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Hybrid Picking


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After many many years as a bare fingers only player, I started using a flatpick a little in the past 18 months or so.  This has led me to explore hybrid picking.  I've begun learning a bunch of stuff that I would otherwise play bare fingers - folk style Travis picking ala Paul Simon or John Prine, alternate bass blues (eg. John hurt style), monochromatic bass/Delta Blues style, jazz standards, even classical pieces - using hybrid picking.  I'm quite enjoying it, and loving the versatility for playing campfire classic songs like 'Stairway' or 'Here Comes the Sun'.   Anyone else a hybrid picker?

Edited by northcntryblues
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7 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I try it’s hard. I can do it a little bit. Richard Thompson is a master at it.

The big issue for me was activating the ring finger.  As a bare fingers player, I was a thumb-index-middle player.   For hybrid, it's pick-middle-ring.  My speed is not quite there yet, but it's staring to feel quite comfortable.   Was able to pick up alternating bass with the pick fairly quickly, though I'm not quite as accurate with the pick yet as  I am with the thumb.

Edited by northcntryblues
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13 minutes ago, northcntryblues said:

The big issue for me was activating the ring finger.  As a bare fingers player, I was a thumb-index-middle player.   For hybrid, it's pick-middle-ring.  My speed is not quite there yet, but it's staring to feel quite comfortable.   Was able to pick up alternating bass with the pick fairly quickly, though I'm not quite as accurate with the pick yet as  I am with the thumb.

Still to this day can’t put a thumb pick on and play with it. It kicks my arse. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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For me, it’s all about muscle memory.   You really don’t even think about it.  Your fingers just do it, depending on the rhythm of the song.  I always admired Doc Watson’s picking.  He was amazing.  I tried, but had a tough time nailing down that steady bass note on literally every beat.  One day someone asked me how I pick like I do and I wasn’t sure how to explain it and I realized I was close to what Doc Watson and others were doing.  It’s kind of a mixture of alternating bass, Travis picking, patterns, hammering-on, and bass runs all mixed together.   I’m nowhere near the level of Watson, but it fits what I play.

Edited by MissouriPicker
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5 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Still to this day can’t put a thumb pick on and play with it. It kicks my arse. 

It kicks mine to play with a normal guitar pack.  I’ve used a thumb pick and fingers for decades and can’t get the rhythm or accuracy I want with a standard pick.  My wrist and hand can’t do it.    Of course, then there are the pickers who can play any style/technique with amazing speed and accuracy.  I’ll never be one of them.

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I have only ever played with bare fingers.  I have been trying to get a handle on hybrid picking though for a very long time.  I figure it would work well for tunes such as Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Mean Jumper Blues" and Hot Tuna's "Mann's Fate" because they have a good dose of strums and single string runs.    It always seems to end with me getting frustrated and going back to my same old used to be,

Edited by zombywoof
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I either use pick, or I don't. Can't do both at the same time. I suppose I could, had I learned to do it back in the day, but I don't have the desire to learn it now. And even if I did, it would be a lot harder to learn since I'm not a teen anymore. 

Edited by Sevendaymelee
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