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#4577 02/07/08 06:31 AM
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Can someone please advise the best method of holding/concealing the pick whilst playing fingerstyle chords.

picks & fingerstyle
multiple choice
Votes accepted starting: 02/07/08 06:29 AM
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Well, if you can get by with it, keeping the thumb and forefinger on the pick while grabbing strings with the middle and ring fingers is a good approach. I tend to either play fingerstyle, (with a thumbpick), or just flatpick. I don't often mix the two, but many can do it effectively.

BTW: This thread might be more appropriate to put in the "Off Topic" folder.

Last edited by chasgrav; 02/07/08 07:18 AM.
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chasgrav has explained the way to do this with the standard plectrum. I might add that you can do that without changing the grip on the pick at all with just a bit of practice. Not good to change the grip, keep it the same for both methods, just practice using the pick on the lower two strings (for most finger styles) and using the Middle and Ring fingers to pluck the higher strings when needed. With a little more practice, you can even get the pinky finger involved for a few things, like plucking or rolling three strings.

Some prefer moving to a Thumbpick. These have a band that keeps the pick hooked around the tumb. You can also place your index finger next to the Thumbpick for strumming and single note picking much the same as done with the standard pick. Tommy Emmanuel explains how to do this in his courses and videos, you may be able to pull one or two up for free on YouTube by typing his name into the search block there. Players who use the Thumpick in this fashion can play extremely fast single note lines as well as Atkins style picking, "Dead Thumb" Tele-style picking, even standard Classical TIMA patterns because the pick is attached to the thumb.

TIMA - Thumb, Index, Middle, Anular, or the three fingers. Derived from Latin names, which are different but start with the same Letters. You may find T, I, M and A designations on some Classical guitar sheets, telling us which fingers are used on which note of a pattern at the start of the thing, followed by the simile designator, which means to keep on playing the rest in similar fashion.


--Mac

Mac #4580 02/08/08 03:02 PM
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Brian Selzer places the pick in the crease of his index finger then quickly rolls it out to play his leads. But that cat is super co-ordinated unlike any I've ever seen. When he wants to use finger style he, somehow, rolls the pick up into his index finger then unrolls it when he needs it. It's gotta be a super quick move, I'd think.


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Stop this thread! Everytime somebody posts something like this I try to relearn my technique from scratch or go out and buy a bunch of different picks. Time-consuming and I haven't hit the jackpot yet.

- Steve

PS. Of course continue it - maybe one of these ideas will be the golden one.


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**The way to learn ALL pick styles quickly is to put both the steel string and the plectrums down and spend at least an entire month forcing yourself to relearn everything you already know on a gut-string (classical) guitar. Then spend the next four months working on the actual fingerpicking drills, T-I-M-A, T-A-M-I, etc. which can be found for free with online searches today in both TAB and notation forms.**

The late Grant Green used to greet others backstage who told him that they were also guitar players by handing them his guitar and telling them to play something for him. He would always look only at the picking hand. If you didn't fumble for a pick but just started playing, with the picking hand falling into position with thumb over low E and A strings, I M and A over the top three high strings, he'd nod in approval and tell you that you'd already concquered the single most important part of guitar playing, which is that finger "gauge" that can feel where all the strings are at all times. Once you can do that, you could hold a crescent wrench in your right hand and accurately use it for a single string pick. Okay, the crescent wrench wouldn't be fast -- but it would be accurate. **

--Mac

Mac #4583 02/15/08 06:59 PM
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Mac's absolutely on-target about the "finger-gauge" thing. Once you've got it, putting your hand to the strings feels like going home.

I started on guitar in 1970, wanting to play like Rev. Gary Davis. I knew he fingerpicked, but had no idea he used only the thumb and forefinger. I taught myself (mostly), using T, I, M, and A. It took a while to figure out why I wasn't getting Davis's sound, but in the long run I was happy, because I could do lots of things the two and three-fingered players couldn't.
(On the other hand, I saw Taj Mahal play last night. He only uses T,I &A, but man......!!!!!).

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If you practice TIMA, T & I and T & IM are right there under the fingers anyway, just another matter of practicing -- the string switch at certain times.


--Mac

Mac #4585 02/21/08 02:49 PM
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Over 50 years ago as a kid I started playing Atkins and Travis styles, fingers and thumb only because I heard them on the radio and developed that style, and didn't know guitar picks existed.... Later I started using thumb picks, then flatpicks. I developed a simple technique to move the flat pick between 1st and 2nd and hold it there till I needed it again. It takes practice but works for me, but occasionally I will drop a pick, so I always keep one handy. I still do that, but I have well developed callouses on thumb and 3 fingers. My style may be crazy, but works for country double stops, jass, and a little classical too.

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My main/only electric axe used to be a Gretsch Country Gentleman, which I liked because I play mainly fingerstyle and the neck resembles that of a classical guitar--wide and nearly flat. I was the only guitarist in a band in the 70s in which I would switch between lead, rhythm, and a unique (far's I've heard) call-and-response to my own lyrics--rhythm while singing, lead/response between words. And I did something that sounds like that Setzer move. Haven't done it since (mostly solo work or bass since then), but in trying to recreate it, I curl the pick into my index finger to strum rhythm, then move it out between thumb and forefinger for leads. I was able to do this back and forth very quickly, midphrase.

