hybrid picking frustrations

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by boo radley, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. boo radley

    boo radley Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    So a couple of years ago, I wanted to move to a technique that would facilitate playing different styles of music and I started hybrid picking, using a pick between my thumb and index, and my middle and ring finger.

    And I anchor -- 'locate' is probably more correct, since there's barely any pressure -- with my little finger on the pickguard.

    All in all that's worked out great -- but I'm realizing not so much for 4 note voicings. Either I omit a note, or sometimes quickly get the rest of the chord while the bass note is still ringing, or actually break the chord into a 'boom-chick' if there's time -- does that make any sense?

    I'm wondering what the most productive, future-proof change should be: strum the chords, which means I'll need to be a lot less sloppy with muting, add the little finger into the hybrid picking, or ditch the pick for at least some stuff...? I really don't want to have to go through a major right-hand technique change again, in this lifetime. :)
    Turi likes this.
  2. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

    May 30, 2007
    For four-note chords, I just use the pinky.

    That is one benefit of practicing the open-string picking exercises in the Assis-Brasil Hybrid Picking For Guitar book - it gets you used to using the pinky in short order - well, for me "short order" was about a month of daily practice plus oodles of patience.
  3. hobbyplayer

    hobbyplayer Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Stop using your pinky to anchor--and yes, even a "light" anchor is still an anchor.

    Instead, rest your palm on the bridge if you need to position your hand and use your pinky for the 4th note.
    Turi likes this.
  4. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Erotic City MN
    I always wondered why country players have their straps so short.. after learning some hybrid picking, now I know why. I'm an achor the pinky guy in my normal playing, but have to switch that to do hybrid stuff and put my palm on the top part of the bridge.
    Turi likes this.
  5. DNW

    DNW Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    If it's just playing a chord I'll bring the pinky in where necessary. Arpy stuff or other broken chord type playing I'll sometimes use it, or other times I'll maybe give the pick more work to do and move the whole hand accordingly. Depends on what the pinky would have to be doing really. Grabbing a note here and there is one thing, but for anything more difficult it's a bit rubbish.

    That said, if I'm doing a bunch of any of that, I'd be more likely to tuck the pick away on the inside of my curled index finger and just finger pick it all. The Jazz III fits in there perfectly in a way that positions the finger just right for being able to use it while still holding on to the pick. It actually feels so "right" to me that finger picking feels odd if I don't have a pick tucked into the finger. I have to grab a pick even if I'm not going to use it at all. :dunno And it's a very quick motion to slip the pick in and out of that position.

    I guess I tend to use hybrid picking more as an extension of flat picking, rather than as finger picking while also using a pick, if ya follow. So it's generally more for string skipping, or I might replace a little 3-string sweep with hybrid picking, or whatever.

    But finger picky stuff... that's spread out across more strings (reach-wise, thumb to index reach with finger picking is a lot better than index to middle with hyrbrid), or maybe could do with the extra digit, or maybe where I want more dynamic control over the lower notes... I'll just use finger picking.

    I would suggest for starters, get the pinky involved, even if it's only for simple tasks. Even if for some things you ditch the pick and go all fingers... there'll still be times when you could find it useful.
    Turi likes this.
  6. Turi

    Turi Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Use your pinky man.
    Problem solved.
  7. p.j.

    p.j. Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    New England
    Rockabilly octaves are a great way to get used to playing with your pinky. Play lines using both E strings and use your pinky on the high E string. Maybe throw in some slap-back echo and an Elvis moves for good measure. And go cat, go! ;)
  8. darkwaters

    darkwaters Member

    May 12, 2013
    I never use my pinky. For tunes where a 4 note voicing is mandatory, I just lose the pick.

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