The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57003   Message #894557
Posted By: Mark Clark
20-Feb-03 - 03:54 PM
Thread Name: Finger/Thumb Picks
Subject: RE: Tech: Finger/Thumb Picks
I'm sure that hand and finger size is an important consideration. For reference, my own hand, with fingers spread, spans eight inches. My thumb is around two and one-half inches in circumfrence.

I recommend not using finger picks at all. If you must use finger picks, do as Rick Fielding has suggested and learn to be equally comfortable with or without them. You'll get a much wider range of attacks and sounds without finger picks than with them. You can learn to play with precision and authority without them, trust me. This also has the advantage of not having to keep track of them and keep them properly adjusted.

I use a white Dunlop S (small) most often and cut the pick down with fingernail clippers so that only three sixteenths inch or so sticks out past the side of my thumb. (If you do this, you'll want to refinish the edge so it's smooth and rounded arain.) I like the small size because it fits snugly and the part that wraps over my thumb can't get caught in the strings by accident.

Lately I've been experimenting with Fred Kelly's Slick Pick, also white, in a medium size and heavy guage. I've been using this mostly on my Telecaster (heavy medium flat-wound strings) where I find I can use the pick as both a thumb pick and a flat pick at need. Fred Kelly's also makes one called the Bumblebee Pick that really is both a thumb pick and a flat pick but I haven't tried one—most likely won't. I buy my Fred Kelly's Slick Pick at a local music store and only buy a couple at a time.

      - Mark