The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147325   Message #3414472
Posted By: PoppaGator
04-Oct-12 - 05:59 PM
Thread Name: Playing away a fingernail
Subject: RE: Playing away a fingernail
When I "graduated" from a nylon-string guitar to a graduation-present steel-string Martin, I began trying to learn to play with picks.

Shortly afterwards, I began playing long hours as a steet performer. I never caught on the using a flatpick because my hand would cramp up to soon. (Probably a symptom of bad pick-gripping technique.) After swaitching back and forth between the flatpick and a set of fingerpicks, dsepending upon the style in with I played each song, I eventually settled on using fingerpicks exclusively, gradually developing techniques for using the picks to "strum" (or, generally, play loud) with my set of two metal National fingerpicks and a plastic thumbpick.

The metal fingerpicks are carefully shaped to fit my gnarly arthritic fingers. One of 'em, for the middle finger, dates back to the eawrly 1970s. I haven't been so lucky hanging on to my index-finger pick(s); I seem to need a new one every few years.

I wear out the plastic thumbpicks. Need a new one every couple months.

I've always worn the picks to perform. In recent years, I've taken to playing barefingered more and more often when at home, and now I find that when I don't practive enough with picks, when I put them on for a performance, I'm likely to accidentally downstroke with a finger, causing the pick to pop off. Grrr!

I would consider abandoning the picks altogether, but only if I were to start using an amp and pickup for all public appearances. I don't feel that I can generate enough volume without either picks or amplification, one or the other if not both.

I'm quite confident that I can generate a nice wide spectrum of tonal qualities playing with my picks. But htat's just me, not necessarily the best advice for you. I've been at it since 1964 and have picked up a few tricks over all that time.