Thumb picks and metal?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Winspear, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Hey guys, recently been getting into a lot of new stuff and fixing up a few years of bad technique, as well as starting to develop some other kinds of techniques. I'm becoming quite fond of the idea of using my fingers more instead of just a pick. I want to work a lot more on multi finger tapping as well, and I've been thinking about trying a thumb pick. Thinking of it, I can't think how it would be too different to using a normal pick. My only concern is - will it be able to do well for fast generic metal style rhythm picking?
    Basically what I want to achieve here is being able to use all my fingers for tapping and hybrid picking without sacrificing any of my standard metal picking ability, even if it takes a bit of getting used to. I've looked around as hard as possible but can't find anything on playing metal with a thumb pick. Any expierences with thumb picks here?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Arminius

    Arminius SS.org Regular

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    It should work just fine, especially if you can find one of similar thickness and material as whatever pick you normally use.

    A little off-topic but, correct me if I'm wrong, does Chris Broderick superglue his picks to his thumb? I could swear I've seen his pick defying gravity to stick to his thumb before.:lol:
     
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  3. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    I know what video you're talking about, and I'm fairly sure it was actually some sort of thumb-pick.

    It's an interesting idea. Scotty Anderson can alternate pick like a demon using a thumb-pick, but he actually gets regular ones and sands them down to suit him, so you may end up having to spend a while doing that to find one that works for really intense picking, but I'd say go for it! There's a ton of potential in the idea!:)
     
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  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Scotty Anderson..That was a name I needed to hear! After some videos I am now convinced :)

    See..that's something I'd never have thought of. After playing around with some sellotape for a while, I've realised that thumb picks will work just fine :lol:
    The ONLY issue seemed to be my messy sellotape job getting in the way. Doing this I also realised something that hadn't even crossed my mind - you can hold a thumbpick like a normal pick when you don't need your index finger :lol:

    Totally sure that thumb picks will do me great now. Like you said, I just need to find the right one. I'm looking at the Fred Kelly Bumblebee picks at the moment, just need to choose the right one. Fred Kelly Picks: Products Page

    I can't seem to find any actual measurements of these picks, but I guess "Medium" would be closest to 1.14mm which I am used to, so I will buy these;
    Fred Kelly Picks: Products Page
    Fred Kelly Picks: Products Page

    The second one has a larger thumb strap, which I may need although I wouldn't consider my thumb to be fat.

    Thanks guys!
     
  5. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Thought I would update this to say I received my picks the other day. After some experimenting, I found them to be very nice. I do need to order some larger ones though, as these are too tight to wear where I like them (just below the knuckle). I also needed to cut back the end of the strap a little because it was catching strings on up-sweeps and pinch harmonics.
    I have no issues whatsoever with fast picking like I thought I might, because I can just hold the pick like normal. I'm even finding I can do this stuff without holding the pick, with my fingers relaxed comfortably over the higher strings. I am already developing a new playing style with this, which will involve a lot more string skipping and tapping. I love it :hbang:
    I highly recommend trying a thumb pick to anyone who is looking for something new to spice up their playing and inspire new styles.
     
  6. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Nice find! May have to order some of those for myself!:)
     
  7. ShadyDavey

    ShadyDavey 7ibrarian

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    Interesting stuff - I could do without ordering 4 at a time but hey, we'll see :)
     
  8. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Look on Ebay. There are a few places in the UK selling individual ones.:)
     
  9. McCap

    McCap SS.org Regular

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    I'm a hybrid picker so I tried the same thing, for tapping and hybrid picking with one more finger. So far the picking feels awkward to me so i stop again...
    ...but I still think that's the way to go, or a very cool waay to go.

    Glad that it is working for you! :D
     
  10. 13point9

    13point9 Now with Less Hair!

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    I really want to try this out heh going to get a couple next time i go to my local music store
     
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I can understand it could easily feel awkward. Still feels kind of weird to me but I like it very much. I only practice with these picks now. I've read discussions on thumb picks and it seems they vary greatly with how people like them, so I guess it's partly finding the right pick for you. I guess I made the right first choice.
    I imagine for anyone who has already got insane chops with a normal pick it would be very hard to change, but for me I am no great player yet so it wasn't too hard. I can see how thumbpicks would be hit or miss with people, but there's nothing to lose in trying :)
     
  12. McCap

    McCap SS.org Regular

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    ...ah, that's why it doesn't work for me :lol::D

    No, seriously this thread got me fired up to try it once more, so thanks !

    Yeah, I bought like all the lefty TPs I could find and there's two (of the five) which feel alright.
     
  13. Kr1zalid

    Kr1zalid Archrocker

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    I do have some thumb picks few years back and I stopped using them after I felt it'll slowly going out of my thumb while I'm playing...
    I play almost everything when I had it~~ Fingerstyle, strumming, alternate picking, tapping~~ All the techniques I know using thumb picks and it works great! :D

    Anyway, do thumb picks will become loose after a while of play??
     
  14. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I'm still going strong with my thumb picks. I tried using a regular pick a while back actually and it was so strange. I guess the thumb is here to stay.
    I have however stepped up to a heavy rather than a medium (still large thumb size). I found that they were wearing down very fast when playing metal rhythm guitar. Makes sense really, as they are unlikely designed to be used like that.

    I have been modifying my thumb picks slightly for them to stay in position.
    1) I cut the strap back as it is too long and catches the strings. File it smooth.
    2) Heat the thumbpick in boiling water and wear it for a few minutes (very painful for the first few seconds, haha). Helps to mould it to the shape of your thumb.
    3) Superglue the pick into place (as the Bumblebee picks are adjustable backwards/forwards and rotational).
    4) Scratch up the inside of the pick and thumbstrap deeply with some sharp object.

    I find this is more than enough to keep the pick in place just fine.
     
  15. Metalus

    Metalus JP BFR Whore

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    Chris Broderick recently developed and patented his pick clip, and will release it to the world within the next few months :D Im totally getting one as soon as its released. He talks about the pick clip at 2:57

     
  16. Kr1zalid

    Kr1zalid Archrocker

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    Ah! :agreed: I'll try that myself~~ Thanks!!
     

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