#1
I've always played guitar with a pick, but most of the jazz pieces I am coming across are fingerpicked. Is it more benificial to just drop the pick and learn to use my fingers? Also, if that is neccesary, when playing lead with my fingers is there a pattern of which fingers to use like classical has?
#2
I usually go hybrid, that way leads can be picked.

But you need to be able to pluck multiple strings, not strum. So be able to either fingerpick or hybrid pick.
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#3
I play jazz with a pick or with my fingers, depends on the piece and on the effect I am looking for. Yes the pattern of fingers to strings is the same as with classical guitar so if you are proficient with that the transition is a piece of cake.
#4
Some use a fingerpick, and in any case you should learn basic stuff from video lessons just to get the idea on fingerpicking, which is a whole different dimension than pickpicking (add to dictionnary).
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#5
Thanks for the quick responses. Looks like i need to work on hybrid picking and fingerpicking. Thanks again.
#6
I posted this in the shred forum for a similar topic, and I think it is relevant to put it out here too, so:

Quote by Axegrinder#9
there's this guitar player back in Calcutta, he's a professional musician. this cat used to play with a pick back in the day or so. He completely eschews playing with a pick right now, and I've seen this cat play Frank Gambale and Holdsworth with maniacal ease and fluidity. And his own music is a cross-fusion of jazz/rock and Carnatic music. Very rarely have I seen him use a pick, and only specifically to execute stereo-typical linear picked "shred guitar" lines (for instance I've seen him cover a bunch of Scorpions songs with his band, and he busts out a pick for that ****).

and he's got tone alright.

personally speaking, I would say that the tone from your fingers absolutely enhances the "sound" of your lead playing. Adds another dimension completely in terms of sound, and makes it so much more richer, and the possibility for broadening the all-important dynamics of your playing are increased ten-fold.

Now whether, the execution is easier with a pick or fingers is a question that is easier to resolve. Obviously there are people who can do pretty much everything with their fingers what another can do with a pick. Consider the guitar player I mentioned, or some one like Paco de Lucia. **** Paco even plays alternate picked lines with his first two fingers (however on a nylon stringed acoustic).

I would agree it is easier to develop the same skill set of techniques using a pick as opposed to with your fingers. However it is a compromise in terms of dynamics and richness of your sound. And I think as one matures musically, the linearity and one-dimensional sonic consistency that arises out of playing with a pick starts to become monotonous.

(However to play devil's advocate, think about some cats like John McLaughlin or Bireli Lagrene who play exclusively with a pick, and are yet able to attain incredible dynamics and a wide tonal spectrum).

A rising trend that I have noticed in most contemporary guitar players (eg, Ritchie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan, Buckethead, Michael Lee Firkins, etc from the "shred" junta) are their indiscriminate usage of the pick and fingers as and when necessary, and where-ever applicable.

That's the approach I've been digging into. I used to be hung up about playing with my pick OR playing with my fingers, and the two should never meet. But that's just silly. The ability to play with your fingers and pick away at the same time or weave in out licks where you pick some and use fingers for the others, just gives you more room for movement and expanding the sonic possibilities while improvising.


and indeed, I think it is safe to say, that for covering straight-ahead jazz, hybrid picking is the way to go.
#7
Quote by blueriver
I've always played guitar with a pick, but most of the jazz pieces I am coming across are fingerpicked. Is it more benificial to just drop the pick and learn to use my fingers? Also, if that is neccesary, when playing lead with my fingers is there a pattern of which fingers to use like classical has?

well i guess its really up to you. i usually like to use my thumb and fingers when playing melodies and rhythm in jazz songs. i like to use a pick when soloing though. i cant go as fast with just my fingers. but i like the fingers for rhythm cause it has a nie warm sound to it. and then when you switch to the pick, you can cut through a little better.

but im not sure if there is a specific way to play fingerstyle lead in jazz. i mean, wes montgomery used just his thumb and did just fine. what ever works best for you i guess. ive seen a lot of jazz players use picks though. so dont be afraid to use one. maybe use a thick one though to give a rounder sound.
#8
I'm afraid I don't play jazz guitar, although do enjoy listening to some Bop.

In blues and acoustic pop kinda stuff I use a mixture of a pick and my fingers. Different things call for different techniques, I assume this is the case for many Jazzers as well.
#9
I would probably do fingers for chord/melody, and thumb or pick for the melody in a band setting, I'd probably only use hybrid picking for faster solo parts.

I actually don't know if I do that all the time, I probably forget to switch more than I think.
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#10
Just use both, seems to be the obvious thing to do, there are plenty of jazz guitarist who use both Pick and Fingers.
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