Tagged: Flat picking
January 10, 2019 at 4:53 pm #121899
Hey AM ppl, I’ve been a finger picker all my playing days, but want to play with flat pick for songs like EP261, EP281 and EP289. Finding it a real struggle to gain proficiency and accuracy, especially with single string leads.
Any suggestions for a practice/exercise routine to build up my skills with the flat pick?
January 10, 2019 at 6:11 pm #121902
hey Dave, i was in same boat, acoustic classical finger-picking; on electric I mostly just used my thumb, but I forced myself to use a pick and now I’m getting used to it. Definitely gaining clarity and speed for fast runs (but I don’t do many). Main problem has been learning straight alternate picking (down-up-down-up). It’s fine for 2- or 4-notes per string, but when you hit odd numbers then it’s hard to keep that perfect down-up alternate picking going. I tend to trip and stumble as I change strings. It’s tough for newbies to the pick (especially after 50 years of no pick) but I guess it just takes determination. Tons of how-to lessons and different methods and exercises on internet, but in the end you’ve just gotta find a way that works for you, and work at it. Some days it flows, other times I lose the pick and go back to fingers.
Maybe Brian can add something, he’s an excellent picker.
And welcome to AM Forum.
January 10, 2019 at 6:29 pm #121904
I just logged on,, I am no pro but, been picking on and off maybe not as efficient with any of them.. mu input after decades on and off and most recently last few years is that you need not ask for most efficient way.. tons on free tutorials and if you are skilled as you say fingerstyle, (honestly can’t understand the question) like anything go to it and practice.. different picks for different stuff ..you want a hard pick 1mm at least for lead solos and even quick country hybrid picking,,a soft pick 73mm or even lower for ringing strumming chords on say a 12 string.. so much you can find out researching your question online,,plenty free tutorials. enjoy!
January 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm #121905
by the way,, the angle of the dangle of the pick you care to use is important,, one thing I learned and been working on but not mastered yet because I need to understand more specific connections with the gauage strings be it acoustic or on electric,,same for those picks.. buy assorted until you understand why and how they make best for the gauge strings and the particular style/genre you attempting.. my desktop is full of assorted picks,,my guitar cases have assorted picks from light to heavy.. that’s the way it is with picks from my own experience. My go to picks these days for soloing are the eric johnson jim dunlop tm usa and my favorite for sometime is the phatpick 1.30mm for electric.. I tend to go lighter on my thicker gauge acoustic guitars ,,such as a .73 mm dunlop totex give or take depends on tempo/strumming etc.. you can get a really better ringing string strumming with light flexible picks like .50mm etc.. try these against a hard pick for soft sweeping rhythm tunes on acoustic,, you’ll hear what I mean.. from there you will train your ear to appreciate the other pick gauge sizes,, thick for fast direct soft for slow casual strumming is my take.. finally, I love using my fingernails if it is doable (usually get better feel and control of subtle tones/muting etc.. I enjoy both fingerstyle and the use of picks depending on what tune I’m practicing. Give you an example soon why a pick is better than fingerstyle for certain tunes tomorrow or whenever I finish Church street blues tune I recently learned! so cool but you need a pick for this Tony Rice flatpicking lol fingers won’t cut it! lol probably do a video tomorrow for here! Today I worked tomorrow morning I have practice time!
January 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm #121907
My suggestion is to not get too hung up on “the rules”. Alternate picking is a great skill to have but in Blues, you will find yourself doing rakes and then that throws the strict alternate routine out the window.
You probably know the 7 positions of the major scale
Choose one of those positions, set a metronome to about 100 bpm; practice that scale position with quarter notes for a while, which will be very easy.
Then, with the metronome set to the same speed, play that position with eighth notes, using alternate picking. As you gain proficiency, increase the metronome speed and when you feel comfortable at a faster speed, change to an different position of the major scale.
It was mentioned earlier, everyone will like different picks. I have about 5 different thicknesses that I switch between depending on what I’m playing, amazingly each one will give a little different tone. Picks aren’t very expensive, buy various styles with various grips and find what works for you.
Do some research as well about “Economy Picking”. Sometimes you will be pick 4-5 notes with a single upstroke or a downstroke. Its much faster and cleaner than trying to use alternate picking – Economy Picking is a skill all its own
I suggested using the major scale instead of either of the pentatonic scales b/c the positions of the major scale will have 3 notes per string, some with 2 note – this will force you to use all of your fingers especially the pinky and will help you to develop your hand instead of using first and ring fingers like many do
As I said in the beginning, don’t get hung up on “the rules”. As soon as you find yourself adhering to those rules, you will be confronted with a situation that will be hindered by those rules. Been there done that
Here’s an online metronome
January 10, 2019 at 9:48 pm #121919
Hey everybody who replied -Thanks!!!
I like the idea of major scales played as quarter notes – looks like it would e a good warm up exercise. Every time I go to the music store I get a thicker pick – will be using a real fatty soon. And, I’ll keep on with the AM songs there are a few I’m working through – maybe I’ll post one when I get it in reasonable shape.
January 11, 2019 at 1:48 pm #121955
And you could look on Youtube for “How to hold a guitar pick” and “Fast picking for guitar”. There are thousands of tutorials, and they don’t always agree on the best method to pick faster. Also, watch Youtube videos of some famous pickers and check out how they hold their picks. Some of them can play fingerpicking, than magically produce a pick from between their fingers (which you couldn’t even see) and start flat picking. So much to learn, and so little time.
January 11, 2019 at 5:22 pm #121970
Right, Ive seen that – finger pick and then produce the pick in their hand, and… then theres the hybrid picking – Brian does this – pick with the pick and with fingers 2,3,4. Some songs require this method.
Right, about some much to learn so little time… I’ve been giving my Ibanez elec hollow-body a workout – starting to sound pretty sweet.
Thanks everybody for the encouragement!
January 11, 2019 at 10:43 pm #121984
When you really want it, you’ll watch very closely and try to do exactly the same,, but to each his or her own,, there are different ways of holding/positioning different gauge picks too.. I;ll be showing some examples soon,, still working on Tony Rice flatpicking stuff , Want to get it better before youtubing my take
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