thasnazzle
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
234 IQ
#1
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?
vayne92
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Join date: Jan 2011
2,974 IQ
#2
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
PSimonR
PSR
Join date: Nov 2010
83 IQ
#3
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.
Shor
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Join date: Dec 2010
581 IQ
#4
Picks are for fairies.
Things with strings:
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sweetdude3000
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2012
1,172 IQ
#6
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
lilgojira911
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
10 IQ
#7
I don't really like the pick either, i have recently started using a thumb pick and it feels just about right
Battery Chicken
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Join date: Aug 2006
434 IQ
#9
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.
My Last Words
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Join date: Jul 2012
2,209 IQ
#10
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..
baab
ryanbwags
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2010
510 IQ
#11
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.
tukk04
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Join date: Sep 2008
1,076 IQ
#12
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 at May 6, 2013,
ElliottJeffries
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
223 IQ
#13
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.
BlackDeath92
Diagnosed "Guitar Nut"!
Join date: Sep 2010
805 IQ
#14
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.
supersac
Tab Contributor
Join date: Aug 2009
630 IQ
#15
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
vIsIbleNoIsE
The Asian-Viking Paradox
Join date: Feb 2006
1,542 IQ
#16
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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Jmoarguitar
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Join date: Dec 2008
1,961 IQ
#17
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.
the_white_bunny
legalize it.
Join date: Jun 2005
1,274 IQ
#19
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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RickyThomson
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Join date: Apr 2012
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#20
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.
Dreamdancer11
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Join date: Nov 2012
38 IQ
#21
Quote by thasnazzle
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?


Sound ALWAYS comes first.You just have to ask yourself some simple questions."What i wanna play" "Which sound i like" Why i like this sound" and finally"What is the best way to reproduce this sound". Depending on the answers that ll lead you to choose the right technique .

Its quite easy actually.Its easy to find out that you cant play Malmsteen without a pick for example.Forget about it.On the other hand fingerpicking is quite a favorable technique for blues playing and in that case choosing is something you can do.Fast alternate picked licks with distortion recreated by fingers? No way.You can pheudo-legato your way out but its not the same.

Conlusion.You are not choosing the technique, the technique chooses you from the moment you know what you want to play.Sometimes you have an option(like the blues case) sometimes you dont(like the YJM example).You find what you need and do the work ....
Dysprosium
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2011
113 IQ
#22
I rarely play without one. But they are by no means necessary. Nothing really is. If you have some technique for whatever that works well for you, more power to you.
ChemicalFire
King of Bacon Pancakes
Join date: Oct 2007
5,773 IQ
#23
Jeff Beck doesn't use one. It just won't give you as much attack. Not very useful for a metal sound.
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StuartBahn
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Join date: Jun 2012
122 IQ
#24
It really depends on what you want to do. Although there are exceptions, nearly all great rock/metal players use picks. A pick does allow you to achieve fast speeds, and some techniques, that wouldn't be possible with fingers.

One thing to say is that if you do decide to try it, be sure to give it a try for a sustained period of time, ie not just a couple of days. Like any new technique, it can be tempting to think 'it's not for me' before you've really had a chance to get used to it.
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JackovSlayer
Registered Abuser
Join date: Apr 2013
76 IQ
#25
I mostly use pick, but I also practice fingerpicking.

Only thing I will say, and I think most of you guys will agree, is that knowing both can't be bad.

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Livingtime
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
544 IQ
#26
Hybrid picking is a good idea (Especially if you gain control over your fingers) or if you have seen Steve Vai's Building The Church, he plays a tapping intro without holding the pick. He keeps it in his mouth.

Another example, Buckethead's Backyard Solo, He keeps a pick holder attached to his guitar so he can swap between pick and fingers.

At the very least get accustomed with using a pick. You never know when you'll need one
Will23guitar
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
109 IQ
#27
Quote by tukk04
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.

Just because it's not necessary doesn't mean it's not helpful.
Without that concept, modern technology wouldn't exist.
Shor
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
581 IQ
#28
It mostly comes down to what you want to play. If you can play anything you want to be able to play using only fingerstyle, by all means, go for it.
As many people point out, there are some sounds and techniques you just can't pull off without a pick.

Yes, Jeff Beck is a guitar genius, and that's why I quoted him in my first post in the thread. However, I am sure he's pretty damn good with a pick still. That's what he started with before he threw them away in favour of using his fingers.
It's okay to disregard a technique if it doesn't benefit you, but if you disregard it because it feels awkward and is hard - that's just being lazy.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass