Hybrid picking

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Stefan, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    My hybrid picking is a shame…I need a good advice how to improve my skills. It is very difficult for me to integrate the middle finger and I actually don't want long fingernails.
    That said I‘d like to pick the strings just with my fingertips besides the plectrum.

    I don‘t aim to become a country virtuoso and I‘m happy with my pick technique so far…but learning this beautiful piece of music



    takes me to my current limits :(
     
  2. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Hybrid is what I do. Love the feel and sound of a pick, can't use thumb or finger picks, and I have no nails.

    The first song I learned was house of the rising sun from my mom's first guitar book from the 60s. It was fingerpicking and I learned it using hybrid.

    My teacher and my friend who helped me learn guitar were both jazz players. So I learned to play chord fragments with hybrid picking instead of strumming. Then I was taught to arpeggiate the chords with different patterns.

    Not sure that helps. If you're learning Lage songs you're more advanced than me.

    What do you perceive as the problem. Timing, accuracy, strength, volume control?
     
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  3. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    Coordination and separation. I‘m satisfied with my plectrum technique, but fingerpicking…:confused: I‘m able to play fast picking lines using just my thumb and my index finger but that‘s not the same. I love the unique tone from hybrid picking- Julians song above is a good example
     
  4. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Practice with middle ring and pinky only then a bat at a time incorporate the pick. I don’t know that song and my picking is no where near that level so you are well beyond my abilities but I have found breaking it down into bits and pieces really helps. Nail the three fingers I mentions then nail the pick after try both only one bar at a time. The biggest issue I found is getting the function of a down pick and fingers up at the same time. It seems so counter intuitive to me. An up pick with fingers up is another level and then down pick and down fingers is crazy to try as well. I don’t know if any of that made sense to anyone but me.

    Just break it down one bar at a tome don’t move on until the mechanics are perfect. I suspect at your level by the time you dissect this song it will already be working itself out for you physically.
     
    Stefan likes this.
  5. MrClint

    MrClint Gretschie

    251
    Nov 27, 2017
    Lake Balboa, CA
    I decided to invest in becoming a better player with a TrueFire yearly pass. So far it's been a winning idea. Checkout this course:

    Note that I have no affiliation to TrueFire, but I would be willing to have one! LOL
     
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  6. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    Thanks, yes hybrid picking is really somewhat counter intuitive. That song is a real challenge and every part is a piece of art, but we’re talking Julian Lage here. It‘s hard work to come half way close but big fun on the other hand! Thanks again for your help!
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  7. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I kinda just came to it naturally cause I hate wearing a thumbpick.
    They never fit right. Either spin off my thumb or cut of my circulation. Plus my accuracy with a thumbpick leaves a lot to be desired. I got more used to them playing some sq neck reso and banjo, but I still hate em and have to practice regularly to stay accurate with a thumbpick and fingerpicks. For elec guitar its flatpick and fingers for me.
     
  8. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    836
    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    I tape my pic to my finger because I have a bone disorder that makes holding on to a pic difficult and painful. Because of this hybrid picking is a breeze by default! Might be worth a try just to see if it works for you
     
    Stefan likes this.
  9. dlew919

    dlew919 Country Gent

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Mike Stern uses hair glue - the stuff to keep your wig on. That might work too.
     
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  10. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    I use Dunlop jazz III sculpted Plektras (1.4), nearly impossible to loose. I can also „hide“ the plec inside my hand and pick with my fingers like Setzer, but I‘d like to get control over my middle and ringfinger to move them independently from thumb and index finger.
     
    Bertotti likes this.
  11. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Some serious woodshedding is all that will help that! If you don't use that term over there it just means a lot of focused practice. One bit over and over again until you go it.
     
    Stefan likes this.
  12. nickurso

    nickurso Gretschified

    Age:
    55
    Dec 24, 2012
    New Orleans la.
    I have an odd style of hybrid picking that I developed myself over the years. I’m sure someone that is good at it would cringe if they saw the way I play, but that being said it serves me well. I use a flat pick and my middle finger together in a random way. I have developed a good crisp snap to my middle finger and can even hybrid chicken picking. I’ve never been good at finger style and this was my compromise
     
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  13. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    Thanks brother!
    Same here, I‘ve also developed a „wrong“ technique (if there’s any) where I pick strings just with my thumb and the indexfinger. It works, but it‘s limited.
     
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  14. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I don't see that as wrong. If it works it works! I was zooming in on the video that guy incorporated a lot of technique. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, and it is interesting to zone in on his right hand and how and when he finger picks and uses the plectrum. kind of like my comment about picking up with the pick and fingers at the same time or opposite etc. He doesn't always use a plec and fingers at the same time and when it does pay attention to the direction of picking. Very cool. As for the song, it isn't my favorite to me some of it is just not quite right but that is personal preference and I think I may take a stab at it for the sheer practice it will drive, an excellent choice to force one to progress! Thanks for posting it!
     
  15. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    How about this one, seems a bit more realistic for my try.
     
  16. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    Julian Lage is for sure one of the best (maybe the best) guitarists today. He‘s just 32(?) and played with Santana when he was 8 yrs old.

    I guess I know what you mean with „not quite right“- this song is a melange of classic, jazz, americana…Julians music is a bit Avantgarde, everything but mainstream. There are notes that seem wrong but he makes it work. He’s so elegant and virtuous playing and I really dig his sound.

    Edit: by the way, what do you mean with realistic?
     
  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Less left hand technique without a lot of hammering and such so I could focus more on the right hand. I am not as sufficient level playing to be able to really work through the first vid you posted without a lot of trouble.
     
  18. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    Yes, „Etude“ is really hard work. Really hard! But you‘ll grow on stuff like that, even if it takes months. I‘ve developed a lot of patience and discipline if I want to play something that’s challenging like that- it’s the same with hybrid picking I guess, but sometimes I just couldn’t wait ;)

    I know the music of Julian Lage since two years or so and learned to play a handful of his songs (always a challenge by the way) so far.
    But honestly: I‘m playing for more than 20 years now but I‘ve never learned so much about the guitar rather than those last two years.
     
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  19. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    PNW
    Speaking of finger picking:
     
    Henry likes this.
  20. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    Germany
    That‘s not fair ;)

    Strangely enough, sometimes I‘ve got a feeling that my own crude picking technique is absolutely okay as long as it works. I‘m incredibly faster using my „thumb/index-plug“ and even cleaner :eek:
     
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