#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?
#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
#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.
#4
Picks are for fairies.
Things with strings:
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#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
#7
I don't really like the pick either, i have recently started using a thumb pick and it feels just about right
#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.
#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..
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#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.
#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,
#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.
#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.
#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
#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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#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.
#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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#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.
#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 ....
#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.
#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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#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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#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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#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
#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.
#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