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Remember that the purpose of wearing plastic finger picks is so that you can improve the sound quality and gain volume as you finger pick your guitar. So an important thing to remember is that you don’t want your fingers to actually touch the strings as you play. If they do touch while you’re playing it tends to “mute” the sound. This will take away from the clarity, quality and volume of the guitar. Avoid this! By adjusting the plastic finger picks on the tip of your fingers you can make it so only the pick tongue touches the strings as you play. This should always be your goal!
On the “About Right Hand Position” page we talked about the need to have the pick tongue come up onto the strings properly. The position of you hand has a lot to do with this. However, there is something else to help with the way the picks hit the strings. It’s how you wear the plastic finger picks on your finger. Here are a couple of ways you can “adjust the way the pick is worn on your finger tip.
Note the tip of the pick is in middle of the
finger tip about 1/4″ out from the finger.
This is something that can be adjusted
according to personal preference. However,
the goal is that you want only your finger pick
to touch the strings as you play. If your finger
actually touches the strings as you play then
you need to adjust this. You may want to
“cock” the pick upwards slightly to get a
position you like. In this photo the “band”
part of the pick is not at a right angle to the
finger but it is “cocked” slightly upwards.
Twist Your Picks
See how the finger pick is twisted slightly on the
finger so that the pick tongue is not on the same
plane as the finger nail. This “twisting” of the
pick is something else you can do to help the
pick tongue to come up flat upon the strings.
Each Pick Twisted Slightly Different
You can see the slight “twist” on all three of the
finger picks here. Note that the 3rd finger has
more twis than the 2nd finger, and the 1st is
differnent too. (This is how I usually wear my picks
– it works pretty good for me.)
The amount of twist on each finger may vary from one finger to the next, depending on the position you’re in with the guitar, just like I explained about the wrist position in the previous page. If your wrist position is bent slightly downward, you may find that you should have slightly more “twist” on the 1st finger then on the 2nd and more on the 3rd then on the 2nd. This is because the hand has a natural curve to it around that tennis ball) and therefore while picking, your fingers are not all coming onto the strings at the same angle. The “twist of the pick” is a way of “fine tuning” in compensating for that angle. Both the “wrist position” and the slight “twist” of the pick, are merely done to make sure the pick comes up “straight” and “flat” against the string.
If you purchase plastic finger picks from fingerpick.net you will receive more information about how to adjust the picks themselves in the fitting instructions that are sent with each set of finger picks. Not only will the picks fit your fingers but they will also play the guitar better.
Suggested Steps Before Playing.
1. Get in your favorite position you like to be in while
playing the guitar.
2. Anchor your picking hand and have all the picks
lay up against the strings.
3. First, adjust the wrist so the your finger
movement will be at “right angles”
to the strings. (Get as close as
possible and still be comfortable)
4. Look at the way each pick “tongue” lays
against each string.
5. Fine tune, by twisting the picks so that the pick
tongue hits “flat” against the string.
After you have done these steps a few times before playing, you’ll find that you won’t need to do them anymore. When you put your picks on you will already know how you like to wear them and you’ll just put them on that way and begin to play. Of course if you change the way you hold your guitar you can always go back and make the needed adjustments.
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