Author Topic: strumming with your fingers  (Read 290 times)

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Offline phx1973

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strumming with your fingers
« on: December 01, 2018, 02:45:15 pm »
Does anybody strum (especially acoustic) without a pick? Not fingerpicking, actually strumming. I've seen a few things online suggesting something similar to the link below. The basic idea is holding the thumb and index finger of your strumming hand exactly as you would when holding a pick. Using the top of your nail as you brush the string. I actually find to be not only comfortable, but also produces a nice tone...obviously using your nail rather than the fleshy part of fingers makes a tonal difference too.

Anyway, just curious if others do something different. Or perhaps strumming with the fingers where three or four fingers all brush the strings at the same time?
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Offline DavidP

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 02:59:43 pm »
Quite a few folk do, Tosh.  Check out some of Hilts and Max's videos.

My recording of Don't Stop was played without a pick.  I used just the thumb, mix of fleshy pad and some nail.

Offline phx1973

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 03:01:46 pm »
Thanks, David. I'm going to give it a shot on my next recording.
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Offline sairfingers

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 03:08:01 pm »
I do it if I’m practicing a new chord or song quietly when everyone else has gone to bed!  But I prefer using a pick for a bit more volume and picking out bass notes.
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Offline max_mue

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2018, 08:05:52 pm »
Hey Tosh, since my videos got mentioned by David:

Quote
The basic idea is holding the thumb and index finger of your strumming hand exactly as you would when holding a pick.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFiKLOGsPUM
(Dancing in the Dark)

Quote
Anyway, just curious if others do something different.
A strumming pattern that I often use is
1) thumb playing the bass note (either just picking the bass note or strumming the top strings)
2) upstrum with the fingertip of the index finger
3) downstrum with the nail of my index finger

I used this one when playing 'Better Together' by Jack Johnson
at the end of the video I also do something that goes in the direction of
Quote
Or perhaps strumming with the fingers where three or four fingers all brush the strings at the same time?

Some tips / remarks
Think of supporting your index finger with your thumb while imitating to hold a pick and don't press the fingers too hard against each other


Offline phx1973

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 09:19:30 pm »
Hey Max. Thanks for this. I had noticed that you strum without a pick even before David mentioned you. So I appreciate this. I just posted my first finger strumming video in AVOYP. I actually think it came out very well. Will be interested to see feedback from you all.

Hey Tosh, since my videos got mentioned by David:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFiKLOGsPUM
(Dancing in the Dark)
A strumming pattern that I often use is
1) thumb playing the bass note (either just picking the bass note or strumming the top strings)
2) upstrum with the fingertip of the index finger
3) downstrum with the nail of my index finger

I used this one when playing 'Better Together' by Jack Johnson
at the end of the video I also do something that goes in the direction of
Some tips / remarks
Think of supporting your index finger with your thumb while imitating to hold a pick and don't press the fingers too hard against each other
BC completed August, 2016
Currently In Intermediate Method - Foundation 3
Gear: Fender Standard Tele, Gibson Les Paul Junior, Epiphone Hummingbird Pro (Acoustic), Fender Bassbreaker 15 Amp, Fender Mustang I amp

Offline Guitar_65riff

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 06:59:55 pm »
Hi I never use a pick (unless playing electric)
I prefer the sound.  A pick is too harsh on acoustic I think

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Online Balamuthiah

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2018, 11:16:20 pm »
Hi I never use a pick (unless playing electric)
I prefer the sound.  A pick is too harsh on acoustic I think

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Second this statement. I prefer to strum acoustic without a pick. It gives a better balance between the voice and the guitar. That said I like to do tracks where some notes need to be picked with a pick. But I find it easier to keep rhythm and give consistent strums on acoustic without a pick too. I usually just use my flesh rather than nails though. However I sometimes grow out my nail for some fancy flicking (usually with the index finger). I love to thumb strum. :)

Offline Guitar_65riff

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 11:45:28 pm »
Second this statement. I prefer to strum acoustic without a pick. It gives a better balance between the voice and the guitar. That said I like to do tracks where some notes need to be picked with a pick. But I find it easier to keep rhythm and give consistent strums on acoustic without a pick too. I usually just use my flesh rather than nails though. However I sometimes grow out my nail for some fancy flicking (usually with the index finger). I love to thumb strum. :)
Yep same here. No nails at all. Still manage to pick a note and strum with good sound
I'm fact I'm also playing banjo mainly without finger picks. Still sounds pretty loud and clear

Online Balamuthiah

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 12:20:05 am »
Yep same here. No nails at all. Still manage to pick a note and strum with good sound
I'm fact I'm also playing banjo mainly without finger picks. Still sounds pretty loud and clear

Ah! But aren't banjos brighter than guitar? Never played one so I'm sure hove it feels. I started playing with a pick only after I started doing the Justin course. Kinda wanted to fight through my weak points. Right now I play both but when I'm alone and just singing to myself and practicing new stuff, it's always fingers. :)

Offline Guitar_65riff

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 10:02:38 am »
Ah! But aren't banjos brighter than guitar? Never played one so I'm sure hove it feels. I started playing with a pick only after I started doing the Justin course. Kinda wanted to fight through my weak points. Right now I play both but when I'm alone and just singing to myself and practicing new stuff, it's always fingers. :)
Oh boy! Yes they are. In fact if I use finger picks on mine my neighbor can hear it loud and clear. I also prefer not to make my hearing any worse than it is already so playing with naked digits is preferable.
However, you do lose some of that banjo twang.

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Offline Barend

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Re: strumming with your fingers
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2018, 03:07:57 pm »
As some others here, I prefer the softer sound of strumming acoustic with my  thumb only. Don't like the sound of nails, especially when recording. I often practice with the rest of the family around, so have to keep sound levels down. Don't like the raking sound of the pick on the strings. I still want to experiment with different types of picks though.

The upstrum with thumb is a bit tricky as the fleshy side of thumb next to the nail is quite narrow and sometimes catchww on the strings. . I turn my thumb almost parallel to the strings to get max contact with flelshy part.




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