Question for hybrid pickers on fingering...

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by frank1985, May 17, 2021.

  1. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    Just wondering how you guys would hybrid pick this piece by John Hurt ('Shake That Thing')

    I'm still getting to grips with hybrid picking, but as you can see I typically assign the plectrum to the 6th and 4th strings in an alternating 'travis' style rhythm, with my pinky (x) assigned to the 1st string, ring (a) to the 2nd string, and middle finger to the 3rd.

    When I get to the part circled in red, should i continue with this fingering in order to keep it consistent? I'm just wondering if it's considered bad form to pick the 4th string with the plectrum, and the 1st string with my pinky? I could use my ring finger in its place, but other than interfering with the finger correspondences, it makes the jump down to the adjacent 2nd string more awkward. Another option is to alternate the ring and pinky....

    How would you play it?

    I just want to make sure i'm not spending my time practicing the wrong way!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  2. Linderflomann

    Linderflomann TDPRI Member

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    I think you are a brave man for attempting to use your pinky. I'm using my ring finger to pick the 1st string and middle for the 2nd string.
     
  3. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    Change it up. Your fingers will each become more versatile as a result. This will slow you down initially. Your instincts will eventually take over, and the “selection” will begin to feel automatic.
     
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  4. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Using the pinky takes time to get it workin.

    But is well worth it!
     
  5. Linderflomann

    Linderflomann TDPRI Member

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    I rarely see people use their pinky when hybrid picking. Which well known players do this?
     
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  6. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    Generally I assign the fingers as follows:

    6, 5, 4, 3 = Pick
    2 = Middle
    1 = Ring

    I may diverge from this occasionally; for example, if it sounds right to my ears, I may use my pick on 1 and 2 as well, especially if a single strum is required. I may pluck the 3rd string with my Middle. It all comes down to taste, ease of playability and the situation.

    By the way, I never use my pinky. Ever....
     
  7. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I would change/shift to use a,m for strings 1,2 rather than use pinky or repeat a. That tends to work okay.

    And, this is challenging to play country blues well this way, probably very difficult to approach the feel, but certainly worth a shot as an exercise. (I've tried and decided some things are just best finger picked.)
     
  8. Mojohand40

    Mojohand40 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd use a thumb pick..
    I often hybrid pick, but for MJH... that strong, solid alternating bass is the main thing.
    Not saying it can't be hybrid picked!
    I give you credit for doing it!
    Great tune to play.
    Love John Hurt.
     
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  9. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Meister

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    Don't know about hybrid, but a fingerpicker should really be able to use any finger or the thumb on any string. Use of a pinky for picking is practically unheard of- it's just too short to work with the other fingers in any sort of conventional position. Flamenco fingers use it in rasgueado patterns.
     
  10. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hybrid picking is more than I can train my brain to do. I hold a pick between my thumb and middle finger. That came from using my thumb and middle finger to keep the pick from rotating as I play. Now, I may or may not use my index finger. I play a variety of three finger styles but use primarily my thumb and ring finger, adding my index finger when the need arises. Triple stops are either thumb, index, and ring or index middle and ring. I occasionally use my pinkie. My two finger style is thumb and index. All this came about naturally to a self taught finger picker. I did what worked. The reason I bring this up is that country and rockabilly aren't classical music. Classical music is written for a classical playing style. Popular music forms evolved from what works. Hybrid picking is one of those things that works for some of us and has become the principal playing style for a few. It was never a classical playing style. It was what works. If something different works for you, it's still "what works".
     
  11. frank1985

    frank1985 TDPRI Member

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    I'm just going to learn it both ways!! :) a + m for the first two strings, plus a & x (pinky)
     
  12. basher

    basher Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yah, like everybody else, I'd use my middle and ring fingers. I might be inclined to ditch the pick entirely and go full-on fingerstyle for this, though: thumb for the alternating bass and three fingers for the treble strings.
     
  13. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Off the top of my head I can't specifically recall but Lenny Breau I'm pretty sure did.

    Gatton, Scotty Anderson, etc... unsure, but would be good candidates. Would have to peruse their videos again on certain parts.

    Since I use s thumb pick I use all fingers- and my pinky comes in use at certain times.


     
  14. thebowl

    thebowl Tele-Meister

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    I would do that piece finger style. But if it works for you, then it can’t be the wrong way.
     
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