#1
When I bought my guitar 5 years ago. It came with a pick, and this is what I used to learn to strum. However for the past 3 years I have been away, and I could not travel with my guitar.

A friend of mine in university has a guitar though, so I started playing again, without my pick. At first I found it difficult, but eventually I developed a habit of strumming down strokes lightly against the fingernails of my first 3 fingers, and upstrokes against the fingernail of my thumb. My hand is very relaxed when I strum this way, and it allows me great speed of strumming, without feeling cramps.

This has become so natural to me. I have become completely disaccustomed of using a pick that right now whenever I try to strum with a pick I end up dropping it.

What do you think ?
#2
I have a similar technique when strumming fingerstyle. The only difference is I use the thumb for down strokes and fingers for the up stroke. I don't see any real problem with your technique, as long as you're getting what you want out of it. Difficulty re-acclimatising to the pick (if that's what you want to do) will be overcome with some hard practice. If it works for you then I'd say carry on, unusual technique will make for a less usual sound. Which is always a good thing
#3
As long as playing without one doesn't effect your ability to learn songs and techniques then it doesn't matter but it's best to be able to use both
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#4
I normally use a pick, for that bluegrassy "boom-chicka-boom" strumming...
But I have a sort of hybrid finger-strum I use occasionally which works pretty much like banjo "frailing".
Downstrokes with the backs of fingers, thumb on the bass notes, and occasional single-notes with the index on the upstroke.
#5
sounds similar what Lindsey Buckingham does.
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#6
Not using a pick is technically more skilled, also it sounds amazing in general. I mostly play Alt Rock and Metal on an electric myself, so I mostly use a pick and I'm kind of dependant on it, however I've got a lot of respect for anyone who can play with their fingers, from experience I can say it's not bloody easy.
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#7
i believe your nail thing is classical strumming technique? good for you. as long as you really can play whatever you want to play, well.
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#8
I strum with a pick, I like that booming sound when you hit a chord hard and also the transitions to other chords seem more cleaner and succinct than if I were to not use a pick.
#9
Both. Picks have a sharper attack when strumming, fingers sound softer. I play acoustic a lot without a pick, some strumming and finger picking. I mainly play metal on the electric so I always use a pick.
#10
I like to strum with a pick. This allows me to switch from rhythm playing to lead playing more smoothly. (I suck at playing solos finger-style )
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#11
It really comes down to what style of playing you wish to achieve. When I first picked up my guitar, I used my thumbs and fingers to pick. It gave it a lighter and more muffled sound. So, Ideal for genres like alternative or soft rock. However, Since I've gotten a bit more into harder bands. (Slipknot, Disturbed Etc.) I learned that using a pick would give me a darker and more impact in my playing. It does not matter either with a pick or not. However, You need to practice more with the pick if you wish to play with it again.
#12
Wait until you thin out a fingernail enough that it bends backwards.........say....when you're reaching into your pocket for your car keys.

Doesn't particularly hurt but gives me the willys when it happens.