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Author Topic: A Great Tip For Fingerpickers  (Read 2927 times)
dazco
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« on: April 20, 2004, 02:24:31 AM »

You may think this sounds nuts, but try it before you brand me a nut case. I gave up fingerpicks years ago because they're clumbsy, they hurt after a while, and they don't allow dynamics because they're always so damn loud. But the one problem i always had with bare fingers was the thumb always sounds too low and muddy compared to the fingers. Thumbpick wasn't the answer for the same reasons i gave up the full set of FP's, plus your thumb is then way too loud compared to your fingers. And while i don't wanna grow nails, even if i did the thumb wouldn't benefit, in fact it would be worse since the fingers would now be louder.

If the above describes you, read on. I tried this idea about 5 years ago and have been using it since. Take some superglue and apply it to the area of your thumb that strikes the string. Just touch the end of the tube to it. Then dip that in some sort of powder. I have a work drawer right where i play thats full of tools and the bottom is dirty with wood dust and dirt and all kinds of shavings, and i just dip it in there. you could use baking soda or whatever. The point is to get anything that will add grit to the glue. then just wipe it dry with a paper towel. The remaining glue will be a little crusty patch. You can vary the ludness and snap you want by smoothing it down a little with sandpaper. If it's too loud or grindy sounding you can even apply the glue and wipe off using no powder at all. This will give you just enough volume to keep up with the fingers a little better in volume and give a bit more snap, enough to eliminate the muddiness. Using it with some powder or whatever will get you anywhere from subtle to all out volume and snap that would be way to powerfull for your fingers to keep up with.

Now you probably think it's a lot of trouble, but it's not. takes a second to do and a minute to remove. But trust me on this, it works really really good. In fact, i never realized how much difference it would make till i tried it. I figured even if it worked my fingers would still need more snap. But no......this totally changes everything. For me it is 100% perfect ! the sound i get is now ideal. The only problem is that if i wanna pick up my guitar for just a few minutes in a day, it's not worth doing.

The tone is 100% adjustable depending on how much or little grit you add and how you smooth it down if necassary. If you have the same problem as me where the thumb's tone is just way too muddy and low in volume, before you write me off as loony tunes, try this. You'll absolutly love it....

WARNING: if you try this remember, DO NOT do it anywhere near your guitar !!!!! I do not want to feel the guilt of having caused someone to ruin thier Larrivee by getting super glue on it ! And believe me, there are times that crap will shoot out of the tube like a rocket when you are trying to unclog a clogged tip. please beware !
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orsino
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2004, 02:46:42 AM »

OK, I'll bite. Let you know how I like it. Might gross someone out around you though. Does it look like it could be something that could have come from your......well never mind. :o  
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dazco
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2004, 03:08:06 AM »

Actually it just looks like a little patch that you won't even notice much when you aren't playing. If it looks like a big bump on your thumb you've put WAYYYYYYY too much. It should be much tinner than a thin pick and about a 1/4" long and 1/8" tall approximatly. let me know how you like it.
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2004, 05:10:13 AM »

Definitely a good idea you have there, daz! My cuticles tend to get raw along the edge of the nail and result in hangnails. I haven't had this problem since I let my nails grow out a little, though.

My biggest problem is the rough edge on my thumbnail. Somehow the strings are cutting into the nail and it grabs from time to time. A little emery work seems to cure it temporarily.
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Neil

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Imapickn
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2004, 02:50:33 PM »

"wood dust and dirt and all kinds of shavings, and i just dip it in there"  :blink:

"Superglue" is...... "cyanoacrylate"  (acrylic) Just a poor quality variety.

But, the acrylic used in, "Acrylic Nails"  is much better.
 I suggest that instead of dust, and dirt, and shavings,
you use a specific powder and the specific liquid used to turn it into a brushable state. Then get small amounts of the powder wet with a little brush, and paint it onto your nails.
It drys in a less than a minute and you then file it to shape...  Much better than glue and dirt on your fingers, IMHO.... ;)
Don
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dbirchett
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2004, 03:27:38 PM »

OK, wiseguy. Now how do I get the drawer unstuck from my thumb??? (ever try to type that way?)
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Don

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dazco
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2004, 03:36:00 PM »

Quote
I suggest that instead of dust, and dirt, and shavings,
you use a specific powder and the specific liquid used to turn it into a brushable state.

How do you suggest i brush a NON-LIQUID rock hard clump of glue and powder onto my thumb?!

