back of a match book in half and that made a great tone on my acoustic. It allowed the varied attack of a hard pick but without the click that drove me crazy. Stopped playing for 10+ years and when I started back I didn't smoke so I went back to playing with my fingers which actually worked better. Learn both. I find that switching between the two hurts my fretting hand more than my picking/struming hand. Not sure why but for the most part I'm a thumb player now days who occasionally practices with a pick but rarely plays in public with one.
     
  5. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    I found my beloved Dunlop 3mm stubby picks and it's hard for me to use any others. I've been playing more Knopfler style the past few weeks to get better at it. I'm really liking it. I'll never abandon my picks, but it's important to me to be able to fingerpick lead and rhythm stuff. Maybe you be in the same boat, just switched around. It was quite a while before I found a pick that I was truly comfortable using.
     
  6. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

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    It's funny, you said you like the plectrum for soloing, but not for chords. Usually I've seen it the other way around, especially with power chords. :) You're right though, if you want some twang, it comes from the fingers, not so much from the pick. That's why a lot of country players will utilize "hybrid picking," either with a plectrum or a thumb pick like ac15 mentioned.
     
  7. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    Watch carefully....



     
  8. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    I forgot to mention, Wedgie makes rubber picks that don't give you a "pick ting". They take getting used to for sure, but they sound quite good. It was hard for me to pick a lot of lead stuff, but they sounded nice when strummed.
     
  9. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've played finger style for about 25 years and it's fun, you can do some unique things but playing properly with a pick in up and down strokes is an essential skill and one that I'm trying to develop right now. If I were you, I'd work on it. You'll regret it later if you don't.
     
  10. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Omag, when it is all said and done, you have to do it your way.

    Hamper you in later years? Maybe, but I doubt it.

    I have played with a pick for decades, many times I wish I would have spent more time learning to use my fingers.
     
  11. tjalla

    tjalla Friend of Leo's

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    Just play whatever best serves getting the sound and style that you want to achieve - put the music first, and the execution subservient thereof. I use flatpick, bare fingers and thumbpick at gigs... they're all different and avail tones and techniques that you can get with just the one approach.

    I started off with flatpick (~7 years+) then went to bare fingers for 4, and thumbpick the last 4. Your timeframe is up to you.
     
  12. Omag

    Omag TDPRI Member

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    It's not so much that I hate the clicking sound of the pick, it's that I don't seem to be able to deliver my attack as I want it with it. Somehow it's not fluent enough, missing strings or getting stuck behind a string while strumming. Doing it just with my fingers, it feels much more intuitive and it sounds better.

    But maybe I'm just not practicing enough with the pick... it usually ends up between my lips when switching while playing, wich makes it even more silly! :D
     
  13. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You need to practice, just like I do.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    certain styles of playing require different techniques ... always more to learn !!! i have never had a lesson, but i developed classical guitar habits ...also flatpicking, Travis picking, cross-picking, hybrid picking, and when i was a young child, nosepicking, which i continue to this day ...
     
  15. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I'd keep your options open. Each method produces some great sounds, some of which cannot be replicated by the others. While famous player X has a great signature sound using only one method, we not-as-famous players are often called up to be a little more versatile in our careers. It can be a very sinking feeling to be in a position of having to say, "it's not my bag."

    You can specialize and focus on the sound and technique that really captivates you, but I don't see anything to be gained by closing off other avenues of expression.
     
  16. banjohabit

    banjohabit Tele-Holic

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    +1 i almost never play electric guitar with a pick, though i frequently use one on acoustic and (after some practice) am more able to switch between using one or not than i used to be.

    i have never been able to transfer my banjo picking fingerpicks to either kind of guitar, i suspect the reason is that i have never practiced that enough to make it work. one thing for sure: with this music playing stuff you will never run out of things to learn !
     
  17. TeleGS

    TeleGS TDPRI Member

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    Choke up on the pick a little more, don't leave so much hanging out and you may not get it stuck. A teacher I had many years ago had me switch to really thick picks because he said the thin ones tend to flop around and get stuck on things. Once I choked up a bit and started using hard as rocks picks, I found I could play a lot faster. it takes getting used to, also. With all that said I now play mostly without a pick :)
     
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