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ULTIMATE FINGER-PICKS and THUMB PICKS

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  • ULTIMATE FINGER-PICKS and THUMB PICKS

    I just bought a set of these and I’m trying to adjust my finger-style to them.
    Does anybody else here use them?

    https://crossroadsmusiccompany.com/product/tufp/

    https://ultimatefingerpick.com/

    Now now that I have a Jumbo - I figure I may as well be getting a Jumbo sound from it.

    I think the thumb pick will be a more difficult adjustment than the finger-picks.
    The problem I’m having w/ the finger-picks is the plastic sleeve seems too long.

    As I move up in years, I’ve kept my finger-picking skills in tact, but my flat-picking skills have gone to crap. I can barely strum a rhythm anymore but I can folk finger-pick or comp a Bossa Nova as well as I did twenty years ago.
    Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 06-10-2019, 11:07 PM.
    He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France

  • #2
    My ultimate finger and thumb picks are my finger and thumb nails.
    Howard


    "All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities." (Frank Herbert)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by garthman View Post
      My ultimate finger and thumb picks are my finger and thumb nails.
      Do you use anything to reinforce your natural nails? How much is breaking / cracking them an issue, if at all?


      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

        Do you use anything to reinforce your natural nails? How much is breaking / cracking them an issue, if at all?

        No, I don't use any reinforcements but I do quite a lot of maintenance. I don't keep the nails too long: finger-nails perhaps 1/16 in longer than the tips, thumb-nail perhaps twice that much, maximum. I use a very fine emery board to keep the nail edges free from nicks - give them a quick polish every day. Then it's just a matter of being careful and sensible - wear gloves when doing heavy manual work, gardening, etc.

        PS. I don't break nails often. When I do, I can manage using an Alaska pick on my thumb but I can't use them on my fingers - if a finger nail goes I file them all down and use fingertips until they grow back.
        Last edited by garthman; 06-12-2019, 09:47 AM.
        Howard


        "All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities." (Frank Herbert)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Etienne Rambert View Post
          I just bought a set of these and I’m trying to adjust my finger-style to them.
          Does anybody else here use them?

          https://crossroadsmusiccompany.com/product/tufp/

          https://ultimatefingerpick.com/

          Now now that I have a Jumbo - I figure I may as well be getting a Jumbo sound from it.

          I think the thumb pick will be a more difficult adjustment than the finger-picks.
          The problem I’m having w/ the finger-picks is the plastic sleeve seems too long.

          As I move up in years, I’ve kept my finger-picking skills in tact, but my flat-picking skills have gone to crap. I can barely strum a rhythm anymore but I can folk finger-pick or comp a Bossa Nova as well as I did twenty years ago.
          These were introduced about a decade ago by a couple guys looking to get funding to launch them. Could have been these guys, I don't remember. At the time I thought they were the best answer to an old problem and would have bought them had they been available. I've since adopted garthman's take on keeping nails in trim and it works pretty well for me.
          - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken

          Citizens and Residents Of The United States and U.S Persons - USA PATRIOT Act Notice: You are hereby notified that under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, you may be placed under electronic surveillance while viewing this or any other similar web site by intelligence or law enforcement agencies at any time or for any purpose for which they may deem fit, without your knowledge or permission and without the order or supervision of any court of law. As the provisions of the Act strictly prohibit, with fines and imprisonment, the managers of this site from disclosing such surveillance should it become known to us, you should assume that you are under surveillance while viewing this or any other similar web site, electronic mail or any other form of electronic communication related thereto.

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          • #6
            I can fingerpick w/ my own nails also. These things are a lot louder.
            They take getting used to. But I could not get this much volume from my
            own nails.

            FWIW, if anyone wants to try them, I recommend the transparent-sleeved models.They cost more but they are more flexible and natural-feeling.

            I'm using them & like them. I can't use the stiff-sleeved types. They may be good for Blues or some other kinds of playing. I can't use them. The transparent ones are quite the ticket though.
            Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 06-13-2019, 01:38 PM.
            He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

              Do you use anything to reinforce your natural nails? How much is breaking / cracking them an issue, if at all?

              A little clear nail polish helps. Don't have them too long and not to short either. I like just a touch of meat and the nail.


              I could never get used to fingerpicks, which is too bad, as they really are nice on resonator guitars.
              _____________________________________
              Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

              Join Date: Aug 2001
              Location: N. Adams, MA USA
              Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

              Comment


              • #8
                If you have the money, you might give these a whirl.

                Bluechip makes a killer flat pick and I would not doubt there finger picks are just as nice.



                https://shop.bluechippick.net/sammy-shelor-fingerpicks/
                https://shop.bluechippick.net/catego...%7B47%7DDobro/
                _____________________________________
                Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

                Join Date: Aug 2001
                Location: N. Adams, MA USA
                Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

                Comment


                • #9
                  I sometimes use a thumb pick (D'Addario faux tortois shell) but I was never able to adapt to fingerpicks, so I've been wearing acrylics on 3 fingers of my picking hand for many years now. My natural nails would just get worn down to the nubs.
                  About ever 3 weeks I go back in for a fill or replacement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mikeo View Post

                    A little clear nail polish helps. Don't have them too long and not to short either. I like just a touch of meat and the nail.


