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Finger Picking Style?

Tigger the Tiger 24 Oct 11 - 08:00 AM
BobKnight 24 Oct 11 - 09:12 AM
pdq 24 Oct 11 - 09:47 AM
theleveller 24 Oct 11 - 10:00 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 11 - 10:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Oct 11 - 10:44 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 11 - 10:52 AM
Duke 24 Oct 11 - 11:21 AM
olddude 24 Oct 11 - 11:30 AM
Cool Beans 24 Oct 11 - 12:32 PM
Dan Schatz 24 Oct 11 - 01:32 PM
Dan Schatz 24 Oct 11 - 01:33 PM
Wesley S 24 Oct 11 - 02:00 PM
Don Firth 24 Oct 11 - 02:14 PM
saulgoldie 24 Oct 11 - 02:15 PM
Will Fly 24 Oct 11 - 02:23 PM
Tigger the Tiger 24 Oct 11 - 03:42 PM
Wesley S 24 Oct 11 - 03:59 PM
Tigger the Tiger 24 Oct 11 - 04:36 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Oct 11 - 04:40 PM
Genie 24 Oct 11 - 05:19 PM
Commander Crabbe 24 Oct 11 - 07:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Oct 11 - 09:51 PM
Genie 24 Oct 11 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 25 Oct 11 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 25 Oct 11 - 03:57 AM
Duke 25 Oct 11 - 08:02 AM
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Subject: Finger Picking Style?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 08:00 AM

I learned in 1960's in high school to pick with 3 picks worn backwards. Is this odd?


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: BobKnight
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 09:12 AM

Finger picks have a natural curve that should curve away from the strings. They're not designed to be steel finger-nail replacements.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: pdq
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 09:47 AM

"I learned in 1960's in high school to pick with 3 picks worn backwards."

What do you mean by "backwards"?


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: theleveller
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 10:00 AM

Unconventional - but if it works for you, fine.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 10:10 AM

not the case if picks are used with frailing for banjo.
and i dont think its the case for bluegrass pickers.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 10:44 AM

Check with the 1954 definition of Folk Music. It may not be allowed. Don't worry though, there is a surgical procedure to put your fingers on backwards, and make the picks face the right way.

Some of us are orthodox, others achieve orthoxy, and some have orthodoxy thrust upon them. In fact most of us do, in England.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 10:52 AM

liberate yourself, either throw the picks away, or carry on as you are, and dont worry about it


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Duke
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 11:21 AM

I started out with three picks, then went to two and then just one. I use a thumb pick all the time and only use a pick on my first finger when the nail breaks which happens more often now that the years are upon me. Whatever works for you is good.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: olddude
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 11:30 AM

Will Fly has some great video's on youtube on picking styles .. they are priceless ... check them out.

whatever way works for you .. heck I am self taught so my style is all over the place but it works for me


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 12:32 PM

Elizabeth Cotten played guitar left-handed without having the strings re-strung. If she could do that, you can do whatever you feel like.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 01:32 PM

If folk music has no room for the self taught and idiosyncratic, it ceases to be folk music and becomes "by the book music."

(There! I said it!)

Seriously. The great banjo player Reed Martin once told me the story of tracking down an old-time player from North Carolina who did a unique two-fingered style Reed wanted to learn. When Reed finally got to see the guy play, he was sorely disappointed - it was pure bluegrass. "I've been taking Scruggs lessons," the guy said. Later Reed begged him to show him some of the two fingered style, but the man refused. "Three fingers is better than two," he said.

And something precious was lost.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 01:33 PM

But to answer your actual question - yes, it's odd. :)

Dan


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 02:00 PM

Folk music itself is odd - so you're fine.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 02:14 PM

I use bare meat and bone.

I've always felt that using fingerpicks was like trying to tap dance while wearing skis.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 02:15 PM

Ya kin pick yer friends, and ya kin pick yer nose. But you can't pick yer friends' noses.

Hey if it works for you...

Saul


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 02:23 PM

Tried fingerpicks - could never get on with 'em. I've still got some - and a thumbpick or two - but wearing them is like making love with a condom on. It does the business but takes away some of the feeling...


