As a beginner I have been concentrating on using a pick and strumming to play songs. I’m moving towards picking individual strings with the pick and then eventually on to fingers. do you guitar players have a preference?
I play mostly with my fingers. I strum, pick and play lead with my fingers. I do use a pick for some types of music.
Fingers all the way.
But I suspect starting with a pick allows you to focus more on the basics.
I never thought of it that way @Jamolay. I started out with a pick and never really played with finger until end of Grade 1. I suppose it did let me focus on the basics of pick control whilst doing Grade 1 and Part 1 of the Strumming Techniques Course. Now I’m getting a bit more into fingerstyle it’s only now that I’m learning to strum and pick with my fingers etc. As @stitch says it depends what type of song your playing and the arrangement of that song. Only now my views have went from playing with the pick to being able to do both as competently as each other.
I play acoustic guitar exclusvely with fingers, and electric guitar almost exlcusively with a pick. It’s not so much to do with material as I play many of the same songs on both. It’s more that I prefer the way they sound when played that way. I guess that’s handy, because it means I keep my hand in on both methods.
I don’t have preference all up to a song really what suits better. I think I am better at fingerpicking rather than playing individual strings with a pick when it comes to patterns during songs, but better with a pick rather than fingerpicking when it goes to solos etc.
When I started playing 10 years ago, acoustic fingerstyle was all that interested me with no thumb or finger picks, just the pads with my nails trimmed relatively short. And I learned many songs that were originally on either electric or acoustic with a pick and many of those songs worked well fingerstyle.
But there were a few songs that just sounded like they needed to be strummed. So I introduced a traditional plectrum / pick to my playing using mostly the old faithful strum pattern of D D U U D. This worked well for a while but I noticed how common that strum pattern was with beginners and it seemed a bit of a plateau or cliche to use that strum pattern only.
I also noticed that in a jam with others, if I played fingerstyle I could barely hear my own playing above the din of others. So for those situations I used a pick almost exclusively. Mark Knopfler has said words to the effect that the little piece of plastic we call a pick is one of the best guitar amplifiers that exists.
I had tried a few times to use a thumb pick but it never really worked for me until I went to learn a song that really cried out for a thumb pick and this time the thumb pick really worked. Now for most of my finger style songs I use a thumb pick.
Some months back Justin released his lesson on thumb and finger technique and that’s introduced a whole new dimension to my playing. Some songs, those with a strong back beat just didn’t work with my strumming. There’s a chop / muting technique that many teach for such songs and while I started to get the hang of it, it just didn’t work out for me. Enter the thumb and finger technique from Justin. That’s been a game changer for me and I now have about 10 songs in my repertoire I play that way.
To summarize, I play mostly fingerstyle with a thumb pick but also have songs I use strumming on either with a pick or the thumb / finger technique.
I’m not bothered either way, for the sort of things I like to play the song or instrumental dictates the method. It’s really good to learn both to the same levels as with certain songs using the right method makes all of the difference in how good it’s going to sound.
I have no preference and for me it all depends on the song. I think it is good to do both though so you are not limiting yourself to just one style.
I also like them both, they give a different sound.
I play both. Electric is pretty much always with a pick. Acoustic at home is usually with a pick, with a few songs fingers. But when I’m away and need to play more quietly I’ll play all of the same songs with fingers only.
Happy and comfortable either way.
I started with the thin white pick, and it hugely helped with Rhythm. Than I felt that using my fingers for strumming …it just felt a lot more natural to me…Justin has an amazing lesson about strumming with fingers, it really inspired me to try. I think I should aim to both…one thing at the time…btw I’m a beginner myself, but I practice way more fingerstyle than strumming.