To be more specific, the INSTANT superglue touches any kind of powder, it turns to solid. And when i say "instantly", thats an understatement.

Quote
OK, wiseguy. Now how do I get the drawer unstuck from my thumb??? (ever try to type that way?)

Either let it wear off, which it'll do in about a day. Or soak your thumb in water and scrape it off. You'll figure out your own method.


Just try it and stop moaning you women !! :D  :lol:  
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Imapickn
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2004, 01:13:12 AM »

dazco,
 Just dip the small brush into the liquid, then dip the wet brush into the powder.  It will stay "jell like" for about 1 minute. Enough time to brush it on your nail and smooth it out a bit. Then it will dry HARDER than your surperglue............HARDER.......  
  You then shape it with a nail file.
AND... it is much safer than your superglue .... (which is near the bottom of the purity list for cyanoacrylates. And surgical grade being on the top of the list)
  PLUS.... I bet your superglue and debris method gets hot, doesn't it?  ;)
Take care,
Don
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dazco
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2004, 01:38:42 AM »

Quote
Just dip the small brush into the liquid, then dip the wet brush into the powder. It will stay "jell like" for about 1 minute. Enough time to brush it on your nail and smooth it out a bit. Then it will dry HARDER than your surperglue............HARDER.......
You then shape it with a nail file.
AND... it is much safer than your superglue .... (which is near the bottom of the purity list for cyanoacrylates. And surgical grade being on the top of the list)
PLUS.... I bet your superglue and debris method gets hot, doesn't it?

I'm not sure what superglue you guys are talking about, the kinds i've use will not under any circumtances stay wet after powder is applied, be it on a brush or not. Do you know what kicker is? It's a spray that you spray on superglue that hardens it instantly. It works on the same principle as powder does. Unless there is some superglue i've never heard of thats very different, what you guys are suggesting won't work. Trust me on this, i've been using superglue for years for many things involving guitar repair, and the INSTANT any superglue i've ever used hits the powder it INSTANTLY turns hard and dry. Maybe the gel type would be different, but the thing is, i don't want it to stay wet anyway ! This method is instant and perfect. If it stayed wet there would be a few problems i won't go into. but trust me, this works. As for my thumb getting hot..........no........that only happens when you have *enough* glue and powder to cause that. What i'm talking about here is so little it doesn't get hot. Probably 1/20 of a drop if that. Just enough to cover and are less than a 1/4" square about the thickness of a piece of paper. Oh, and i'm not talking about applying it to my nail.........re-read my initial post.

Try it as i suggested and you'll see what i mean.
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Imapickn
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2004, 07:36:19 PM »

dazco,
   OK... I see.... You are doing this to your bare thumb skin... NOT the nail tip...  Fine.... you keep doing that..
 But TO ME... it sounds like a disgusting mess on the end of your thumb..  :blink:  
  Have you just tried to just get used to a thumb pick? You really can learn to modulate with them. I have been using a thumb pick for over 30 yrs., and I can play as soft or as loud as you want.
 You may have used "superglue" for years, but I suspect that you do not know as much  about cyanoacrylates, as you think you do. There is a lot more going on with them, than you indicate you are aware.  I am not trying to piss you off or insult you, I was just trying to help you a bit.. Nothing more....  ;)
Best Regards
Don
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dazco
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2004, 08:32:15 PM »

Just try it ! It's not a mess and can be barely noticable. But unless you'vr tried it and experimented a little it's gonna sound a lot different than it is. It take very very little to make a sizable sonic difference.  
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naparuno
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2004, 09:06:22 PM »

Growing you thumb nail out doesn't work?  And you finger nails on your index, middle, and ring are grown out either?

Just wasn't sure from the post.

If you get them to grow out just enough to be slight past your finger's skin, sounds great, you strike with the skin part of your finger and the nail slides over the string almost at the same time.

On the thumb, it is more tricky, but you let it grow out some until it starts striking the string, then you keep it (filed) where you also, hit the skin and give it punch with the nail.  Take some practice, but once you get used to it, should work the same as the superglue.

Most grow them way too long (for what I believe you are trying to achive, all have their own style) and end up having just the nail hitting the string, which doesn't sound as pleasent to me than finger nail hitting close to the same time.  It takes some patience because nails take a day or so to grow.
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dazco
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2004, 09:52:51 PM »

No....i don't have nails at all. I'm fine with bare fingers, it's the thumb that has the problem. Till i do the glue trick. then all is well in tonesville. :D
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