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Finger picking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Garyth, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    no, I don't mean nail biting or cleaning :)

    I'm new and learning and making all kinds of mistakes, that's all the norm. My question revolves around right hand picking/plucking. I've worked with the pad of the finger to varying inconsistent results. I do get consistent results when using the gap area between nail and pad/tip. So I am not using my nail only, nor the pad/tip - it's a little of both. I catch the tip first and then pluck with the nail, but almost at the same time .. kind of hard to describe.

    The question: Should I continue to work with pad only until it's better or let it come around during the course of learning as I work out different sounds?

    I do have decent callous buildup on my fingers, surely not as much as a veteran player but I can feel it and my fingers do not get sore no matter which way I practice. I practice roughly an hour a night after my fiddle practice.
  2. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    I've only gotten callouses with a guitar not on bass.

    Generally you wouldn't use your nail or the part near it. Try using more of the part before the tip towards the inside away from the nail.
  3. Maraki


    May 2, 2012
    If it creates the sound you're looking for, use whatever part of your finger you want.
  4. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    +1. Try not to over think things too much. Play what's comfortable, what works for and sounds good to you. You could search You Tube where I'm sure there are demonstrations. Before a practice session, spend a few minutes simply alternating the middle and index fingers. You dont have to fret a note, just keep the fingers going. Try different parts of the fingers till you find "your" tone.

    As for your fingers being sore, use a light touch and if you need volume, use the amp. Also, dont over do the practice sessions, but build up the time gradually.
  5. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    Thanks for the feedback, I'll go for the 'what sounds right' technique, or lack thereof

    as for sore fingers, I don't get them even after an hour. I do get 'tired' fingers but I expect that since I am using new muscle groups. lots of exercises and stretching to aid there :) I have gotten lighter on touch with both hands from when I started so that's a plus.

    When I refer to callous buildup, I'd have to explain. I have thin skin on my fingers, what I refer to as a callous is not so much a huge buildup but more a toughening of the skin.

    The alternating fingers I do the first 15min, roughly, to work on timing and stamina (and to get where I don't have to think about it). I use what's comfortable, typically three fingers alternating with a pinky sometimes on the low strings.

    thanks again.
  6. I keep my nails clipped because when they hit the strings I get loud pops that I don't like but that's just my preference.
  7. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    I know the sound you are referring to, I don't get that sound. I might with a string change, I suppose.
    I still have the round-wounds on it that the previous owner used. I figured rounds would aid in finger toughening :) I have my short scale with the tapewounds on it if I want to play around with a smoother feel/sound.

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