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Old 05-06-2013, 04:05 AM   #1
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are picks necessary?

See title. I've been playing for ~10 years but just recently decided to get serious about learning more technique and theory. I don't use a pick and find them really awkward. I've always been fine fingerpicking. Am I missing out? Is there any reason you REALLY need a pick?
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:12 AM   #2
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I've seen people ridiculously good without a pick. Even if it's just mindless shredding they can still do it. I wish i had the video I'm thinking of but i forget what it's called..

But long answer short, I'm gonna say no you don't need a pick
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:17 AM   #3
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Only necessary if you want the attack of a pick in the envelope of the note / chord you are playing. If you want to cover a song and have it sound like the original picked version. e.g. if you wanted to do pumping 1/8s or high speed metal riffs then its not so easy with fingers. The opposite is also true anyone trying to play Dire Straits stuff with a pick is going to fail to get an accurate imitation on the sound. Suggest you have a go, there's nothing to stop you using both.


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Old 05-06-2013, 05:36 AM   #4
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Picks are for fairies.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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hybrid pick! its a nice combo of both, when i want the attack of a pick but able to pull off some nice dire straits stuff with the other fingers.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
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Albert King didn't like using a pick and I think he ended up doing pretty good. Using a pick is awkward at first but you will adjust to it the more you do it
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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I don't really like the pick either, i have recently started using a thumb pick and it feels just about right
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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A lot of stuff can be played with fingers, but I see it hard to play some heavy music without a pick. But Chris Broderick of Megadeth uses an interesting technique of hybrid picking: http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/...4fc48d1d84e.png
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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Unless you're planning on growing a disgusting claw of long nails, you'll never get the attack of a pick. That being said I only rarely use a pick these days, but if there's a call for it I'll use one.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #10
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It's not necessary really, but being able to use a pick will offer a wider range of guitar tones. Also, I don't know if it's possible to sweep pick with your fingers..
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:02 AM   #11
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I don't think there's a right answer. Never limit yourself by using only one style, though. I've been playing bass guitar for 15 years and I do pick and no pick. Same for guitar. I enjoy fingerstyle and picks. It's whatever you are comfortable with.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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No you dipshit, it's just another tool you can utilize if you want.

If you can do something without a tool, then it's not necessary, pretty obvious to anyone with common sense.

Last edited by tukk04 : 05-06-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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I've tried both and learned fingerstyle as well as picking. Fingerstyle is something everyone should learn, I never learned it until a few years ago, before it was strictly playing with a pick. I tried to playing without a pick like Jeff Beck but no luck, I went back to the pick except for acoustic.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:52 AM   #14
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For some styles, I would consider a pick necessary. Heavy metal for instance. Have you ever tried playing Metallica without a pick? It just doesn't sound right. Not to mention, it's more difficult than necessary.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:04 AM   #15
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you dont need one im prety sur emost clasical guitar players can go most of their carreer without using a pick
but i recomend getting good at it just for the options it gives you
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #16
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do you need to play guitar in order to make music? same reasoning.

if you're too inexperienced to experiment with weird fingerpicked death metal distorted guitar, just do some research and see what your favorite players do.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #17
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I remember when my friend was starting out he couldn't use a pick, but he was into heavy metal and his fingers were not cutting it so I basically made him use a pick if he wants to do all that galloping stuff. When it comes to things like that a pick is pretty much a necessity. Anything else you can basically get away with no pick, some people prefer it such as Jeff Beck.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:30 PM   #18
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Its required by law.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #19
legalize it.
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this guy i know played in a metal band called confied who had mild sucess and he doenst use a pick.

google him his name is aaron van zutphen
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #20
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As others said, you don't get the same "attack" without a pick.
But it also depends on what you are playing... try playing some ramones stuff without a pick lol. You'll have shredded nails and bloody fingers fairly quickly. Just put it down to common sense, if you're playing fast and/or aggressively you will probably want a pick. If you're plucking single strings, you can live without a pick.
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