ManEatingTree
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2006
885 IQ
#1
I been playing for not even a month now, And Ive always been using my thumb instead of a pick. I just pluck every thing in a downward motion, or strum up and down with it. With the pick, im very inaccurate (im constantly hiting the wroung string)and slow.

Is it ok to use the thumb? A friend of mine told me it would be hard to play faster songs and such later on, and that it doesnt make the right sound when you pluck with your thumb. Should I start relearning to use the pick instead
nopoleon779467
Banned
Join date: May 2006
282 IQ
#2
you should be pretty good with both not realy good with one and awfull with the other
Johnsonville
BLUES Boy
Join date: Mar 2005
532 IQ
#3
tell him to shut it DIre Straits have proven u don't need one
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Kaervek
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2005
155 IQ
#4
Take up fingerpicking. Use all your fingers; not just your thumb.
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ashtopov
UG's MarkusNaslund Fanboy
Join date: Nov 2005
251 IQ
#5
when i first started out playing i played everything with my thumb, i just thought it was easier. You need to trust me tho its worth learning to play with a pick. It took me a while but it realy makes it that much easier to improve.
HardAttack
Head Injury
Join date: Apr 2005
1,582 IQ
#6
You can't really alternate pick with your thumb, you can't shred, you make get pinch harmonics... the list goes on. If you're going to be doing simple chords and all strumming, or if you're gonna play Flamenco guitar, then you can use your thumb. Otherwise, stop being a dick, and get a pick. You can always try using a thumb pick too. But once again you will probably lose some abilities that normal guitarist have if you do that.
mmmmmmhmmm

That's exactly what I've been trying to say.

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R0CKER1220
UG Addict
Join date: Aug 2005
523 IQ
#7
It's OK to play with your thumb but that could limit you quite a lot later on. Like your friend said, it'd be much harder to try to play a fasy some with your thimb. Also if you use a pick it can increase your accuracy and you'll be able to play faster.
wolfmother256
UG Newbie
Join date: Jul 2006
226 IQ
#8
i started using my thumbs when i started cause i was not good with a pick, but if you keep playing with a pick you will get better. i have gotten better with accuracy and everything with using a pick. recently i tried my thumb while playing and i noticed the sound was not as good with the thumb as it is with a pick. so i recomend it, at least try if for a while.
Kurt_Morrelo
UG Member
Join date: Apr 2005
540 IQ
#9
That's how Johnny Cash did it until the day he died...
So I see nothing wrong with it.
But like somone above me said, it may prove worthwile to also take up fingerpicking.
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black_box
Tab Contributor
Join date: Jul 2006
247 IQ
#10
accuracy will come w/ practice. i used to work on picking while watching tv during the commercials, or even during a show with some heavy palm muting. electrics don't need to be plugged in for this of course.
schecter1971
Registered User
Join date: May 2006
669 IQ
#11
When i started i used my thumb and found it pretty easy. Eventually you'll want to go faster and u can't move your thumb as fast as u can using a pick. Trust me, start learning to use a pick. It will take a month or so to get used to it but after a while you'll get used to it. Picks also sound cleaner since fingers mute some of the sound
kirbyrocknroll
UG's Cannons King
Join date: Dec 2005
2,342 IQ
#12
I find thumb a no-no. Use all of your fingers if you can

Or...use a pick.
kev_dunn
fun in the sun
Join date: Jun 2006
33 IQ
#13
no. you cant. its against the rules. keep doing it and youll die in a tragic thumb accident.


do whatever you want man. if its more comfortable with your thumb...then use your thumb
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LrIeYhAmNiA
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2005
765 IQ
#14
accuracy and speed come with economic picking...
but if you dont wanna use pick, then go on with thumb
dont force yourself to learn thing. someday you will know what best to learn.
thats what my principlal, but i learn everything to reach my goal.
SavedbyJaco
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
45 IQ
#15
Quote by HardAttack
You can't really alternate pick with your thumb, you can't shred, you make get pinch harmonics... the list goes on. If you're going to be doing simple chords and all strumming, or if you're gonna play Flamenco guitar, then you can use your thumb. Otherwise, stop being a dick, and get a pick. You can always try using a thumb pick too. But once again you will probably lose some abilities that normal guitarist have if you do that.

I alternate pick with my thumb, I "shred" with out a pick, I make pinch harmonics, And I rarely touch a pick ( but I play bass, I guess you can do more with a bass )

your thumb can be just as functional, aibelt it may be harder...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vdJvHE8qxA
check this cat out, regi wooten

it's okay to use your thumb, but try to include other fingers
l1kel1ke
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
421 IQ
#16
its ok that you're doing that now, I did that for the first 2 months, then when I started learning power chords etc. i found it to be somewhat destructive and learned to pick. Using a pick seems uh..inaccessible? (can't seem to pull out a better word atm) at the point you're at but trust me you'll be able to pick sufficiently within days. Just do a few chromatic exercises, and remember to alternate between down and upstrokes equally. I learned alternate picking pretty fast by doing that which gave me a huge advantage since my 3rd month or so of playing

but hey, you don't have to switch now. Switch whenever you feel you're ready, and trust me soon enough you're gonna want to use a pick. Just go with the flow I guess And if you do end up using your thumb forever, if you don't neglect your practice then you're gonna be getting better regardless, and you'll probably be a thumbpicking god a few years from now hehe.
ClayJohnson
<(o.0)>
Join date: Jul 2006
65 IQ
#17
The question is not if its "OK" to not use a pick, the question is "Are you fine with being a restricted player for the rest of your life?"
MedicreDemon
Thing in a Jar
Join date: Jun 2006
816 IQ
#18
yeah i started with my thumb too but i just practiced with a pick u can play alot faster and youll have to get good at it eventually
Mudder
Sled dog extraordinaire
Join date: Feb 2006
181 IQ
#19
Derek Trucks has great tone, plays mostly with his thumb and fingers, but adds some pick work in also. I'd get comfortable using a pick but if you like how it sounds to use your thumb, go for it.
It's a fine line between clever and stupid.
13Flxxrocker
Registered User
Join date: May 2006
187 IQ
#20
i would suggest a pick(if your using an electric guitar) for the sole reason that you get lot better sound, and its hard to "double pick" without a pick.

If your rocking acoustic, learn the proper way to fingerpick(i.e. books, internet, instruction videos). It just makes you a lot better.
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