little finger and thumb rings

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kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

little finger and thumb rings

Post by kenbloom » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:19 pm

I've used my little finger so much that it has become part of my standard technique. I use it all the time for chords as well. As to the right thumb and my thumb pick, I use number two thumb rings which fit rather tightly. I take and bend the end that wraps around the thumb up a bit so it doesn't dig in. I file the back of the pick part so that it's rounded and doesn't grab. Then I polish the back with some 400 and 600 sand paper. Once you get used to it, it is very handy for fast notes with much less stress. If you need more info on this, just let me know.

Ken Bloom

Donauer
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: little finger and thumb rings

Post by Donauer » Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:04 pm

Thanks for the reply Ken,

I'm not sure I understand what you are doing with thumb ring. Are you bending the very tip of the thumb ring so that it attacks the string vertically instead at an obtuse angle on the forward stroke? I'm using a thumb ring of unknown origin that I found in the zither case. It is only a flat piece of steel and I don't see how rounding the back will achieve much since it is so thin. Is the intent to put a rounded edge on the bottom edge of the tip or are you talking about a thumb ring that has some greater thickness at the end so that you can put a radius on the back edge? Sorry if the question appears dense.

kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: little finger and thumb rings

Post by kenbloom » Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:46 am

The thumb rings I use I got from Zapf's decades ago. The part that goes around the thumb tends to dig in to where my nail meets the flesh so I take a pair of needle nose pliers and bend a slight curve there so it won't dig in. On the other end, the part that strikes the string, I round and smooth the back part. I studied the area that strikes the string. It is rounded and polished. When I tried using the pick in a back stroke, the pick caught on the string and wouldn't glide past to make a smooth, nice sounding note. I took a file and tried, as best I could, to duplicate on the back the shape and polish that I found on the front. This has resulted in a pick that is comfortable and one that I can get about the same sound in both directions. When I saw that video of those folks from Czecheslovakia using their thumbs in both directions and getting a good sound, it gladdened my heart! This seems to be an obvious way to make playing fast passages easier and cleaner rather than just using hammer-ons and pull-offs to get the same thing. If any of this isn't clear, just ask. I'll do my best to make it more understandable.

Ken Bloom

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