The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46292   Message #686455
Posted By: GUEST,Les B.
09-Apr-02 - 03:55 PM
Thread Name: Fingers or Plectrum?
Subject: RE: Fingers or Plectrum?
Jonsey pretty well nailed it. I would add that you need to be able to pick with bare fingers, with fingerpicks, and with a flatpick depending on what & where you're playing.

I started out years ago playing a nylon-stringed classical guitar with bare fingers. When I fell in with a group of people who jammed in bars I got tired of being told "You look like you know what you're doing, but we can't HEAR you!" (by both fellow musicians and audience).

So I started trying to play with fingerpicks - same result - can't HEAR you. At the same time I started playing banjo with fingerpicks - that worked.

I then got a steel-stringed guitar and started learning to play with a pick. I can't begin to tell you the times I dropped the pick in the sound hole, or flipped it out into the lap of someone listening to us. Eventually it came, and I was heard.

I tried using the fingerpicks from the banjo on the steel-string guitar - could be heard in quiet settings, but not a noisy bar jam. Gave up on fingerpicking in those places.

Recently I acquired a resonator guitar (a silver monstrosity with a car hubcap where the soundhole should be) - and guess what, I can fingerpick that in a noisy situation and be heard. So you need to learn all three styles - actually four, if you use flatpick and fingers together (which I'm working on). They all have their place.