FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

For speed and clarity
© Frank Ford, 9/26/98 Photos by FF

At first glance you'd think that fingerpicks simply replace the nails of the playing hand. Except for certain very specialized picks, fingerpicks are actually worn facing the other way, allowing the pick to glide effortlessly off the strings:

Fingerpicks are made either of plastic or metal.

Because fingerpicks and thumbpicks attack the strings differently, most players prefer to use a plastic thumbpick and metal fingerpicks.

This Bluegrass banjo player would not be able to perform without his fingerpicks:

With them, he gets the sharp, metallic ring, and the speed necessary to play in the dynamic "Scruggs style" Bluegrass tradition.

Lots of guitarists use fingerpicks, too, if they want a more strident, powerful tone.

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