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How many players: always use a flatpick; sometimes use a flatpick, or never? How many play with a thumbpick and/or finger picks? For what type of music?

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Always, because I can't play finger-style. I'm 56 and I play guitar just to accompany myself when singing or in a group of friends. Too old to re-start. Next life I'll study finger-picking to play along with Michael Hedges!
Man, I didn't even *start* playing guitar 'til I was almost 48. That was about two years ago. I learned fingerstyle and used a thumb pick for a little over a year, and then changed gears and began learning how to play with a flat pick. No reason why a guy your age couldn't learn fingerstyle if you want, Antonio--if I can do it, anybody can! I had a good teacher, and that helped immensely.

I agree Dave

I had been using a flat pick pretty much all my life. I'm 53, and just started learning fingerstyle, using a thumbpick, and playing with harmonics.
you're never too old to learn something new.

I also have to agree with you Dave. I have been teaching for over ten years and have seen players into their 70s learn to play fingerstyle with great success.  My oldest student right now is in his 80s and rocks fingerstyle.

That's a good age, Antonio, right there with you, and you're right, not as easy to learn something new. I almost never use a pick when playing acoustic...never could summon the action with a flatpick to equal three fingers and a thumb. I certainly wish I had the facility some people do with that little piece of can create a different sound for sure. I'll use a thumb pick on occasion. I do use a flat pick when playing electric, though I'll palm it and play with fingers as often as I can get away with it.

Flat picking/fingerpicking is a very personal thing. You will have advocates of each style of play (and now there is Hybrid picking....using a flat pick and two fingers!) Over the years I have tried them all!
When I first started playing during the early years of the "Great Folk Scare" we listened to the Kingston Trio and Pete Seeger. Guitar accompanyment was simple. Flat picking was popular. When PP&M, Joan Baez, and later Bob Dylan showed up fingerstyle accompanyment seemed more "sophistacated". By the way....Peter and Paul and Joan were very good guitarists. I got into classical lessons to enhance my fingerpicking. I still like to play classical!

From here, I got into folk blues (Rev Gary Davis, John Hurt, Doc Watson). I spent many years imitating these styles. I still like to play this music. When my son was taking guitar lessons (Heavy Metal) I had to drive him there so I got into Electric Blues and Jazz lessons. My teacher taught me how to use a flat pick. I still enjoy this style of play! I never did get into Heavy Metal! ; )

Lately, I am into Bluegrass (I don't know how this happened!). Now I'm learning Hybrid picking. I enjoy jamming with a local Bluegrass Jam session.

So....if you play what you like you may find that you evolve and play with picks or not as required! Then, you will have evolved to my unique position, experienced at all but master of none! ; ) Use whatever is necessary to play the music you desire.

Hey Charles, I take it there's a lot of application for hybrid in bluegrass? I love bluegrass, but haven't quite gotten into picking it up yet. Is it really hybrid intensive?

The Pick...use 'em and lose 'em. I use flat picks for Rhythm, and lead playing..medium to heavy guage, my favorites are wegens. sometimes I'll rotate the pick point into my palm and use the round edge for a fatter sound.
I use a thumb pick when playing fingerstyle, but sometimes I just use the bare thumb if I'm looking for a "softer" bass response. I don't use finger picks, I find a combination of nail/flesh works best for me.
Yeah, Jim, flesh and nail..which, BTW, sounds like a catchy name for a fingerpicking mag... work pretty good for me most of the time. Won't work for surf music or a few other types of playing ..sometimes you just need that whangy downstroke plastic on steel sound.
I use finger picks, Dunlop medium thumbpick, and pro-pick brass speed picks, they are shaped a bit different, and the brass does not seem to be a noisy as standard steel fingerpicks. I hate plastic fingerpicks, I have never been able to get them to fit correctly

I play some blues, Celtic, and Slack-Key, in all different tunings DADGAD, Open G, Open C, etc.
I practically always have a flat pick in my hand between my thumb and index finger, but I have gotten to where I hybrid pick/chicking pick a lot, and use the pick for bass notes, and for leads, and sometimes rythmn. I can't finger pick worth a crap or at all, and I just sat and kept over and over learning to hybrid pick, and now it has become automatic for me.

I can't use a thumb pick either, to either finger pick as stated above or even chicken pick, I just use my middle, ring, and pinky when hybrid picking.
I ALWAYS Need a plectrum but i use fingers as well sort of a weird hybrid thing. Works for me but i need to work hard with my fingers to get the same volume as my pick.


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