Thumbpick or hybrid?
many rockabilly players use a thumb pick. The thumb pick is a plectrum style device that clips firmly onto the thumb of the picking hand and requires no extra fingers to hold it. one of the advantages of using a thumb pick is that you can easily maintain a full fingerstyle technique. The fretting hand’s thumb can freely play the bass notes while the first, second and third fingers (referred to as ‘i’, ‘m’ and ‘a’) can play the melody notes. The thumb pick helps with bass note definition and sounds great when used in conjunction with palm muting and a slapback delay. The thumb pick can also double as a plectrum to pick single note lines and chords.
For this month’s track i used hybrid picking, which is a technique that uses a normal flat pick in conjunction with the second and third fingers of the picking hand. With the hybrid technique you lose some of the freedom that the thumb alone has and, of course, you need the first finger to hold the pick, so that is ‘out of commission’ too! you can still get great results with hybrid picking and this technique has the advantage of bolting on to your existing plectrum style.