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Using Metal Fingerpicks


Salfromchatham

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I have been playing with metal finger picks in the last year (Think Townes Van Zandt or Lyle Lovett). I am getting better at using them, I think. However I have the curve of the picks curving out, and I have seen some videos that the right way to wear them is with the curve in towards the palm.

 

Which is right?

 

This?

 

http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/images/PTLGNSRF-ACTION.jpg

 

or the inverse?

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Ah I love that old song.

 

Sal , you not going through strings awful quick ?

I hope you dont get an itchy eye and forget

 

Generally my strings are good for a bout a month. I play pretty evenly - 1/3 flat pick, 1/3 finger picks, 1/3 bare fingers. I am using Martin SP4100s, Gibson Masterbilts, EJ16s, DR Rares, and DR Sunbeams...

 

My Martin D15 loves Lifespan PBs, and the AJ500M loves anything PB.

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Generally my strings are good for a bout a month. I play pretty evenly - 1/3 flat pick, 1/3 finger picks, 1/3 bare fingers. I am using Martin SP4100s, Gibson Masterbilts, EJ16s, DR Rares, and DR Sunbeams...

 

My Martin D15 loves Lifespan PBs, and the AJ500M loves anything PB.

 

I was close to a deal for a D15 for my lowdeny guitar last week but the guy changed his mind. Nice little guitars

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I have been playing with metal finger picks in the last year (Think Townes Van Zandt or Lyle Lovett). I am getting better at using them, I think. However I have the curve of the picks curving out, and I have seen some videos that the right way to wear them is with the curve in towards the palm.

 

Which is right?

 

This?

 

http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/images/PTLGNSRF-ACTION.jpg

 

or the inverse?

 

 

As shown in the photo. I generally bend the tips of the picks so they are tight against the fingertips.

 

I used plastic thumb pick and metal fingerpicks for years. I am now picking without picks of any type, and attacking the strings a bit harder to make up for it. A bit of thumbnail helps a lot, but my fingernails are constantly breaking off.

 

I like the feel of the strings against my fingers, and I'm not constantly fiddling with the picks, which are not very comfortable. Tried plastic finger picks, but they are even worse. Also tried the Propicks, which cut away most of the metal tip, but did not like those at all.

 

No free lunch.

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you don't need no stinkin finger picks ;)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gytJemzNTM

Thanks Gov. Nice to be reminded about our musical roots. Somehow, The Kingston Trio were able to mainstream this (and other classics like Tom Dooley) and get us interested in the people who really lived the music.

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I have been round and round on this topic for the last 40 years -- no need to jump to a premature solution[rolleyes].

 

I really enjoy playing bare finger stuff, but I hang out with the wrong kind of people for that to be anything but a personal, private activity. I (almost) never plug in -- of XXX guitars, we only have three with pickups -- and two of those as CAsdry.gif. All our other stuff is (relatively) loud and acoustic, and I need the extra volume from picks.

 

I would say I play fingerstyle with picks maybe 35% of the (guitar) time -- the rest is flat picks. I also play Scruggs style banjo. When I play bare finger, I don't anchor my hand -- the touch of the strings is enough, When I play with fingerpicks, I either anchor my palm (to give Travis style low string percussion) or plant my finger banjo style. It is not hard to switch back and forth. I also play clawhammer banjo, and I have pretty good fingernails -- but when I want to make like Grandpa Jones (not to often anymore) I put a finger pick backwards on my index finger.

 

These (and a few more) are always on my person.

 

IMG_9985_zps761323ee.jpg

 

The medal finger picks are John Pearse -- I kind of got into them about 15 years ago. They fit farther up on the finger than nationals and such. For traditional thumb picks, I mostly use nylon -- I ware out and break plastic ones too quickly. I really use three different sizes -- extra light for playing with lightly set up guitars and banjos, medium for playing BG banjo where there is a lot of melody picking with the thumb, and heavy for heavy guitar work where the thumb carries the rhythm. Any combination will work for any application, but it is nice to match the picks to the instrument/situation.

 

Recently I have been using the extra heavy Herco quite a lot, and I like it quite a lot. For me (my personal problem I think), it works better for strumming strokes on both guitars and banjos.

 

I also use different flat picks. The orange one is a 1.15mm nylon -- a nice any-guitar any-application compromise. The yellow one is a very light (73mm) for when I play a guitar set up very lightly -- flat picking a guitar that is mostly used for bare finger style. The next two are the high $$ bluegrass picks -- for heavy rhythms and flatpicking leads. The TS was made from an old mirror -- there is a whole business now converting 19th century TS accessories into guitar picks. The two below them are the cheaper alternatives you don't have to guard with your life -- plastic 1.5mm and 1.8mm (I think).

 

If you can make any sense out of this, you are a better man than me -- but hey, life is an adventure.

 

Off to pick.

 

Best,

 

-Tom

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I've used metal finger picks and a plastic or nylon thumb for years, but generally just on certain guitars and in certain circumstances. They have a nice bright sound and cut through well especially when playing with others who are flat-picking or strumming. I use primarily the old Nationals or Dunlops, and occasionally can find them in various gauges which helps when fitting them for best position and comfort. Rarely use them when playing alone.

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My default game is bareback, but I glad I learned the thumb and finger picks because

 

1. We can have a tin full of stuff!

 

2. It is like riding a bike - fo me, anyway - once you have it sorted you never forget.....a few runs and it is like they were never off...sort of.

 

 

I must try those Pearse picks - I had some other longer body ones I liked, but lost.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I use three metal fingerpicks...dunlop .20s. Curved away from the palm (around the fingertip), each on a slightly different angle (noticeable only to me probably.) Its all in what one gets used to. Also, use a clear plastic pointy Dunlap thumppick.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

 

Note: This post was edited to correct its earlier version.

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Yep, Sal, you're wearing the picks correctly. Wear them the other way and you're going to be getting hung-up on the strings......I use a thumb pick a lot along with bare fingers. My nails are pretty strong. I mainly strum with my fingers, once-in-a-while a guitar pick......Thanks for the Mississippi John Hurt video. He was an original. Great, yet simple.

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Yep, Sal, you're wearing the picks correctly. Wear them the other way and you're going to be getting hung-up on the strings......I use a thumb pick a lot along with bare fingers. My nails are pretty strong. I mainly strum with my fingers, once-in-a-while a guitar pick......Thanks for the Mississippi John Hurt video. He was an original. Great, yet simple.

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