1 (edited by Zurf 2018-03-05 14:59:06)

Topic: Finger Picks

I was visiting a banjo shop on Saturday. I didn't get a banjo. They sell other things. They had some gorgeous violins that tempted me, even though I don't play violin. They had an acoustic guitar amp and pedal from Crate that was very affordable and tempted me, but I didn't buy it. I might buy it on my way home. Sonya would have my hide, though, as money's tight just now and will be for a long while as these kids get educated.

Anyway, the point of this post has to do with finger picks. Some may remember that I've been looking for ways to shore up my fingernails or to get some finger picks where I can still get the feel of the string.  I tried the standard finger picks, but couldn't feel the strings and so didn't like them. They were also awkward to me. I tried both plastic and metal Alaska picks that tuck under your natural fingernail and act as an artificial extension. I couldn't get used to them, and found them uncomfortable enough that I didn't care to put in the effort to get used to them.

At the banjo shop, I saw something that I thought would work. I tried them, and they worked great. What are they? Banjo clawhammer style fingerpicks WORN BACKWARDS.  I put the pad of my finger through where the nail is supposed to be. I get great feel of the string, and the pick catches the string nicely.  It will take getting used to, and a little adjustment to my hand position, but these may work out. Remember that clawhammer style is striking the strings on the extension of the finger rather than on the reflexion. I pluck strings during reflexion (is that the right word - I mean when drawing my fingers towards my palm). I bought a set and will diddle with them and see how many strings I break.

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

2 (edited by Classical Guitar 2018-03-05 21:05:55)

Re: Finger Picks

Zurf I understand your situation. Although I could grow out my finger nails, I have always kept them short and use callouses on my fingers rather than uses nails. Long finger nails  are newer.The end sound is the same and most of the true fathers of modern classical guitar did not use finger nail and they kept their nails shorter too. I practice every day for 2 to 3 hours. I know of one guy who had very long finger nails on his left hand and he will not wash a dish or do anything at all with his left hand except play guitar. When I finally got to listen to him play, he was not a good player.

I had one student who came back to talk with me because while helping a friend he cut the end off  his thumb. I took him to our local music store and I fit a slick pick on his thumb. It does not stick out much and once he got use to it he is playing as good as ever and he was a very good player. He came back to visit after he used the slick pick for 2 months and he played excellent with it. He has since ordered a case of the same pick. Somethings need changes our views, and that is a good thing. Good luck with what you are trying now. Hope it works for the long term.

Music is what feelings sound like.
Music is life, that why our hearts have beats.

Re: Finger Picks

Fingernails on his left hand? Was he a lefty or did he try using nails to fret the strings? Hahaa

4 (edited by Zurf 2018-03-05 22:42:49)

Re: Finger Picks

The nails that classical players grow look odd to me. They tend to be long and flat. I'd think the corners would catch and it would be irritating. But I see a bunch of folks do it, so it must work somehow.

Thanks for the good luck wishes.

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Finger Picks

When using fingers to pick with, I just use the fingertip pads of my "picking" hand, as CG suggests. I've tried growing my own nails (cracks, breaks, hangnails, etc.) and tried various artificial picks. I've found that if I can't feel the strings, I can't finger pick smoothly. A lot of the folk using fingernails get artificial ones put on (like gels or acrylics) which I haven't tried. I've tried using a thumb pick only, and that's been a bit better.

Whatever a person uses, it probably would take lots of practice to get used to one method.

ACOUSTICS:  Cordoba D10-CE / LaPatrie "Concert" / Takamine GD30CE-12 / Norman ST30
ELECTRICS:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro / Gretsch Streamliner G2420T / EP Thunderbird Pro IV bass
AMPS:  Peavey "TF" VK212 / Traynor AM150T / Fender Rumble 150
EFFECTS: Boss ME-80 Multi-effects / Ibanez WD7 wah / Grand Orbiter V3 Phaser

Re: Finger Picks

I had an accident some time ago with super glue, US crazy glue? and got it spread on a couple of nails (left hand...I am a lefty) the glue made my nails hundreds of times stronger, I don't pick all the time except with my pinky and sometimes ring finger. It seems to work.

Ask not what Chordie can do for you, but what you can do for Chordie.

Re: Finger Picks

I've tried all sorts of different finger picks, since I play mainly fingerstyle on a Taylor 314CE.  The only ones that I found marginally acceptable were the Alaska Piks, but even those I only use as a last resort.  Some fingerstyle players use artificial nails which I've tried and they were the closest thing to real nails for being able to "feel" the strings while you're playing.  Although, they take more maintenance to keep them in good condition and can be rather expensive, since it's best to have them applied at a professional salon.  I've also tried various nail hardener coatings that you apply like nail polish, but none were durable enough and would chip after playing for just a short time.

One of the members (Phill Williams) mentioned using superglue on his nails and that actually works very well.  It's essentially the same type of glue that they use to attach artificial nails.  I've been using nail glue for for the past 2 yrs and it's been working pretty good.  I just apply a thin coat to the outer half of my nail, since you don't need to coat the entire nail.  Since I also use a thumb pick, I only apply it to my index, middle, and ring fingers.

Taylor 314CE, Ovation Elite L718, Cortez 12-string acoustic, Fender Stratocaster, Kala Makala MK-T Uke
Fender Champion 20 Amp, Acoustic AG15 Amp
Line 6 Relay G10 Wireless Guitar System
ToneWood Amp

Re: Finger Picks

Check out Fred Kelly Freedom Picks.

GA     

Re: Finger Picks

Grizzly Adams wrote:

Check out Fred Kelly Freedom Picks.

GA

Roger that, will surely have a look at those too.  smile

And a hearty Chordie Welcome Aboard !!  Wander on down the page to the Chat Corner and introduce yourself....  There's a fairly large bunch of folks here on Chordie that will make you feel a part of the Community...... and there's a good chance if you've been out and around making music, you might even have one or two near you that you already have met.    big_smile     

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Finger Picks

Many may be familiar with Spanish guitarist Narciso Yepes (1927 - 1997) who created a 10-string guitar which became his signature. The top 6 strings were tuned in standard tuning, while the bottom four were (working downward) C - Bb - Ab - Gb. He never played these, but they were there purely for sympathetic vibration. It added a lot of depth to his sound, not altogether unlike a "Chorus" effect pedal does with an electric guitar.     

ahsan