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Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:18 pm
by DagerRande
Norm, you may have a point but I don't think many people can use their thumbpick as convincingly on a Telecaster but then maybe there haven't been many who have tried. My ear is very sensitive and Brent fooled me the first time I heard him on an old Ricky Skaggs album from the early 80's!

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:56 pm
by Norm
It's not voodoo. It's practice. Probably has something to do with the wrist, maybe not. I'll try to remember this issue and when I see a "regular guy" as opposed to "star" making the trick work I'll pm them for hints. If we let it scare us into thinking it is some kind of generic or magical thing we're just latching onto a lame excuse.

If more than one guy can do it well then there is absolutely no reason why anyone else shouldn't be able to get the hang of it. I think it takes some really focused practice

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:23 pm
by Norm
I just posted this at the gdp and facebook

Here’s a question for those of you who are adept at grabbing the thumbpick and using it as a flatpick for single lines.
Is there something different in your attack when you use a thumbpick as a flatpikck vs. a flatpick by itself? Meaning specifically, does your wrist action, for example, change?

Reason I ask is that the idea of using the thumbpick for single lines seem so difficult for too many of us.

It is my contention that if more than one guy can do it then everyone should be able to. Chet could, Merle could and the fancy Fred Kelly’s were not available to them.
Now I know darn well there are more of you out there who can make this work.

What trick or exercises do you suggest?

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:22 pm
by DagerRande
Thanks, Norm! I'll stay tuned!

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:37 pm
by Norm
This guy had some intelligent things to suggest: (facebook)

I had to learn to do this to cope with the range of stuff a bandleader kept chucking at me - mostly on the bandstand! So I had to really go to work to stop me from shaming myself on the gig. My tips for getting the thumb smooth are: 1) practise those Travis rolls (TTFTTFTF) with the thumb going through to the 2nd string; 2) practise strumming glissed chords with the thumb all the way from 6th to 1st strings; 3) learn a bunch of simple boogie solos using just the thumbpick (Delmore Brothers boogies are perfect for this) making sure you pick up and down with the thumbpick; 4) transcribe or just play along with Chet pieces that are essentially single string lines (Galloping Guitar & Main Street Breakdown come to mind); 5) pay special attention to not blatting out the high E string (those rockabilly things where you play notes on the 1st string and keep bouncing off the open E help here); 6) be careful – if your wrist starts overheating, stop and take it up again tomorrow. By the way, I don't grab the thumbpick so much as support it a little with the index finger, and I wear the thumbpick high, almost completely off the nail. That helps a lot. Apologies for the long post, hope it helps.
__Brian Fitzgerald

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:12 pm
by LMark
This is an interesting little thread. First, I'd like to be able to flatpick better with the thumbpick. Some passages just call for it. It's educational to notice the different kinds of strokes used by Chet and Merle when single stringing. Second, I sometimes play a Tele copy that sits around the house here. It's hard to get the "right" thumb-picking sound, to me. It dawned on me the other day that these 9s just stretch and bend all out of tune way too easily. I wonder what guage Brent uses. If he has strong hands, maybe he plays 12s or something. It would be fun to experiment with 13s on a Tele! Anyhow, thanks for the original post with all those Kelly/CAAS picks. Lot's of us owe Fred a big thank you too. LMark

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:57 am
by Norm
I was noodling around tonight and got to thinking about friend Brian Fitzgerald's hints. They were two.

First was to skid the thumbpick back farther along the thumb than I was used to. I noticed Chet doing this, skidding his back farther than I did but at the time I didn't give it much thought.

Second hint was to not so much "grab" the blade of the thumbpick but to more like support the thumbpick and, zounds, I thought I detected an actual immediate improvement in this use of thumbpick as flatpick.

Bear in mind, I like the white Dunlop type thumbpicks. I round the tips like Chet did but that's it.

Re: My CAAS Display

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:15 pm
by Norm
I’ve been working on this new thing for a couple of days. Not heavily but still tapping away at it and it seems to be paying off.

Moving the thumbpick back farther seems to help some but the biggest lesson is understanding that you don’t grip the blade the same way you do on a straight pick. You “hold” it much looser. Your index finger is just there to support the blade on your upstrokes.

I spend part of my practice time just doing basic chord strumming and getting used to the feel of the new technique. Then I do some oldie-moldies like Wildwood Flower or Columbus Stockade as well as single line stuff I kinda had a handle on. For me, Chet’s intro on Arkansas Traveler works.

What I do is use songs I can already play and use the new technique on them.

I believe it is actually working and part of the “tell” is I can feel some muscles in my forearm complaining because they haven’t been called on to pull their weight in this guitaring business.

I’m confident that diligent practice will (finally) make this work for me after all these years.