As I explained in the section above, (if you haven’t read it yet, please do) when you first begin to learn finger picking guitar, you will be better off to learn while using plastic picks. Summarizing some of the reasons for you again; Generally speaking, the crispness, clarity and volume of plastic finger picks will be preferred over the bare fingers and nails. Also, using finger picks will have a natural way of bringing to your attention the areas in your technique where you need to improve. You need to realize though, that there is the matter of – you have to get use to using them. Plastic finger picks feel awkward at first. Wearing them may make you feel “clumsy” in your attempt to learn finger picking. It takes time! So be determination to overcome those initial awkward feelings. It can be done and I believe it to be the BEST course to take! In time you will prefer to have the pick on when you play.
As I explained, most people don’t give it the necessary time and effort required to play with finger picks. They don’t have the desire necessary to work at it and they give up too quickly. So if you learn finger picking using plastic picks you will have already reached out far above those other guys (or girls) that didn’t give it that necessary effort. Also, as I said before, for those who do master this art, the end result is a BETTER guitarist that has more variation in their music and therefore a more overall appeal. I remember while in college I went to a coffee house (common in the 70’s) to hear some folk singers and acoustic guitar music. There was a guy there (can’t even remember his name) that played “The Boxer” by Paul Simon on a 12 string Martin D35. He was outstanding at picking and strumming while using finger picks. He would change from finger picking to strumming and back again to finger picking, without missing a note and blending the two with smooth transitions in-between, and he did it with outstanding skill. That performance simply blew me away! I’ve forgotten his name, but I have never forgotten his guitar playing. I was convinced right then and there that I needed to learn to play like that.
That experience helped me! That had such a profound and powerful influence on me that shortly after I went out and bought a Martin D35. (I still have that guitar to this day) Hearing that performance helped me to have the desire necessary to learn finger picking. I made up my mind that night, right then and there, that nothing was going to stop me from learning to finger pick like that. I wish I could just click my fingers and give that determination to you! …WHAMMOOO… you have that desire! Wouldn’t that be cool? Unfortunately it just doesn’t work like that. Even in this high tech age of the internet the best I can hope for is to write these things down. Make them available to you on the net. and hope that you get the point of what I’m trying to tell you.
As a final note to encourage you – I’ve been using plastic finger picks since the early 70’s. At first, it was awkward for me too. I was able to get over those initial feels of using plastic finger picks and for the most part, now I prefer to have them on. Especially when I do gigs am I happy that I learned to play using plastic finger pick. I was able to do it and I did it without the help of any web site… free or otherwise!. The internet didn’t even exist back then. Can you imagine? If I could do it without that help, I know you can do it too. Especially when you have the help of this site! But AGAIN – to do it you will have to have that desire to learn finger picking. That’s what I had. I had a lot of desire! You have to want to learn finger picking using plastic finger picks. I hope that some of the things I have told you will help you want to do it and be determined to give it your best. Please do!!!