teCh­nique fo­CuS

Pick vs fin­gers vs hy­brid

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY JAZZ -

One of the many choices a gui­tarist faces is be­tween pick, fin­ger­style and hy­brid play­ing. There are var­i­ous pros and cons to each ap­proach; pick play­ing (gen­er­ally) has greater at­tack, even­ness and flu­ency (so is com­mon in rock and me­tal) while fin­ger­style al­lows both a var­ied nuance of tone and, most cru­cially, the abil­ity to play multiple voices (and so is favoured among clas­si­cal, acous­tic and many jazz play­ers). Hy­brid pick­ing is a use­ful com­pro­mise, al­low­ing an ex­tra voice or two from a picked lower voice (and so is com­mon in coun­try play­ing). There are many stylis­tic ex­cep­tions from Jeff Beck’s blues-rock fin­ger­style play­ing to Paco de Lu­cia’s amaz­ingly fast and hard fin­ger­style scales. Here I’ve played all fin­ger­style for clar­ity, but th­ese are all playable hy­brid style, or (with ju­di­cious fret­ting-hand mut­ing) just pick or thumb. I’d sug­gest be­ing open to a range of ap­proaches and us­ing what feels best for you tech­ni­cally and mu­si­cally.

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