Hi All

I have been playing for about a year now, self taught.

I have a young family and have difficulty finding time to practice because I can only practice at night and the kids are sleeping. So as to reduce the noise level I strum chords with my thumb, keeps my wife happy and the kids asleep. I have been doing this long enough now that I prefer to use my thumb over the pick. However, is it a common practice and acceptable of people to play with their thumb instead of a pick? or is it frowned upon and should be discouraged? I am aware of finger style (which I have been working on) but just for strumming chords is the thumb OK?

ya ive heard of people doing it, if you can play like that and enjoy it, do it
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It's not uncommon at all. You see it alot in some blues and jazz, and the majority of flamenco music. It's mostly about personal preference, though it's good to be comfortable with a pick as well, if only to increase your range of sound and give yourself more options. Also, as you're aware, it can be very difficult to get alot of volume without a pick, so if you're playing somewhere were there's other sound to contend with (bars, clubs, etc...) then it can be very useful to have a pick handy.
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Thanks for the quick replies

I have started later in life (38) and I doubt I will ever play in bars etc in fact there is no chance, so the lack of volume really isn't an issue. I really am just a bedroom player who does it for the sheer enjoyment of it all. In fact, I really wish I had picked the guitar up as a kid as I really am enjoying it.

I do play for friends when socialising, the odd camp trip etc. but thats about it.

Yeah, I used to do that cos I started by pivking up my Mum's guitar, and we din't have any plectrums.

If all you're doing is playing chord songs, rather than soloing etc. you won't have any problems.

I'm also assuming you're playing an acoustic, in which case you won'tbe too bothered about soling anyway.

And good luck with the guitar
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