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Pick Vs Fingers

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Postby guy1 » July 16th, 2012, 12:07 am

What do you think guys?
I personally find it easier playing without a pick, but it feels like sometimes the guitar sounds sooo much better using a pick :roll:
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Postby Alan Green » July 16th, 2012, 2:41 am

It's horses for courses, methinks.

My regular show is a solo classical guitar recital, for which nobody even thinks of using a pick.

Last week, I was in the band for Little Shop of Horrors and using electric guitar, so a pick was more or less the default option, except for some slow power chords in one song.

One of my students plays electric guitar using fingers only, and Mark Knopfler famously played his red Strat that way.
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Postby notes_norton » July 16th, 2012, 8:25 am

Rent The Jeff Beck Video, "Live At Ronnie Scott's" - no pick and great guitar sound. The video is truly amazing and should be a 'must see' for every guitarist, even if you don't like Jeff Beck's music.
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Postby guy1 » July 17th, 2012, 4:55 am

notes_norton wrote:Rent The Jeff Beck Video, "Live At Ronnie Scott's" - no pick and great guitar sound. The video is truly amazing and should be a 'must see' for every guitarist, even if you don't like Jeff Beck's music.


noted, will check it out :-)
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Postby fleaaaaaa » July 17th, 2012, 6:21 am

Both of course :P On acoustic I actually strum with my fingers most of the time then when it comes to electric it's nearly always the pick.
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Postby Crow » July 18th, 2012, 9:25 am

Throw the pick into the audience & play without it.
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Postby Diceman » July 18th, 2012, 6:29 pm

It's interesting that people who don't use picks feel the need to tell everyone else to throw them away . I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that there are way more guitarists who use picks than do not . There is nothing wrong with using your fingers to pick , I do some myself . However , most of the time I am using a pick . Come on pick users weigh in !
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Postby imalone » July 19th, 2012, 12:15 am

Well, it's hard to tell someone to throw their fingers away :)
A year and a bit in I'm still playing mainly with fingers having tried picks on and off. Currently trying tortex yellows (0.73mm) on electric guitar, they're not noticeably much more flexible than the blues that I tried previously, but I seem to suffer less from pick shifting (the thing that really annoyed me). Due to the thinner picks or more practice? No idea.
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Postby cnev » July 19th, 2012, 4:21 am

OK Dice I hadn't noticed your response but I kind of felt the same thing. In reality do what is comfortable but playing with a pic does take some time getting used to.

I rarely play with my fingers and those are usually only notes that I have to play that way.
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Postby TRGuitar » July 19th, 2012, 7:03 am

Well both of course but mostly I use a pick. A lot of finger picked type things I will use hybrid picking. Also while playing some leads I use hybrid picking. It is the pick most of the time though.
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Postby Crow » July 19th, 2012, 7:17 am

Well, shucks. If one can't be opinionated in a thread entitled "Pick Vs Fingers," I don't know what we're coming to. :?

I've actually picked up plectrums again recently when I got interested in jazz. They are too heavy to throw into an audience. I'd hurt someone.
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Postby Vic Lewis VL » July 21st, 2012, 4:15 pm

Oft heard quote from me in my early days of playing...... "Bugger, the bloody plec's gone down the soundhole again!"

Hold guitar upside down, shake vigorously, two seconds later repeat quote....with more vigorous language. Also got sick of losing plecs down chairs & sofas, in washing machines - always had a spare one in that little pocket in my jeans, you know, the one above the right hand pocket.....

When I couldn't find one, I'd strum with my fingernail - RH index finger. Found it more natural. Then, when I got a little better and started fingerpicking, I found it hard to go from picking to strumming with a plec....so I just stopped using one. The biggest change I actually made was to cut my index fingernail short....these days I keep it so short it's only just visible above my finger tip if I look at my finger from the palm side. Same with the other nails on my right (fretting) hand - I keep them just long enough to strum with, haven't broken a nail for ages.

It's been said by many great guitarist that "tone's in your fingers" - so why introduce a piece of plastic into the equation? These days, plecs cost about 50p or so over here....10 plecs = a new set of strings. When money's tight, that makes a difference....I'd rather have the new strings than buy a piece of plastic that makes my tone worse. To me, anyway. I HATE pick noise......and I can't play with a plec without hearing that horrible scraping/scratching noise.

So, thanks but no thanks - they can stay in the shop for me. Fingers all the way....

Of course, that's just MY opinion. It's probably better to be able to play with and without a plec......although Mark Knopfler and Jeff Beck always seemed to play pretty well without one....

:D :D :D

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Postby guy1 » July 22nd, 2012, 1:41 am

Diceman wrote:It's interesting that people who don't use picks feel the need to tell everyone else to throw them away . I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that there are way more guitarists who use picks than do not . There is nothing wrong with using your fingers to pick , I do some myself . However , most of the time I am using a pick . Come on pick users weigh in !



I sometimes feel like I SHOULD use a pick, I just find it harder. Feels a lot easier to play without one… :roll:
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Postby cnev » July 23rd, 2012, 4:44 am

Just do what you like it's all up to you and yes you can always find exceptions to anything but the reality is probably 90% or more guitarists use a pick.
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Postby s1120 » July 24th, 2012, 5:37 am

guy1 wrote:
Diceman wrote:It's interesting that people who don't use picks feel the need to tell everyone else to throw them away . I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that there are way more guitarists who use picks than do not . There is nothing wrong with using your fingers to pick , I do some myself . However , most of the time I am using a pick . Come on pick users weigh in !



I sometimes feel like I SHOULD use a pick, I just find it harder. Feels a lot easier to play without one… :roll:



I went through the same thing. I thought I realy should use one, and fought and fought over getting used to it, and not doing well with it. Having given up on them its nice that I can stop fighting and learn!!! Im sure as I progress more there will be times I want to use one.... but for not I like the feel, and sound of fingers accustic AND electric.
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