#1
Hey guys,

So I'm just curious. Do any of you play metal style of guitar without a pick? Seems pretty hard to do. Especially if you can't get that same defined attack you would get from a pick.

Or what about playing metal with a finger pick? Anyone have some tips/advice for this? Which fingerpick would you recommend that I could put on my index finger and it would be most similar to that of a "real" pick...like a Jazz III or a Tortex.

Thing is, I can't hold a normal pick anymore (problem with the tendon in my thumb, it wont grip). So I want to try getting a finger pick for my index finger and just use that as a pick. I have tried to try to play stuff like Children of Bodom using only the nail on my index finger, but it sucks. The tone is just not the same, way too soft. I need that crunch and attack that the pick would give.

Any suggestions?
Last edited by Moonshield17 at Oct 16, 2011,
#2
Classical/flamenco players do some pretty fancy stuff tremelo picking with their thumbs. You should start learning some of that technique, it will probably give you the effect you're looking for.
#3
I can play metal with my fingers if I need to (dropping a pick or something similar). Every guitarist that plans on playing live should learn to do so. It'll at least get you buy for a few seconds until you can grab another pick.
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#4
I play pretty much everything except metal fingerstyle. Legato and palm mutes are kinda hard to do without one, but it's really not about it being metal, it's that the techniques are too hard to do without a pick.
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#5
It's very possible. What I think would serve you best would be to take some lessons in classical style-finger picking and see about getting some custom finger picks made so that you can get the kind of pick attack that you need to play high-gain metal cleanly. You could definitely adapt classical-style finger picking to metal, especially with fingerpicks.
#7
A trick old banjo players used to do was to glue a piece of plastic to the nail of their index finger of the picking hand to reinforce it and give it a sharper attack, could work for you if your thumb is shot.
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#8
yeah, custom picks is basically what I'm also thinking. But I have no clue how to go about getting those made for me....best to try with a regular finger pick first, right?

I have even tried making my own finger pick...trying to tape a regular pick to my index using velcro, but it was way too flimsy.
#9
Quote by jkielq91
Watch George Lynch on Dave Navarro's show, he does it.

Do you have a link? I'm trying to look it up on youtube, but can't find that specific one.
#11
Quote by Moonshield17
yeah, custom picks is basically what I'm also thinking. But I have no clue how to go about getting those made for me....best to try with a regular finger pick first, right?

I have even tried making my own finger pick...trying to tape a regular pick to my index using velcro, but it was way too flimsy.

Start with simple finger picks and get some instruction in basic fingerpicking technique. From there, see how the fingerpicks fit your playing. Try to figure out what you do and don't like about the picks you're using and look around to try to find picks that would fit your wants. If you can't find any, ask at your local music store(s) to see if they know anything about getting custom picks made. If not, take to the internet and google that shit.
#12
I used to do it when i was learning to play, i was fast!!, but then the arpeggios came to my practice, and then i had to get the pick.
#13
Quote by Geldin
Start with simple finger picks and get some instruction in basic fingerpicking technique. From there, see how the fingerpicks fit your playing. Try to figure out what you do and don't like about the picks you're using and look around to try to find picks that would fit your wants. If you can't find any, ask at your local music store(s) to see if they know anything about getting custom picks made. If not, take to the internet and google that shit.


Thanks, I really appreciate your advice. Have you tried techniques such as alternate picking and sweep picking with the use of just a finger pick on your index finger? If so, did it work out for you?
#16
Quote by Moonshield17
Thanks, I really appreciate your advice. Have you tried techniques such as alternate picking and sweep picking with the use of just a finger pick on your index finger? If so, did it work out for you?

The trouble there is that you would be limiting yourself to one finger as opposed to three. That would really impede your progress. I have toyed with the idea on numerous occasions, but usually using classical style finger picking as opposed to a single finger, which I doubt would have the strength and endurance to be my sole picking appendage. There are some techniques which could be performed with a single finger, such as sweeping and some classical or flamenco techniques, but the majority of your typical picking would be done with two or three fingers.
#17
Thrash and other fast down picking styles that require a very sharp and defined attack may not be possible, but you could certainly learn lead guitar.

I say check out the Flamenco style tremolo picking so you have that under your belt, and learn some 8 finger tapping technique as well.
#18
Has a thumb pick been mentioned? I learned Chris Broderick uses one since it frees up your index doing sweep+tapping licks. I used to use one a few years ago but my thumb was too big for it.

EDIT: Oh, how about placing a pick in between your bird and index finger? Somewhere out there there's a Big Stubby III with indents in it.
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#19
Like Necronomicon said, have a look at flamenco and classical style technique. You should be able to find your way from there. Although, I must ask, are you unable to use your thumb completely or are you still able to use for some basic fingerpicking?
If you have some use of your thumb, have a gander at Mark Hanson's Beyond Basics Fingerstyle Guitar. Great book.
#21
The four holes in a steel thumb pick should make it easy to put some kind of ring on it, and the tip of your index finger could sit in the ring. A strip of elastic could slip around the tip of your index finger and under a plastic thumb pick.

Or you could always switch to rockabilly.
#22
Thanks guys, I will start checking out the classical and flamenco techniques.
Geldin, you're definitely right about using 3 fingers as opposed to 1 for speed and efficiency. I'm just worried that the tone and attack is not going to be the same as using a single pick, as W4RP1G mentioned.

Quote by mielieHobo
Like Necronomicon said, have a look at flamenco and classical style technique. You should be able to find your way from there. Although, I must ask, are you unable to use your thumb completely or are you still able to use for some basic fingerpicking?
If you have some use of your thumb, have a gander at Mark Hanson's Beyond Basics Fingerstyle Guitar. Great book.


Well, I can no longer use my thumb to grip things like a pick or even hold a pen while I write. The tendon that my thumb is attached to is getting tired incredibly fast for some reason and prevents me from doing these intricate motions. I have tried a thumb pick, but obviously that didn't get too far as my thumb has limited control now.

Luckily I can still use my thumb to pluck the bass strings on my classical. Though I haven't tried anything too fast yet.

I'll check out that book, thanks.
#23
The key is to practice with each finger so that the tone and attack is roughly the same on each finger. If you're using finger picks for each finger, then the only thing you have to worry about is getting each finger to be roughly equal in strength so that you can use your full dynamic range with each finger as necessary.
#24
Quote by Geldin
The key is to practice with each finger so that the tone and attack is roughly the same on each finger. If you're using finger picks for each finger, then the only thing you have to worry about is getting each finger to be roughly equal in strength so that you can use your full dynamic range with each finger as necessary.


Well I think there will still be a noticeable difference in tone when doing certain techniques. Because when you are finger picking, the movement is coming from the muscles and tendons of the fingers. Whereas a player that is using a pick, is making the movement from the rotation of the wrist. And the fact that so much control is being transferred to the use of a single pick, seems to give the tone much more attack and consistency.

Last night I actually cut up one of my picks (like cut the round-ish parts off) so it looked more like a thin strip and taped it the bottom of my index finger (with the tape going all the way around my finger). I acted as if I was holding a pick normally (tho my thumb wasn't actually holding the pick in place, it was the tape that kept it there) and I was able to pick more normally again, meaning the motion to move the pick was coming from wrist. It wasn't the same as the motions a fingerpick would require. I think this is more of what I'm after. I want the motion to keep coming from the wrist rather than the fingers.
Last edited by Moonshield17 at Oct 17, 2011,
#26
Or what about playing metal with a finger pick? Anyone have some tips/advice for this? Which fingerpick would you recommend that I could put on my index finger and it would be most similar to that of a "real" pick...like a Jazz III or a Tortex.