Jim Bruce Interview 36 Blues Guitar lesson Course Blues Articles Free Lessons Online Video Pages Original Blues Men Articles Image Map

Hi! Thanks for joining our group. I'll inform you when the next live class is scheduled - meanwhile, enjoy this series of 7 lessons starting below:

what guitarists use finger picks

Blues Guitar Lessons Tips - Picking Acoustic
Guitar Using Bare Fingers Or Finger Picks

By far the very first question you need to ask when starting blues guitar lessons is 'what kind of sound do I want to make?'

The answer definitely affects the choice between bare fingers or finger picks.

First of all, all guitar picks act like a natural amplifier and also gives a cleaner, sharper sound. The tips of finger picks are a lot narrower than the tips of the fingers, unless you use false nylon nails which can be glued to your own finger nails.

This technique was preferred by the legendary picker, Chet Atkins. The use of a thumb pick made of plastic or nylon is quite common for finger style guitarists, and many use picks for their fingers as well.

Plastic picks have a different shape to the stainless steel , which are stronger, and can also be bent to closely follow the profile of the end of the finger.

This makes that the contact point is almost the same as when playing with the bare finger tip. The great plus for wearing picks is that you play hard and not get blisters or hard patches on your finger tips, which is a great benefit when playing in public with no amplifier, or out doors in the street, for example..

Which guitarists use finger picks?

Some players, like Merle Travis and Tommy Emmanuel, wear a plastic thumb pick but use bare fingers.

Actually, Travis used one finger only, as did a lot of the old legendary blues players.

Acoustic blues guitar lessons need to teach the styles common to both ways of playing - this is the way to make the real sound of old blues guitar.

Some guitar lessons just show one picking style, which tends to limit the style of music you can perform.