The Pick and Finger Technique

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INFO & EXPLANATION

RIGHT HAND PLACEMENT

MUTING THE PICK NOTES
For this lesson you should place the heel of your right hand against the strings just about where the strings cross the bridge. What you're trying to accomplish here is a muting of the 6th string. Be sure to watch the HANDS video for a demonstration of this.

MUTING THE OTHER STRINGS
The middle and ring fingers of the right hand should pluck their assigned strings and then quickly come back to rest on those same strings. This will quickly mute the notes right after playing them. There is also a demonstration of this in the HANDS video.RIGHT HAND MOVEMENT

DON"T BOUNCE
In order to master this technique you have to be careful not to bounce your hand too much. Stay very close to the strings. Any time you watch one of the great masters of this technique you'll notice that you barely see their right hand moving. It seems effortless! That's because they've learned how to economize their right hand movement. It is effortless for them. Study the HANDS video and try to emulate what you see there. There are subtle things that can be picked up by watching it more than I can describe in words.FINGERPICKS, FINGERNAILS or FINGERTIPSIf you're planning on mastering this technique you'll want to try various right hand finger alternatives. I'm going to list a few pros and cons for each here. You ultimately have to decide what you want to use after experimenting with each:

  • Fingertips - If you're going to learn to use the tips of your fingers rather than the other 2 alternatives you'll need to develop callouses so that you have a little harder surface on the tip of your fingers to pluck the strings with. This will take a little time but I know a few great pick n' Finger players that do it this way. It gives you a little "chunkier" sound, so if that's what you like, go for this one.
  • Fingernails - This is the method I use, but if I played this style on a steel string guitar alot, I'd be out of fingernails simply because this style wears 'em down! I've seen some serious pickers of this style who actually use fake "extra hard" nails! Don't laugh too soon, some of the best players I've heard do this. There's nothing like direct contact with the strings and the fingernails, though fake, give you that feeling. Also, they can give you a clear and bright tone. Since they're fake, when they wear down a little, you just replace them.
  • Fingerpicks - Ok, now that I've "wierded you out" with option 2, the last option I'll mention here is get some fingerpicks. They make metal, plastic and everything inbetween. All you do is slip 'em on your fingers and go. They make thumbpicks too.
  • SOME PICS OF PICKSBelow are a few examples of fingerpicks and a thumbpick. I'm showing Dunlop picks here because they had some good pictures available of them. Click here to link to their site if you're interested in checking them out for yourself.

    dunlop steel fingerpick dunlop plastic thumbpick and fingerpick

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NOTATION