Mr Johnsons Blues with Flat Pick?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Delta Blues Slide Guitar Questions' started by tomtt2, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. tomtt2

    tomtt2 Blues Newbie

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    Has anyone tried this tune with a flat pick? With the steady bass, it seems that a flat pick would be difficult to use. I've been working on the tune with just fingers in order to catch the bass at the same time as the melody note, but I feel like a lot of volume and note crispness is lost. I've tried finger picks and they work okay, but the thumb pick feels very awkward for me.

    Any ideal on how to approach this song with a finger pick?

    Thanks
     
  2. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    Have you tried hybrid picking? Flat pick in the thumb and forefinger. And then you finger pick with the ring and middle fingers. You can also use the pinky if you are good at it. Once you get going it is fairly easy to pluck a triad all at once using the flat pick and the middle and ring fingers. If I am just doing a 4 string pluck all at once I can get the pinky engaged. But it's harder to pluck arpeggio's and other alternating patterns with the middle, ring, and pinky......... The pinky needs to help me as a "post" planted onto the guitar body.
     
  3. tomtt2

    tomtt2 Blues Newbie

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    Thanks for the idea Mtman. I have not tried hybrid picking and may give it a try.
     
  4. glynnd

    glynnd Blues Newbie

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    Well if you look at what the old blues guys did and at most current players who perform this type of material do, then you have to develop an "independent thumb" that hits that bass note right on the on beat bar after bar. There is no short cut, only practice.

    Are you playing this on a resonator and what gauge strings are you using? I find I need to use fingerpicks and a thumb pick on a resonator because the heavy strings (16's) just rip my nails to pieces and all the Sally Hansen goop in the world doesn't help. Try metal fingerpicks and a plastic thumbpick. These are really good fingerpicks (http://www.guptillmusic.com/), lots of choices and they are easier to mold to your fingers than the Jim Dunlop ones. Dunlop is OK for thumb picks, I don't like metal thumbpicks, I find them very uncomfortable.

    With all due respect to previous poster, I don't think hybrid picking is the way to go. Thumb and two or three fingers, lightly rest your pinky in the top of the guitar for guidance. That's what most folks do, there must be a reason!
     
  5. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    That is what I said. On an acoustic guitar with 12 gauge strings I find it no problem to use hybrid picking, flat picking and two fingers for arpeggios, and up to 3 fingers with plucking. I must admit, as mainly an electric player hybrid is easier as that's how I play electric. Also, I don't play acoustic all day long either.........

    The question was about using a flat pick. The old masters didn't use picks at all. But that wasn't the question.

    Thanks for the link for the finger picks. It sounds like I will need them when I get a resonator. :Beer:
     
  6. tomtt2

    tomtt2 Blues Newbie

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    I can't argue with your logic, glynnd. If hundreds, if not thousands, of players learned proper steady-bass picking, then I guess I should buckle down and put in the time.

    To answer your questions, I'm playing a round neck resonator, but the string set is not heavy. The guitar came with D'Addario® Phosphor-Bronze, .012 ~ 053 set and I'm still playing them.

    That being said, I've always found the thumb pick to feel odd. I checked out the link you had to Pro-pick and they look really good, particularly the blade type thumb pick. I may give these a try along with their reso-finger picks. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  7. tomtt2

    tomtt2 Blues Newbie

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    glynnd, your advice is appreciated and I will use it.

    Don't think mtman disagreed, but just had a different experience bass.

    I think both approaches have potential for a player like me. I do plan to try the finger picks you recommended (already submitted the order) and I will also try hybrid picking since I have the picks to do it.

    Whichever works our best for me will be where I go.

    I count on this site for sound advice and really appreciate anyone who takes the time to share their experience. Thanks to both of you guys.

    and I'm buying the beer if there are any takers........
     
    mountain man likes this.
  8. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    True.