                    I could never get used to fingerpicks, which is too bad, as they really are nice on resonator guitars.
                    Right, Mikeo. I like just a touch of meat and the nail.
                    I've found that this is the key. Once the nails get too long and there's no contact with my fingertip on the string, time for a trim.
                    And with acrylics you either need a really good heavy emery board or I often use my dremel tool.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just use my fingertips the majority of the time. I wish I could use them (because I like the tone), but I feel way too disconnected when I try to use fingerpicks, and my accuracy goes out the window.
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                        I just use my fingertips the majority of the time. I wish I could use them (because I like the tone), but I feel way too disconnected when I try to use fingerpicks, and my accuracy goes out the window.
                        Yes, I feel that way too.
                        Howard


                        "All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities." (Frank Herbert)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I tried all the finger picks, got frustrated, and decided to make my own from 0.010" clear acetate sheet. They worked very well but the CA glue was the limiting aspect to their use. I ended up going back to natural nails but keeping them to a manageable length. When I used finger picks their period of adjustment was no different than becoming accustomed to using a thumb pick. After a couple days all felt quite natural.
                          - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken

                          Citizens and Residents Of The United States and U.S Persons - USA PATRIOT Act Notice: You are hereby notified that under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, you may be placed under electronic surveillance while viewing this or any other similar web site by intelligence or law enforcement agencies at any time or for any purpose for which they may deem fit, without your knowledge or permission and without the order or supervision of any court of law. As the provisions of the Act strictly prohibit, with fines and imprisonment, the managers of this site from disclosing such surveillance should it become known to us, you should assume that you are under surveillance while viewing this or any other similar web site, electronic mail or any other form of electronic communication related thereto.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Idunno View Post
                            . . . . When I used finger picks their period of adjustment was no different than becoming accustomed to using a thumb pick. After a couple days all felt quite natural. . . . . .
                            I never grew accustomed to using a thumb pick. So over a fairly short period of time I adopted the "classical" method - although I didn't know it was the classical method at the time - just seemed to me to be a more natural way of playing. The thumb is held at approx 45 degrees to the strings to enable use of the thumb nail and the fingers held virtually perpendicular to the strings.

                            And because I keep my nails fairly short I can switch to the more usual acoustic position of thumb parallel to the strings and fingers at 45 degrees and play with fingertips and side of thumb for a gentler sound when wanted.

                            Howard


                            "All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities." (Frank Herbert)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by garthman View Post

                              I never grew accustomed to using a thumb pick. So over a fairly short period of time I adopted the "classical" method - although I didn't know it was the classical method at the time - just seemed to me to be a more natural way of playing. The thumb is held at approx 45 degrees to the strings to enable use of the thumb nail and the fingers held virtually perpendicular to the strings.

                              And because I keep my nails fairly short I can switch to the more usual acoustic position of thumb parallel to the strings and fingers at 45 degrees and play with fingertips and side of thumb for a gentler sound when wanted.
                              I made a quick study of the classical style in 1974 when I set myself up to learn in that style straight out of the box, so to speak. I bought the foot rest, practiced holding the guitar in that style (The Pose), and began to teach myself. Immediately, I saw a need to use the little finger so I incorporated it in deference to the little book's Classical Catholicism, as I came to call it. Sitting in The Pose for extended periods began to have a scoliosis affect on my spine so I kicked the foot rest away and evenly distributed my shady side on the chair. This decision naturally shifted the guitar to my right leg and The Pose was history. Then I began studying the picking hand and how the classical style asked me to deflect my wrist angle and natural lay of my thumb to accommodate the perpendicularity of the attack. This wasn't just idle curiosity. It was because I started experiencing a stiffness in my wrist and fatigue in the thumb muscles of my hand.

                              Not to worry, though, because after many grievous months of training in the classical style one would look good in the eyes of the audience; the cultural nod of accomplishment and grooming.

                              *farts*

                              So, I took another lesson from the classical style by not observing the last contorting bit - the hand - and lightly held it in front of the strings. I plucked each of them in this manner and decided it was manageable. It was not perpendicular. It was slightly angled and I realized a certain amount of string noise was generated by the tendency to sweep the strings with each pluck. But, the steel string guitar was forgiving where the nylon string guitar whined about it. My thumb required focus because its natural lay was parallel to the strings. I had to angle my wrist just slightly to give it better motion but, again, more manageable than the classical dictate. So, I'd compromised The Pose and found myself ready to seriously begin learning.

                              All went pretty well. One day I finally picked up a thumb pick with a terminal intent of using it or forever leaving myself with a sound that clearly lacked balance. Within two days I got over the pain of the pinch band. I walked around with the thing on to train my thumb. At first I likened it to blindly swinging a baseball bat. Then, the sense of string distance became blueprinted no differently than (initially) using the fingers to pluck the strings. Think about it. When we all started out finger picking we had no natural sense of distance between the strings and fingers. That was a development that we quickly forgot, as an initial stumbling block, once we got past it. Same goes for the thumb pick.

                              And that's how I've come to claim I was trained in the classical style.
                              Last edited by Idunno; 06-15-2019, 08:55 AM.
                              - The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H.L. Mencken

                              Citizens and Residents Of The United States and U.S Persons - USA PATRIOT Act Notice: You are hereby notified that under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, you may be placed under electronic surveillance while viewing this or any other similar web site by intelligence or law enforcement agencies at any time or for any purpose for which they may deem fit, without your knowledge or permission and without the order or supervision of any court of law. As the provisions of the Act strictly prohibit, with fines and imprisonment, the managers of this site from disclosing such surveillance should it become known to us, you should assume that you are under surveillance while viewing this or any other similar web site, electronic mail or any other form of electronic communication related thereto.

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