Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #158933  by MattMan
 Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:33 am
Jerry's use of finger picking integrated with pick playing has always amazed me. I think I'm just starting to get a grasp of Jerry's finger picking style where I integrated finger picking with pick playing.
Last edited by MattMan on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #158940  by TI4-1009
 Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:18 pm
I was doing an Althea lesson (the one from Seth at GGL) about 18 months ago and realized that I didn't know nearly enough about fingerpicking to be able to do it justice. That started me on a fingerpicking/acoustic/banjo diversion that has gone on ever since. Just starting to get back into playing Dead recently.

Agree with OP- hard to do Jerry well without being able to fingerpick. And he did it with one missing finger.
 #158945  by lightningbolt
 Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:55 am
I agree that finger picking is one of the keys to sounding like Jerry. I am an ok fingerpicker but what messes me up is the quick transitions to flat picking. The way Jer did the quick switcheroo with the pick tucked under his finger stump always at the ready ....was lightning fast. You need that transition and that back and forth to make songs like Althea, Deal, Peggy-0 etc sound just exactly perfect.
 #158968  by Pete B.
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:37 am
I liked that Cannon Ball Vid.
I was playing along with Throwing Stones and finger picking the part when it goes to E "There's a fear down here we can't forget...", basically yankin' the shite out of the 5th string at 7th fret with my middle finger (sorry Jer), and thumb-slappin' the 6th string open-E.
(toggle on/off 5th string at 5th fret, hammer onto the 7th fret.)
Sounds great, super fun.
'Kind of similar to West LA technique.
 #158969  by LongStrangeJam
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:04 am
Always thought Jerry’s half middle finger was the secret of the his picking. It’s a lot easier to play with the middle finger than the ring, but him and his ring finger makes him lightning fast. Check out Mayer. Saw him at MSG, I don’t think he ever used a pick once. Totally different technique though. No idea how you solo without a pick. Probably has to do with something of being John Mayer. lol
 #158970  by gratefulredhead
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 pm
Long before I started playing Jerry's licks, I learned from an old hillbilly the technique of playing with the pick while also using my middle, ring and even pinky fingers at the same time. I have to keep the nails on those fingers a little longer to match the attack of the pick. It's a way of playing widely employed by old country music pickers.
 #158971  by johngtr67
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:26 pm
I literally stopped playing with a pick for a year.
It paid off well. While I can’t play lead as fast without a pick, the percussive rhythm and other nuances became really obvious after a while. Also helps if I drop my pick!!

 #158972  by mgbills
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:16 pm
When I first started playing I worked this book every day. Never finished it, but that routine helped my right hand. ... x_EALw_wcB

I still feel sloppy with the fingers & with hybrid (pick & grab) picking. Every year I spend a couple months trying to clean it up. But since I've stayed with it, I find when I'm learning a new tune I typically start with my fingers only. Not sure when that happened. If I was a great fingerstyle player it would make more sense, but really I'm a hack. I was really into fingerstyle & chord tone songs/melodies for a couple years as well.

If your new to the fingers try the Giuliani book. It'll wake those buggers up & help you get started. It's not Jerry specific but it'll sure help when you drop your pick.
 #158975  by PurpleTrails
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:43 pm
I remember being in the second row at the Wiltern to see Jerry play solo acoustic. He spent the concert switching back and forth between flat and fingerpicking in nearly every measure, sometimes several times in a single run. It was shocking to see his dexterity up close; he was like a magician making the pick appear and disappear. I don't think I ever saw him do it on nearly as frequent a basis with the Dead.
 #159003  by seniorpesca
 Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:19 pm
there used to be the coolest video of Rider from chicago 92 i think it was like some GDP official tour vid. it had awesome close ups of jerry hiding the pick in his nub. I can't seem to find it anymore