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 03:42 PM

I rather infer from the discussion that my picks have been facing the correct way all along. As I am highly politically incorrect,I am glad to know I finally have one item that is normal. I am the only female that does not like long nails.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 03:59 PM

If the bulk of the pick is on the fleshy part of the finger pad and your fingernail is mostly exposed the you are wearing the picks the way most other pickers do. Does that answer your question?


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 04:36 PM

Yes. I have been wearing them that way for 45 years;I just remember someone telling me that was backwards. Thanks for the confirmation.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 04:40 PM

It's correct. The pick goes under the pad, not over the nail.
Alaska Piks and Fred Kelly Freedom Picks work the other way - i.e. the pick acts like the fingernail.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Genie
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 05:19 PM

I've tried both 'regular' finger picks and Alaska Piks but can't really handle either one effectively.   They both come off my fingers when I'm playing unless I tape them on or, in the case of the 'regular' finger picks, tighten them so much that they cut my fingers,   
Plus, I strike the strings from both directions when I'm playing, so even when I put finger picks on as directed (with the picking part on the fleshy part of my finger), they often catch on the strings.

And, no, Tigger, you are not the only female that does not like long nails. I can't chord unless my left hand nails are cut all the way down, and even on my picking/strumming hand, I like the nails just long enough to keep blisters from forming on my my fingertips - just long enough to function effectively as picking instruments.    I am clumsy as as a quadriped when I have long fingernails; can't even pick up a dime easily.

I have been having my thumbnail and all but the pinky nails hardened (acrylic nails) on my right hand for years, but even those I keep filed down to 1/8 to 3/16 inch beyond my fingertips (about 3/8 inch in the case of the thumbnail).    (Since I don't have a "fill" until most of my natural nail is exposed, I've never had a problem with fungus or other negative effects, except that if an acrylic nail comes off, the nail beneath it is thinner than normal.)      Unlike finger picks, the acrylic nails function just fine whether I'm down-strumming or up-strumming.    If finger picks ever worked as smoothly for me, I'd switch to them in a heartbeat, since it would be cheaper than having to have 3 or 4 nails "filled" every 6 to 8 weeks.

Genie

PS, now that I think about it, I wonder if Gorilla Snot might work for finger picks? DK if it would keep them on as well as it helps keep flat picks from flying out of your grip.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 07:41 PM

I use Dunlop 0.013 steel picks for banjo and occasional guitar (three fingers the conventional way round). Anything else I find too heavy. For a thumb pick I have a very light plastic model with some of the pick shaved off to make it lighter and more flexible.

I would prefer to use just bare fingers with long nails but the nature of my work means the nails get broken fairly regularly (or even worse bent back)

It does take a little while to adjust to picks from bare fingers especially when you forget that a downward flick with the finger, tends to rip the pick off!!!!!

CC


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 09:51 PM

I have had the surgical procedure sticking my fingers on backwards, and I can recommend it thoroughly. Everywhere I go in the folk world, they all say, now Al - you're one of us.....! Your fingerpicks all point in the right direction.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Genie
Date: 24 Oct 11 - 10:19 PM

Commander, yes, to me that's a big drawback of finger picks.   I LIKE using downward flicks of the finger from time to time and wouldn't like to have to omit them totally from my picking style repertoire just to accommodate my finger accessories.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 02:45 AM

I thought more about finger picks than anyone else on the planet - probably.
One solution to the desire to flick downwards is to wear finger picks on the first two fingers and use the third finger for downward picks.
Of course, that means that if a player wants to pick upwards with three fingers then the third finger is pickless, but that has never been a problem for me.
To those who have tried picks and given up, remember that picks are essential for bluegrass banjo, and those guys use them naturally and beautifully.
Persevere!


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 03:57 AM

Here's a thought.
Using finger picks is all about "sound".
I wear finger picks for volume.
I started playing in UK folk music clubs when sound systems just didn't exist, and from early on I was disappointed with the lack of volume coming from most guitars.
By the 70s, lots of players were starting to use superglue to create nails that produced a bigger sound.
I use fingerpicks purely for projection.
Which is very important to my personal musical vision of how the sound should be.


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Subject: RE: Finger Picking Style?
From: Duke
Date: 25 Oct 11 - 08:02 AM

Anyone know how Doc Watson does a banjo roll on his guitar? I've seen him do it time and again but he's so fast I can't figure out just what he's doing.


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