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Old 06-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Whats the best technique for playing without a pick/plectrum.

Alrite whats the best technique for playing with your hand as opposed to a pick. I always used to totally ignore the hand playing technique and just use a pick all the time, but since my 2nd re-surgence of interest I have been making an effort to do both. The thing is Im not sure whats the best way when playing with your hand. Suddenly I managed to play it without it sounding ****. I sort of put my three fingers together and used the fingernails, downstroke is fine but have difficulty on the upstroke. Another way Ive tried it is just the thumb which seems to be better?
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have played with my thumb as a plectrum (ala Wes Montgomery) for quite a while now. it's not as efficient, but if you can manage to work the rest of your fingers in for a combined approach its a very 'organic' way of playing.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I used a pick for everything, unless I get to a part where I need to use several fingers for a plucking type technique.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i fingerpick quite a bit, and it could be used for a lot, even soloing. and yea strumming with your fingers works well, but for a downstroke/upstroke kind of thing, move your hand like you're trying to rub away dirt or something. works for me.
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i fingerpick quite a bit, and it could be used for a lot, even soloing. and yea strumming with your fingers works well, but for a downstroke/upstroke kind of thing, move your hand like you're trying to rub away dirt or something. works for me.
Thanks very much, I tried it there the now and it seems to working a bit better. I just get fed up playing guitar after a while. I dont think Ill ever be that good at it to be honest. Like I said before, Im more a fan of music. I learned a couple of riffs that were embarassingly difficult for me; Travis' 'Re-Offender' & Paul Weller's 'Science'. I kind of got a bit bored after that lol.
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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...put thumb and index finger together like you would holding a pick.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mirrorball95,
Here's a list of things to do:

1. thumb, index, middle, to play triads, pulling the strings at the same time
2. index & middle - for double stops, pulling the strings at the same time
3. Thumb & index - thumb for bass notes, index for strumming chords (up & down strokes)
4. index & middle - playing single notes like a bass player or classical guitar player (called the rest when alternating between index and middle)
5. strumming with nails, use the nail of all four fingers on the down stroke, and the thumbnail on the up stroke
6. imploying techniques from different genres, & guitar players:
Plectrumless Guitar Styles:
a. Flamenco - Paco Pena
b. Classical - Andrés Segovia
c. Jazz - Wes Montgomery
d. Jazz - Stanley Clark
e. Country-Blues - Mississippi John Hurt
f. Rock - Mark Knopfler
g. Rock - Billy Gibbons and Brian May, they have a similar style were they use there fingers most of the time, but switch to coins for a more aggressive sound
7. Fingerpicking without a thumbpick
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some guitarists will cup their pick between their thumb and palm and switch between pick and fingers
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Some guitarists will cup their pick between their thumb and palm and switch between pick and fingers
Yep, I know plenty that do this!

It really depends on your personal style and what feels comfortable for you. There is no 'proper' way to play... plenty of awesome musicians are known to play their instruments unconventionally.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some guitarists will cup their pick between their thumb and palm and switch between pick and fingers
i use my middle finger for this trick but whatever works haha
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