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Hybrid Picking Vs Finger Picking


Joined: Nov 28 2009

Don't be confused about the topics title, I'm not trying to see what one is better. Rather I'm trying to find out if hybrid picking is going to hinder me in the long run?

I'm hopeless at fingerpicking, but I can hybrid pick very well. As far as


If I want to hybrid pick that, I struggle a lot. Can someone please enlighten me on the right way to hybrid pick this? I currently and hitting the 3 on the low E with the pick, while using my Middle/Ring/Pinky to pick the rest, And I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. Another one I struggle with would be


I find it very hard to hit the 3's on the A and D strings, the way I'm playing that is to pick the 3 on the A string with the pick, i kinda crunch my hand up to get my middle finger to hit the 3 on the D string, then my ring finger would do the top E.

I'm really scared of getting into a habit of playing like this if it will turn out that I will get into some god awful habits that will be hard to break out of.

I also don't have any intention of learning how to fingerpick, I know it sounds ignorant but I have got my hybrid picking down pretty well apart from those 2 types of chords.
I don't own an Accoustic guitar either, I am playing this on clean tone with guitar Rig 4 on my Ibanez. Which is the style i'd like to stick to because I have never seen anyone play like this before. So I want to keep it unique to me if I can. (I'm sure there are millions that play like this but so far I haven't seen anyone)

I will buy an accoustic one day though. Only then will I want to play classical style. Hell one day I wanna buy a bass too.

Thanks for reading this boring post, I'm really unsure of what I'm getting into and I know there are some amazing players here on this site that can help me, or at least give me some words of wisdom that will get rid of the fear of not doing things right.

Thank you fellow GameTabbers:D

EDIT: Oh another thing I forgot to say.

If I had to strum the chord slowly, or "Rake"? I think it's called "Rake" anyway, not sure... I would place any spare finger on the A and D strings to mute them, then strum down all the way with the pick....... Is this wrong? I don't know I'm kinda trying to work things out myself, lulz. thanks again

I praise you for being able


Joined: Jun 18 2009

I praise you for being able to hybrid-pick better then you can straight finger-picking, lol (I always found hybrid picking quite difficult). I myself don't hybrid-pick, but I thought I'd toss my 2-cents out there for what it's worth anyways ^^.

To be honest, I don't think there's any other efficient way to pick the strings other then having to transition to actual fingerpicking (lol please correct me if I'm wrong). So, I would suggest you may either try practicing your finger-picking instead ^^; (Which is probably the best thing to do).. Or perhaps invest in a thumb pick that will give you the ability to pick like you normally would in hybrid picking but also enable you to use all 5 of your fingers simultaneously so you can get those hard to play chords when you need to. (Look at Chet Atkins's guitar playing for reference to a thumb pick)

As for playing the mute strings, your doing everything correctly ^^.

Hopefully I was of some help >> lol and hopefully someone else on here can further help you on the problem.

Traditional thumbpicks are a


Eric: tank,godlike

Location: Arizona

Joined: Jan 04 2009

Traditional thumbpicks are a hassle to get used to. Try buying some of these and seeing how they work for you.

Your muted/raking/etc is correct.

I main reason I want you to try the thumbpick is to avoid scrunching up for those chords that you mentioned.

When you have the advantage of having a flat pick strapped to your thumb you can easily hit the chord without scrunching by letting your index finger extend fully to hit the middle string while the thumbpick naturally plays the low string.

Relaxation is key to finding consistent technique.

I can't hybrid pick very


Joined: Sep 06 2008

I can't hybrid pick very well. But I can fingerpick okay (I'm still learning!!). So take this with a grain of salt, but I'd say for the second one you should be doing the bottom strings all with the pick in one motion, not pick + middle finger.



I recently picked up some


I haven't had a chance to trim my hedges recently. Thanks for visiting anyway...

Location: United States

Joined: Jul 17 2009

I recently picked up some dunlop thumb picks... they were pretty bad and it was hard to use them. They came in a pack of four. I filed three of them to different sizes to find what was most comfortable. An issue I had was when doing thumbslaps (for percussion type effects), was that the thumbpick would hit the body of the guitar. There is a simple (and completely obvious D:) fix for this and it is to simply play closer (almost over)to the soundhole so that the pick does not hit the body but instead goes into the soundhole. I have a classical and usually play closer to t he bridge. The bridge on a classical is farther back (so is the bridge on a 12 fret steel string). On a regular steel string, however, the bridge is closer to the soundhole so it is more natural to do percussion with thumbpicks. Most thumpick users use them with steel strings, but I am limited to my poor classical XD.

