Picking Technique

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Re: Picking Technique

Postby David Martin » Fri May 29, 2020 8:14 am

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Re: Picking Technique

Postby roger bayliss » Fri May 29, 2020 3:41 pm

The GD picks are quoted at 1.3mm thick , however I measured them and many others I had and many picks are thinner than quoted thickness.

The GD picks I had measured 1.14 am thick and that does make them fit into the extra heavy range. Just so happens that 1.14m is what I like !

These days I use Gibson XH which are 1.14mm thick and get the right sounds.

I used to bounce my thumb off the strings as well for several years, then I studied the sound and found that lowering the action of the guitar to get the sound worked better for me anyway with plenty of picking strength on tunes like The Frightened City, and softer on some tunes. My view is if you clobber the strings with your thumb edge , your guitar action is too high for Shadows at least.
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Re: Picking Technique

Postby David Martin » Sat May 30, 2020 9:12 am

roger bayliss wrote:The GD picks are quoted at 1.3mm thick , however I measured them and many others I had and many picks are thinner than quoted thickness.

The GD picks I had measured 1.14 am thick and that does make them fit into the extra heavy range. Just so happens that 1.14m is what I like !

These days I use Gibson XH which are 1.14mm thick and get the right sounds.

I used to bounce my thumb off the strings as well for several years, then I studied the sound and found that lowering the action of the guitar to get the sound worked better for me anyway with plenty of picking strength on tunes like The Frightened City, and softer on some tunes. My view is if you clobber the strings with your thumb edge , your guitar action is too high for Shadows at least.


The action on my guitars is set so that no string chokes out on bending at least a full tone - preferably more. Lowering action to get fret rattle limits the use to which the guitar can be put and induces early fret wear.
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Re: Picking Technique

Postby roger bayliss » Sat May 30, 2020 10:29 am

David Martin wrote:
roger bayliss wrote:The GD picks are quoted at 1.3mm thick , however I measured them and many others I had and many picks are thinner than quoted thickness.

The GD picks I had measured 1.14 am thick and that does make them fit into the extra heavy range. Just so happens that 1.14m is what I like !

These days I use Gibson XH which are 1.14mm thick and get the right sounds.

I used to bounce my thumb off the strings as well for several years, then I studied the sound and found that lowering the action of the guitar to get the sound worked better for me anyway with plenty of picking strength on tunes like The Frightened City, and softer on some tunes. My view is if you clobber the strings with your thumb edge , your guitar action is too high for Shadows at least.


The action on my guitars is set so that no string chokes out on bending at least a full tone - preferably more. Lowering action to get fret rattle limits the use to which the guitar can be put and induces early fret wear.


Very much a nice set up for playing the Blues etc David, in fact my action used to be quite high too and I liked the tone I got. However if I played some Shads tunes I was not getting the required result just by picking with plectrum. I started bouncing the strings off my thumb and played for quite some time like that and certainly got closer to the desired sound. It was only when I got curious and started playing over the recordings and making comparisons , I decided it was close but not giving the same sounds as the recordings. I adjusted both neck relief and string height till I got closer to the recordings. I found 2 things from my study.

1. The neck relief is nothing like the 10 thou quoted by Fender, I started using 12 thou and then a little more. Probably around 15 thou . As the neck relief increased, so the string action went higher. This meant lowering the action .

2. The action is higher than the Fender quoted 4/64s and about 5/64s. Just still need to dig in to get the right sound.

No matter how I tried, I could not get low action to work especially on the bottom strings, they always seemed too thin and less meaty. Playing some tunes on the bottom end like Dance on and Foot Tapper and Shazam etc I found the bottom e string always needs to be higher to around 2.1mm approx and then adjust the others a little lower so they ring clear.

This is way off Fender specs ! The result though if a much fuller meatier tone and once the pickups were adjusted the sound came that I heard on the recordings. I did not have to bounce my thumb off the strings, just dig in.

If you think about it back in late 50's and 60's , not many guitar techs around , little knowledge of players adjusting their guitars and so on. The strings were very often 13-56 with considerable pull on the necks, my guess is they had a lot more relief in the necks than modern players would have. They certainly would not have 4/64s string height with thick strings either ! So my conclusion was more neck relief and slightly higher action was where the set up was more likely to be . I set my guitars up accordingly and checked against recordings and found I was getting closer match for the sound.

I did try all the Fender specs including 4/64's with more neck relief put in not bad but could not get the meat and body I heard on the records.

I know it is my own personal theory, but I spent a fair bit of time trying to get to the bottom of it all and I am happy now and settled on my findings.

I tried it all, including the thumb hitting the strings, but now have my closest sound yet and happy with result.

By the way a top fellow Shadows player on here put me thinking when I was using low action , because he said I find it's fairly high action , but he did not measure anything as such , he just adjusted till he got the right sounds. That set me thinking , because some of his recordings of Shadows are wonderful and true to records.

Additionally, a guitar tech for HBM said in recent years that he has his guitars action set a little higher than the normal Fender specs , he just lifts the strings a bit.
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Re: Picking Technique

Postby abstamaria » Sat May 30, 2020 12:39 pm

This is an instructive abd Interesting discussion for me.

Roger, I didn’t quite understand what you meant by:

“ By the way a top fellow Shadows player on here put me thinking when I was using low action , because he said I find it's fairly high action , but he did not measure anything as such , he just adjusted till he got the right sounds.” Did you mean to say he found your action too low?

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Re: Picking Technique

Postby roger bayliss » Sat May 30, 2020 1:14 pm

abstamaria wrote:This is an instructive abd Interesting discussion for me.

Roger, I didn’t quite understand what you meant by:

“ By the way a top fellow Shadows player on here put me thinking when I was using low action , because he said I find it's fairly high action , but he did not measure anything as such , he just adjusted till he got the right sounds.” Did you mean to say he found your action too low?

Andy


No Andy , he never saw my guitar , but it had an action close to Fender Specs , however he described his action as higher , but he never set his guitar up other than by judgement till it sounded right to him. It was a higher action as far as he was concerned but not too high, in fact maybe a medium action height would better describe it. My guitar would therefore have a lower action than his.
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Re: Picking Technique

Postby abstamaria » Sat May 30, 2020 1:42 pm

I understand. Many thanks, Roger.

Best regards (and stay safe),

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Re: Picking Technique

Postby bor64 » Sat May 30, 2020 6:27 pm

I alter my picking according the need for the tune.
Cavatina is a lot of up picking very softly and controlled not getting the strings make some snapping noise.
The Savage and Witch Doctor I let the strings kinda snap and I pick very hard....
The pick I use is always the same, also for rhythm.
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