Can anyone tell me the purpose of this tool?

This is just a general thread in regards to how and why different types of tools can be used for finger-picking songs. I'm a big fan of Richard Thompson and I've tried playing some simple finger-picking songs; Blackbird, Needle and the Damage Done and My S**ts F**ked up using a hybrid style, and at times I've used the normal fingerstyle, sans any implements.

So can anyone just give me a brief run down on the purposes of the different types of picks and picking styles that can be used?
Are you reelin' in the years?
I've only seen them used for fingerpicking, and the purpose is to give a bit more attack/definition to your individual notes which will sometimes be lacking if you use the pads of your fingers.

I believe they're analogous to the classical guitarist's fingernails.
Thanks, I also found you can sort of 'rock' the song up as you can strum chords too. I'm finding it hard to learn so many skills: finger-picking, thumb pick, hybrid pick and so on.
Are you reelin' in the years?
I started out with a thumb pick for flamenco a few years ago and now can't get away from it. just not comfortable with a flat pick now. Electric, acoustic it doesn't matter. thumb pick for all of it.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
I started out with a thumb pick and finger- picks. I quickly dropped the finger -picks in favour of nails as they are far more expressive. Later I took up the classical and also dropped the thumb pick as they are not suitable for classical. When I returned to acoustic after 10yrs. of playing a classical, I found it impossible to go back to a thumb pick, so I just used nails including the thumb nail from long habit.

There are quite a few pluses for the thumb pick for steel strings. Just look at any Tommy Emmanuel video's on You-tube. They are great for base runs and can also be used like a plectrum for lead runs with the 1st finger on one side of them just like holding a pick. A lot of great blues guitarists also use them in conjunction with their fingers, with or without nails [Mississippi John Hurt is a good example]. Keep away from finger-picks if you can though is my best personal advice, unless your into blue-grass banjo.
Last edited by Akabilk at Sep 5, 2008,
i bought a thumb pick & find it almost impossible to use... i guess more practice is order of the day for that one!

Freshman acoustic
I only use a thumbpick now. I don't think I've touched a normal pick in like 5 months. I absolutely can't use my thumb when finger picking, and finger picking is all i do, so this is what I use. I file the end down a bit though to make my thumb closer to the strings. I love using them. Takes some practice though.
Quote by scott58
I started out with a thumb pick for flamenco a few years ago and now can't get away from it. just not comfortable with a flat pick now. Electric, acoustic it doesn't matter. thumb pick for all of it.

you play flamenco with a thumbpick? *frowns*
Wise Man Says: The guitar is obviously female, she's got hips, breasts... and a hole.
UG's Flamenco Club
i recently started using a thumb pick in attempts to improve my finger style. I have played with my hands for a while now, and i didn't find it too hard to adjust to using a thumb pick.

at least for playing finger style songs, like tommy emmanuel, a thumb pick is nice because your bass notes get accented a little bit more, and they sound more crisp. this is useful in finger style songs, because you do want your bass notes to sound different from your regular notes, so you get that effect of two instruments playing (guitar and bass).

also, i've found it useful because some songs require both finger picking, and strumming.....you can do both with a thumb pick.

so if you're into fingerstyle, and don't have a thumb pick, go get one! i have played finger style for about 3 years now, and regret not going out to buy a thumb pick sooner...it sounds so much better
Quote by oldfartatplay
Being a big fan of Richard Thompson, I've tried hybrid picking too, something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRX3bMAJ8u8, but this is just realy hard, does anyone have any experience with this style?

If you want to learn hybird picking you could start with tears in heaven or something like that, it's actually very easy. I find it easier than using a thumbpick ( in most situations).
yeah if you want a good difficult hybrid picking RT song i would go for 1952 vincent black lightning
From the sounds of it, a thumb pick is a worthy investment.. can you use them with electric guitar playing as well?

I'm going to try and pick one up, they sound great
Quote by 20cdndollars
You are god, floppypick


If that's how you read my name, leave a message saying so on my profile