PDA

View Full Version : Nylon Strings with a flat pick


Doubleneck
05-01-2009, 11:40 AM
I have played a steel string guitar all my life. I use a flat pick held in the thumb and index finger and pick with the middle and ring finger. I see nylon string guitars and I see them fingerpicked. Does anyone use a flat pick on a nylon string?
Steve

Wade Hampton
05-01-2009, 11:48 AM
Does anyone use a flat pick on a nylon string?
Steve

There's an obscure country singer from Texas named Willie Nelson who uses one. If you listen to his recordings, you can hear what a nylon string Martin classical guitar played with a pick through a ceramic bridge pickup sounds like.

Many people don't realize that it's almost always Nelson himself playing the acoustic guitar leads on his songs.

Nelson, of course, has an idiosyncratic approach and his sound is not necessarily what most other folks attempting that could achieve. But he's one outstanding example of what can be possible with that combination.


Wade Hampton Miller

Jhengsman
05-01-2009, 11:55 AM
Rodrigo of Rodrigo y Gabriela normally does while Gabriela does her flamenco inspired thing with her fingers.

valleyguy
05-01-2009, 12:00 PM
I began playing on the nylon string guitar and of course used fingers. However, when playing with others I use a pick, though I do not use that in conjunction with my fingers. I like the sound of a classical played with a pick, for somethings, as it brings a much harsher tone.

Sammy_L_D
05-01-2009, 12:07 PM
Some do--not a ton who are really famous though. I'm sure there are many more who do in Latin-American countries than say North America/Europe.

Rodrigo of Rodrigo y Gabriela was already mentioned, so that's one down.

Jose Feliciano uses a pick until about 1:04 of this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgIC6KOFySk

I like to play my nylon with a pick, though to be fair I'm not a classical or flamenco musician. :P

Matt Mustapick
05-01-2009, 01:25 PM
John McLaughlin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCU4priyWrs

Wade Hampton
05-01-2009, 02:03 PM
And let's not forget where most of us with church backgrounds first encountered massed (out of tune) nylon string guitars played with thin picks: the annual "Youth Folk Mass Sunday!"

Six or seven beginner grade classical guitars, none of them quite in tune with themselves or each other, played by kids who haven't practiced enough but are plenty enthused and energetic, with picks held tightly in their sweaty little hands.

Special added attraction at no extra charge: the kid who doesn't know any minor chords, or doesn't like them, so when the music calls for an E minor chord he goes ahead and plays a first position E major chord! It adds a subtle but meaningful tension to the music, perhaps symbolizing the suffering of Our Lord on the cross as He took our sins upon Himself!!

Extra added attraction: give the kid who has no sense of rhythm or musicality at all the tambourine! It'll make her feel more involved!

Ah, yes, the clacking of picks on massed nylon string guitars, as some adults in the congregation beam at the Episcopal Young Churchmen group in front of them, and others in the pews wince and try to conceal their pain....

Kind of dating myself with that particular set of 1960's memories, aren't I?

Be that as it may, it was memorable.


Wade Hampton "Oh, Yeah, I Remember THAT" Miller

wgnorman
05-01-2009, 02:16 PM
I believe Brad Davis uses flat pick on all the Takamine nylon (Hirade) demos for Sigler Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVmiuI324I4

Stillwater
05-01-2009, 02:21 PM
I have played a steel string guitar all my life. I use a flat pick held in the thumb and index finger and pick with the middle and ring finger. I see nylon string guitars and I see them fingerpicked. Does anyone use a flat pick on a nylon string?
Steve
I do about half the time: I can get more subtle phrasing with my thumb, but if I want to play with any speed, ring or volume, I use a Dunlop Big Stubby.

Eugenius
05-01-2009, 02:26 PM
I was watching a show called "Where are They Now" about old rock and pop stars. They did one on Tiffany recently and she was jamming with a guy, who played a nylon string with a pick, not sure why, but it didn't sound good at all.

Forensicguy
05-01-2009, 02:37 PM
There is an EXCELLENT player named Russ Lowe who uses a Fred Kelly speedpick on his thumb for his nylon-string guitar! Seems to work just fine! :D

Thanks

Russ Lowe

Wade Hampton
05-01-2009, 02:43 PM
There is an EXCELLENT player named Russ Lowe who uses a Fred Kelly speedpick on his thumb for his nylon-string guitar! Seems to work just fine!

There was also a notable professional session guitarist named Tommy Tedesco who used to write a column for Guitar Player Magazine back in the 1970's. He played on a zillion recording dates and always used a flatpick on his nylon string guitars. I remember him writing about record producers getting irked when they discovered he wasn't actually fingerpicking when they thought he was, but he'd say: "Hey, just listen to the playback - I can give you any sound and any arpeggio you want, this is just how I do it."

There's an example of a brilliant player with great ears who could adapt his tone to whatever was needed. So ALL of us have probably heard Tedesco using a pick on nylon string guitars, we just never knew it was him or realized how he was doing it.


whm

Forensicguy
05-01-2009, 03:16 PM
I remember Tommy Tedesco! He even played guitar on Partridge Family records! :D He was a top sessions player and could be heard on hundreds of recordings. When I was growing up, I remember thinking he had the coolest job around!

Doubleneck
05-01-2009, 04:08 PM
Thanks for all the examples. Certainly shows that talent is talent and shows through no matter if a guitar is played in an untraditional manner. Just looking for another voice to try, or maybe an excuse to buy another guitar.
Steve

TBman
05-01-2009, 04:12 PM
...., or maybe an excuse to buy another guitar.
Steve

You need an excuse? :D

accougas
05-01-2009, 05:53 PM
Strunz and Farrah make excellent use of flat-picking nylon which they use on their lighting-fast soloing but finger-pick the rest.

ScottAllyn
05-01-2009, 05:59 PM
Todd Kreuzburg uses a pick and fingers (hybrid picking):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnK6zadL0-I&fmt=18