Hold a pick with how many fingers & thumb?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DavidEdenAria, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Since I damaged my middle finger I have gone back to a pick coming from guitar where I rarely fingerpicked.

    My issue is holding onto the pick itself at my age with diabetes and arthritis.

    I have been using the thumb and index and middle.

    What about using a big enough pick where I can use the index,middle and ring finger with the thumb?

    Any recommendations on bigger picks that are somewhat thick and rigid but non slip types?

    I have been actually "bending the thinner picks" into a curve with the 3 fingers in an attempt to strengthen my fingers a bit.

    But I have to go slow starting with new exercises these days.

    Any other suggestions or corrections?
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Have you considered a thumb pick?
    Easy to hang on to.

  3. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Big picks that are thick, rigid and non-slip? Dunlop Triangle Stubby meets all of those criteria.

    Tri Stubby®
    Justinvs, DavidEdenAria and gebass6 like this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i don't use a pick (i'd need two thumbs on my right hand to do it, i think), but it seems like you could fashion your own pick --- just they way you want/need it out of any material that gave you the flex/rigid to your liking...and: why stay in the 'tradtional'? it could be any shape, any size/length/width to accommodate your hand issues. just sayin'...or thinkin'! hope you get into something that works for you. :thumbsup:
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    I seldom use pick these days, but when I do I hold it between my index finger and thumb.

    Also I use a relatively thin pick compared to most peoples preferences when playing bass, a grey 075 nylon Dunlop (then again my string gauge is relatively slim as well 040-095).

    In your situation a thumb pick is probably not a bad suggestion.
    DavidEdenAria and gebass6 like this.
  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    The "correct" way to hold a pick is between the thumb and forefinger. Thumb picks are great for a down-stroke, but will often catch the strings on the up-stroke. Picks lighter than 1.0mm add too much clack to your attack, but can work if you hold them the way shown below and only leave a very little point exposed. I much prefer 1.0 - 2.0mm picks.

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTuhZxhvhcUP5sOuprXTeRX6QScEDDjYfgC_FV5khK6c-YOvKdiSA.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSiXN60KKgfndyxUEg2oE9WRw2KxQbP1SW89Mxxss7sJq--HPc7.jpg

    If you're doing this ... stop it.
  7. lostreality


    Sep 2, 2016
    I just bought one today and immediately fell in love

    On a side note, heating up and bending Dunlop picks isn't possible, as I learned the hard way today that they're incredibly flammable. RIP
  8. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    With all of his physiological issues he might not be able to use the traditional "correct" form. He may have to blaze his own trail and do whatever works for him.
  9. It depends on the size of the pick, how hard I need to strike the strings and the style of music being played, so I guess the succinct answer is that the dynamics needed dictate how many fingers I use, two or three.

    I like larger triangle shaped pics, as there are three sides to wear down, so they last longer than teardrop shaped ones. I also feel they give me more control and flexibility.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  10. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Use as many fingers as it takes to keep from dropping it.
    Apply Gorilla Snot if needed.
    Or try a Thumb Pick
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  11. lostreality


    Sep 2, 2016
    I have this giant triangular pick made of plastic similar to the Tortex picks. It's 1.5mm thick. Exactly what you're looking for.
    The catch is... I have no idea where it came from or where to find more. It presumably came with some cheap Drive amp or bass, and if you can find them I guarantee you'll like them

    Edit: hell, I'll mail you mine for free if you're interested and in the US
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  12. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Thumb and pointer finger for moi :bassist:
    DavidEdenAria, H2okie and Bodeanly like this.
  13. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    There are many ways to do it. Playing guitar I use the fat edge of the pick to pick. This gives me more pick to hold on to and a fatter pick sound. I got the idea from SRV. I use it on the bass also.

    Another type of pick is the large triangle picks. I file down the tip to get a fatter edge to pick with. Works well with flat wounds and palm muting for a funky tight fat attack.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Many years ago, when I was gigging a great deal AND doing lots of work with my hands, I tore up my right index finger pretty well. I taught myself to play with my middle and ring finder - and did so for months while my index healed - - and the result is that my facility with all three fingers is MUCH better.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  15. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    I don't use a pick but at times when I want one , for what ever reason, I use the tip of my index finger as a pick holding it between my thumb and middle finger. I rely heavily on the nail of my index finger. Odd but it works for me. And, I never drop it.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  16. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Put 'em in boiling water.
  17. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    "When I'd go see Rush as a kid, I would wonder why Geddy Lee used one finger all the time. Did he do that because it made it easier to play while he was singing? I didn't get it. Later I realized that if you're just riding a note or trying to play a real straight part, it sounds more pulsating if you play with one finger. So I took every bass line and learned how to do it with one finger, and I started doing it that way as much as I could. Back then I thought I looked goofy, but now here I am using one finger whenever I can. One finger is ultimately the funkiest sound of all. If you can do it with one finger, you should."

    - Tim Commerford (RATM, Audioslave, etc.)
    link: Tim Commerford

    TL;DR: Use one finger (I mean, unless you're hellbent on using a pick).
    DavidEdenAria and Ryan6491 like this.
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    That may be so, and that's why I suggested what I did ... it doesn't require the middle finger. I agree with others that he might experiment with different pick shapes, too.
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  19. lostreality


    Sep 2, 2016
    I'll give it a shot. I just need to loosen the thumbpick up a little so it fits my thumb comfortably without getting too loose and sliding around
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  20. swafran


    Nov 6, 2008
    Paris, France
    I'm so afraid to know what the correct answer is... it sounds like one those things you do perfectly without thinking about it, until you do try to think about it and mess yourself up.
    gebass6 and DavidEdenAria like this.
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