Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

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Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby MiloBlacker » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:06 pm

Hey all,

I'm taking ownership of a new Tricone shortly and I'm wondering if I *must* use finger picks (I don't mind) when playing it (I know "there are no rules" but still some say you have to use them...) what's the consensus on this forum? I prefer thin gauge metal picks... I'm on the fence as to whether or not I want to continue with them... I play a bit better without them but that could be just a question of getting used to them again, it's been years since I've used them and just started with them again last week in anticipation of getting teh tricone.

I've heard Bob Brozman insist that finger picks must be worn when playing a resonator... he's certainly an authority in my book.


thx,

slide on
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby Jakeblues » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:24 am

I generally don't use picks, and my technique is better without them. I think reso's in general (& tricones especially) sound better with picks. I need to get out of my comfort zone and use them more. It's up to you. Use what works.
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby ricbleu » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:10 am

I use a thumb pick only for resos, but not finger picks, and on my Weissenborn, not even the thumbpick because the Weissey is a quieter instrument and I think it amplifies individual strings too much, besides which, on the Weissey I don't like the clickety-click. And for standard six string, no picks at all, though so many brilliant steel string finger pickers do use a thumb pick. But you are talking reso and who's going to contradict Bob Brozman? :D Peace.
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby NEONMOONY » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:42 pm

It's obviously such a personal decision based on your style. At home, I use all the combinations of fingers, finger picks and flat picks. If I play for people, I will use picks because I like the initial attacks sound that you get with a pick. Some people want a softer sound. It's really a matter of what you want.
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby MiloBlacker » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:26 pm

I keep vacillating back and forth between the two - I'm a man caught between two worlds with a home in neither (okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic but you get the point) I like the feel of the finger tips on the strings but I like the "precision" and volume of picks... but when playing slide it can sound a tad caustic... I don't know... they also sting my fingers a bit... oh, damn, I hate decisions. I'd like to pick one and stick with it, I hate switching back and forth...

@ ricbleu - I never got used to thumb pick only. If I put a thumb pick on 3 fingerpicks will be joining it. Also I can't "snap" the bass string with a thumb pick although my teacher can do it but he's an amazing player so that doesn't count...
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby Jakeblues » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:23 pm

I've been experimenting with picks again. I really notice the difference when I record. I had recorded a swampy blues, and the solos sounded like mush, both n the round neck tri-cone and the square-neck spider-bridge. I think particularly with the heavier strings on the square-neck, you need that snap to bring out the tone. I think I have to sop being lazy and break out the picks more often.
Last edited by Jakeblues on Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby Freeman » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:16 am

I play everything with just flesh and nails. But then I'm a crappy player.....
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby OldWailer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:48 am

I used to use picks a lot--especially a thumbpick--now I just use nails that have been augmented into bionic nails with a UV gel that transforms them into picks--only I can still snap strings with any finger and do up and down slaps freely without a pick flying across the damn bar. I play reso (don't have a tricone now) or acoustic this way--works for me. . .
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby ricbleu » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:47 am

What's this UV gel, OW? I've tried using standard clear nail varnish which is supposed to harden the nail but when I"m playing a lot for long periods the tips of my nails become ragged even with the varnish. With accessories like thumbpicks, I think less is more, but a simple paint on gel sounds good. So I'd appreciate a bit of info on it. Thanks. :D Peace
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby OldWailer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:50 pm

What's this UV gel, OW? I've tried using standard clear nail varnish which is supposed to harden the nail but when I"m playing a lot for long periods the tips of my nails become ragged even with the varnish. With accessories like thumbpicks, I think less is more, but a simple paint on gel sounds good. So I'd appreciate a bit of info on it. Thanks. :D Peace


The best place to find out about this UV gel stuff is at http://www.personalsalon.com/ They have some vieos that explain the system, and they sell the stuff you need at OK prices. I ain't trying to sell anything here--but they are good to deal with.

