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Callous causing different tone?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jazzkuma, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    First of all, this post isn't an excuse to bad tone, I'm not trying to find an easy fast way to good tone here.

    I have started practicing using thumb and also ring finger (sort of classical guitar technique) and I noticed that the tone on my ring finger is much more mellow while playing with my index and middle produce a brighter sound. Then I figured its because I don't have callous in the ring finger yet so its gotta be that, its "fleshier" and not tough like a callous.

    Sometimes I want that mellower tone so Ill play a line with only my ring finger (if the baseline isn't too fast or much cross string). Im just wondering if anyone has gotten rid of their callous just to get a specific tone? Because as i get more dexterity with my ring finger I am favoring that tone for the stuff I play.
  2. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    I was envious of my bass instructors tone because he had callouses giving him a more staccato like percussive attack. Many bass players use their thumb when they are looking for a softer fuller tone.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Callous tone IS my tone. I play pretty hard. You could stick a needle a good 1/4" into my plucking fingers and I wouldn't feel it. I tap them on a table and it sounds like plastic. They may as well be dull picks.

    But "getting rid of" a callous seems like minor surgery to me. I don't think it's worth it. Just use other fingers if you want that other tone.
  4. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    yeah i know, not saying which tone is better but my preference is a mellower fuller tone.

    I am trying to get rid of my them too. And I know you can just play with thumb but there are certain things which can be played and learned faster using index/middle.
  5. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Yep. After enough time your fingers get so callused that a pick is mellower sounding. That's how mine are. I find that playing right near the neck joint and easing up on my attack does the trick for mellow sounds. That plus rolling the tone off helps.

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