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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: thumb pick

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tfaux - Posted - 11/23/2008:  05:03:55

Anybody made a switch from flat pick to thumb pick after many years of playing?

I've been at it for 40 years and get around pretty well on a good day, but have never been 100% comfortable with a flat pick. Lately I've been spending time with a thumb pick and it feels like it has potential. Anybody have a similar experience?


just joe - Posted - 11/23/2008:  06:38:13

I have a bum index finger on my right hand that makes it difficult to hold a pick for any length of time. I've tried a bunch of thumbpicks and while I haven't found the perfect one, I like the Fred Kelly Bumblebee the best so far.

RevSteve58 - Posted - 11/23/2008:  07:52:10

I never used a thumpick myself. It just doesn't feel right to me, but Lester Flatt used nothing but a thumbpick for most of, if not all of, his life.

Stringnut - Posted - 11/23/2008:  08:06:48

I really stink with a flat pick. I let my fingernails grow on my right hand and play finger style. It's just more natural and comfortable for me. Probably stems from all that folk music and James Taylor stuff I first started learning back in the early 70's. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't flat pick with your fingers! Sometimes I use a thumb pick if I really want to thump the base notes when Travis picking but I have to change my technique a bit in how I cock my wrist and hold my right hand to attack the strings. It's all good and it all works depending on what is most comfortable for you.


Things are more like today than they have ever been before - Spiro T. Agnew

Eli Renfro - Posted - 11/27/2008:  07:08:42

There are some great pickers out there today who are paying homage to Lester's rhythm style. They include Karl Shiflett, David Peterson and others. There is probably no one better at this style than Chris Sharp who currently lives in Johnson City, TN. Chris played with Doug Dillard, Kenny Baker/Josh Graves and the John Hartford Band. If you ever get a chance to see him play, don't miss it.

"That ain''t no part of bluegrass music. That ain''t no part of nothin''."
Bill Monroe

forksken - Posted - 11/28/2008:  18:09:37

I switch from flatpick to finger picks as the style sugests,I find whe playing rythm with finger pics that I am often actually using my thumb pick as a flatpick and add arpegio with index finger,and or second.sounds a lot like early recodings of the carter family with a little more on top.just make sure the damn thang dont catct a string wrong or it goes flying haha.

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