There are some videos there that lay out the whole process--there is definitely a learning curve--but I have learned to only do the nails I use for picking--and I have developed a way to only do about half of each of those--from about half way up the nail to the tip--and out to the edges. The perfect nail for me is UV stuff that mirrors the natural crescent (the white part at the bottom of the nail).

The kit they sell has pretty much everything you need to get started. an application lasts for several weeks. The real beauty is that if you break a nail on a gig night--you just slap on a patch--cook it on in the UV oven--and go forth and play. If you need to extend the length of the nails, you'll probably have to buy a set of those molds from a beauty shop--but then you can make them as long and as thick as you want them.

Once baked on, it lasts for weeks and is so tough it doesn't wear off under heavy playing. If you start out with short nails and extend them, your natural nails will keep on growing out, protected by the stuff--then you don't need to extend them any more--which is way harder to do.

I had some trouble getting a UV oven at the Nail salon that would keep working--(they sent me three new ones for free) so I finally bought one on ebay for about 12 bucks--and there are lots of other places you can buy the stuff you need if you just search online for "UV gel nails."

You might have some bad times going through the leaning curve to get them just right--but it sure has been worth it to me. . .
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby ricbleu » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:11 am

Thanks, buddy. When you said about putting your finger into the UV oven, I had visions of it going into something like a microwave...er... thanks, but no thanks :wha: . Anyway, I'll check it out. You mightn't know, but I am in New Zealand, but I've no doubt these kinds of set ups are available here. Truth is, for all my flattop work, my fingernails are ok cos I don't really play hard, although as I said before, a long session will leave them a bit ragged which I smooth with a glass nail file. Usually natural growth keeps pace with the wear. As someone said "we took up guitar when we were young to get the chicks and we end up talking to a bunch of middle aged guys about our fingernails..." :D Peace
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby Jakeblues » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:58 pm

a teacher I had in my teens wa 100% classically trained had me work on the technique of using the "meat" just past the end of the nail. (in the case of the thumb, on the side of the nail.) When I played hours every day, I built up the callous to the point that I could get a good "snap" with that technique, now, with less playing time, not so much.
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby ricbleu » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:15 am

Good point, Jake. The way I play with my fretting fingers, the index finger in particular, has built up a callous about in the middle on the end which I can use to snap the string like an additional pluck as it leaves the fret. To develop these on the picking hand would require a trimming of the nails a little bit down beyond the fingertip, wouldn't it? Worth a try for a different sound and maintenance free fingernails. Thanks for the (finger)tip. :D Peace.
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby OldWailer » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:19 pm

I know Kelly Joe Phelps gets a great sound playing with meat only--just goes to prove that there are no hard and fast rules about anything in playing music--everything can be done well in a great many ways. I tried the meat approach for a while--even playing hard every day, all I could get was really sore finger tips--it seems that, for my fingers, the action of the right hand--the picking, is different from the pressing down action of the left. The picking just makes my fingers sore as hell. I tried it for a few months at one time--so I didn't give up right off--just hearing Kelly Joe play was enough for me to know he might be onto something.

For the present time, I'm liking my UV nails. (The "UV oven" is just my name for it--it's really just a UV light bulb in a box). . .
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Re: Finger picks or not when playing a Tricone?

Postby ricbleu » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:49 am

And with the world economy going to hell in a handbasket, here we are getting our picking fingernails just right. So I trimmed my nails down today using the ground glass nail file so that the tip of the nail was just visible above the flesh when looking at the RH from the palm side. Now when I pick, I can keep my fingers as I normally do and play with flesh, or for a tad more attack, I can bend my fingers the tiniest bit just to catch that little nail end that was visible. The net effect is that my RH picking is a bit more under control cos I can feel the string on my fingertip. We are well off OP's query, but I'm enjoying sharing other muso's picking styles and methods. Thanks all. :D Peace.
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