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Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by mikej89, Apr 1, 2020.
and then it'll become a callus and thus useful.
Don't forget Jim Mullen! He plays this way because no-one told him any different, and by the time he realised that was an idiosyncratic way to play, he was too accomplished to want to start again.
totally agree - I never use a pick only ever a finger nail if needed and strum as you say !!
Fingernails and Pick.
I use whatever I need. I don't use a 'thumb style' because I never had a tune that required it. I play fingerstyle guitar occasionally. I do use the thumb to rake backwards (and up strum) as many classic banjo tunes use a "shave and a haircut" ending that rakes down with the index nail on the "two" and quickly back up with the thumbnail on "bits".
After sitting with Leroy Troy one evening I tried incorporating some of his techniques, which include quite a bit of misdirection. One is a thumb rake buried in his clawhammer stroke. That was hard to learn!
I pretty much learned on a nylon-string guitar playing folk music, so I very rarely (if ever) use a pick. I finger-pick and strum everything. There are different kinds of picks and the right pick can give you a good, vibrant sound. I've even seen people play some fast classical pieces using a pick, but there are some things for which finger-picking is best. The main problem though is what steel strings do to fingernails; I have to keep my nails really buff (it's all in the nutrients). Nothing wrong with either way, and I do wish I was a really good flatpicker. But I also wish I could play better by sight-reading and wish I could learn piano, Celtic flute and harp. Only so many hours in the day. ;D
Warmth to my mind means acoustic guitar. The only warmth I get from a Strat is when its been on my shoulder and under my arm for a couple of hours.
I find that playing with my fingers rather than a pick on my Strats gives my playing a natural compression and subtle dynamics. I rake up and down with my index, thumb and middle and ring. With my right hand keeping the rhythm I can create a wah-wah sound with my cable direct into a black face fender. I taught myself this technique from trying to learn “Stop this Train” by John Mayer a year ago. It has completely transformed my playing. I don’t think I can go back to playing with a pick consistently. I’m can get around those strings too fast and efficiently with 4-5 points of contact. The other benefit is the bridge pickup rolled off just a little doesn’t sound as twangy. It sounds cool AF.