From the "I-didn't-know-how-they-did-it" school of learning: When I first started playing, I didn't know bands had more than one guitar, so I tried to play what I heard. Never could, of course--I'm no Atkins--but again, developed an individual style that captures the 'pulse' of a song more than just strumming or any pick style could.

I've also played in various open tunings since the early 70s. This requires that you carry multiple axes (try moving three of them around on buses and trains--I used to) or frequent retuning. Well, guitars broke or I tired of the hassle, string breakage and long pauses to retune, so I began to write pieces which sound as if they are open tuned but aren't--at the most, a dropped D.

I promise I'll start posting some a my stuff, soon's I get a handle on this Roland VG-88 which is going to make my life so much simpler--soon's I figger it out. (Thanks to rharv for sending the copy of VEditor.) 8-)

R.


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You think that since they can put a man on the moon they could figure out a way to make a classical guitar sound like a steel stringed guitar. It would make life so much easier for me. I hate the thought of tearing up my hands on a steel stringed guitar.


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Quote:

You think that since they can put a man on the moon they could figure out a way to make a classical guitar sound like a steel stringed guitar. It would make life so much easier for me. I hate the thought of tearing up my hands on a steel stringed guitar.




They did--the Roland Virtual Guitar. The VG-88 has now been superseded by the VG-99, which adds pitch-to-MIDI capability to the mix, but you can still get the -88 used. You can put the GK-3 or equivalent divided pickup on any guitar, electric or acoustic, and be able to sound like any other guitar, played through any amp, and any effects. Listen to anything recent by Adrian Legg to hear some of what you can do with the setup. Lots of other artists are using it too, but it's so good you can't tell unless it's credited on the album. But the big deal is that you can use it on your guitar.

I've got a really nice Alvarez-Yairi dreadnought, but I doubt I'll use it to record with again. The VG-88 nails a better studio sound than I've ever been able to get, and without having to deal with mics and room acoustics and all that. If you want more details, PM me and I'll bore you endlessly with them. 8-)

R.


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Yes.

I will never forget the looks on the faces of those older guys in the 17-piece bigband when my Stratocaster opened up through the VG-88 set to the L-5 patch.

There are probably about half of 'em still thinking that there's this one guitar player who can make wunna them there rock planks sound real good (to them).

Still, it may have sounded right, but it just didn't LOOK right enough in that setting.


--Mac

Mac #4590 03/12/08 10:53 AM
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Joni Mitchell has a DVD out in which she is playing a small room with a four-piece--bass, drums, keys and horn--as well as doing some of her older solo stuff. She's using a VG-8 or-88, can't tell which. Anyway, looks kinda weird, hearing those open-tuned acoustic 12-string sounds coming outta that Parker Fly.

R.


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Ryszard:

You've probably already checked out Gibson's Robot Guitar.
It will tune itself !!
You can set up multiple tunings and then just hit one button to change from one to another.
Takes about 15 seconds according to the live video.

Ain't science grand!

LLOYD S

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In looking for the Gibson Robot Guitar (I had never heard of it), I came across the following:

Impossible guitar

Michael Angelo Batio Double-Guitar Solo

These two guys make me awfully afraid! I feel like giving up...


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Some time ago I say a TV piece on a self tuning guitar, they demostrated some very strange things. Not only did it re-tune itself to various open tuning in fairly quick time. The guitarist had it retune itself while he played, he had it set so it tuned the top 3 string while he played the bottom 3 and then he shifted postions and played on the top 3 while it returned the bottom 3. I must confess I was not paying close attention to see if the tuning of three and then three moved things out of tune while he played, but if so it did not jump out at you.

The idea was that instead of carrying one guitar for each open tuning you just had the single guitar re-tune itself. Made me think though. If you have ever played open tuning in front of a live audiance, and if you were limited to one guitar, and if you were in a noisy room with poor monitors you will apprecate how nice it would be not to have to retune between songs while trying to look cool, keep a patter with the audiance, and keep track of what tuning you were going from and to.

Yeah, I guess science is something.


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Don't forget that the electric guitar IN ITSELF is a product of science and electronic engineering.

There was a great 'learning' guitar a few years back that had LED lights under all of the frets that would light up if you were in a certain key and wanted to play a solo. It would only lght up those frets and string positions that fitted to the key

However, marry these two guitars together and you might as well be playing that X-box guitar simulator. In fact, take it another step and you have PG software with 'air guitar'. Ultimately, you could of course just go straight to listening and abandon playing altogether


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Quote:

"All you have to do is move your fingers up and down at the right time, and the music plays itself." -J.S. Bach




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The VG-88 can do virtual scordatura instantly with the guitar still tuned to standard tuning.

I found that disconcerting at first, hearing dropped D or GAGDAD but still feeling the vibrations and cancellations of standard tuning in the neck, but the feature is a gas for live gigging and carrying only one guitar.

VG-88 also contains a CAPO feature that works the same way, by electronically remapping the sample set. You can put the nut anywhere on the neck and even behind the actual nut. Instantly, because it is all electronic.

With the VG-88, these two features are hidden in a way and require mucho tweaking to obtain, a job for a truly nutty MIDIOT type geek, only crazier, but possible.

The Line 6 modeling guitars do this also, electronically, actually do it easier and faster than the old VG-88 could.


--Mac

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