Anwyays, I started using the default (non-filed down) dunlop thumbpick and it became more natural than any of my filed ones. Unfortunately, I had bought large thumb hole thumbpicks, so they kept shifting as i would play. I decided to get some more thumpicks with a normal thumb hole size, but got Fred Kelly Slick Picks instead. I got a medium and heavy gauge one both in delrin. There is a slight sound difference.. the heavy gauge is warmer and i think i prefer it. But when I get my steel string, I could see the medium gauge sounding very nice.

Anyways the progression of using a thumbpicks went like this for me (and seems to be consistent with others' experiences):

day 1) wtf
day 3) not nearly as bad
day 7) pretty fluid

You will want to use them exclusively for a week just to give it a fair shot.

After that i actually started to enjoy using a thumpick more than not using one... it can be limiting, though, but it also allows for some things that would otherwise be more difficult. It is easier to be consistant and give a consistant sound than the flesh or nail of a thumb. But you cannot do as much percussion wise as far as hitting your guitar body in various ways.

Unless you give it a bit of time, it will be hard to understand what I mean about limitations with and without a thumbpick, and you might fool yourself into saying you dont need one or that you always need one. I think it is just another versatile tool that should be used when needed and not used when not needed.

Again, I completely recommend **Fred Kelly Slick Picks**.... they are awesome. However, try various ones and choose what is best for you if you decide to go the thumbpick route. Keep in mind they need to be very tight (so they dont shift or move) and will make your thumb purple or numb easily... but after awhile its like you grow a new vein and it stops being such a problem.

I never knew those types of


Joined: Nov 28 2009

I never knew those types of Pick ever existed! I am definitely going to try some out. Shame they are so expensive, my picks wear down pretty quick, or at least the ones I'm using at the moment do Dunlop 60mm Mediums (red ones)Not that it's an issue or anything.

I am pretty overwhelmed that some amazing Gametabbers here replied to me! I'm glad to be apart of this community with such helpful people that don't whoard tabs because they are afraid someone will be able to play them better :D

I know this is off topic, but while I'm posting this anyway, is there a Limit on how many videos you can put up onto Gametabs?

I havn't had a camera for a while now, but when I get one, hopefully tomorrow, or at least get my old one repaired I'd like to upload about 3 songs probably. And if it's ok I will post a link here to a heavily hybrid picking song, to at least show you what I'm talking about. And if anyone says to me "Look, guitarfailkid, QUIT hybrid picking, it's not working dude!" then I will have to because I'm not going to get any better at it on this specific song that I THINK I have pegged down (To Zanarkand)

That was a whole of of pointless ramble :( Thanks for the replies guys! You're all awesome!

well you need to create a


The Fingerstyle Mechanic

Location: Dallas Texas

Joined: Aug 27 2008

Thats's what we are all here for bro to help out when ever we can. Im glad you enjoy the community. As for the videos you need to create a youtube page first and upload the videos there then from there you will copy the link and head over to the recording section and post it there. No videos are uploaded to this site directly.


Watch me:


Joined: Nov 28 2009

Here is the retarded hybrid picking that I was talking about. Well here is an example of it anyway.

Thanks Vic9mm man. I'll put the video up properly in a mo, but this link was just for the purpose of this thread for now :)

I'm getting better at the chords up in my first post now, Almost don't really have to think about it no more. So maybe I'll be fine?

Congrats on learning to


Joined: Jul 04 2010

Congrats on learning to hybrdid pick. Most players can not do it or do it well anyways. It is a must for playing country lead and rockabilly. Country lead along with jazz and flamenco are the hardest styles of guitar to master.

as a tradinal country G player I can tell you that the reason hybrid picking is a MUST for these styles is because it allows you to overcome and master the nuances needed to perform pedal steel licks and banjo rolls on the guitar.

also SNAP the strings and use 9 guage or lower to get the twang needed. James burton used banjo strings for his higher strings on all his teles.

to anser your question for about the examples you posted. just use the pick to pick low strings and fingers for the higher ones. the 3rd freyt on the A and D just pick both strings as if you were strumming. quickly though.

go to to learn more. many free examples and videos. good luck bro