Dan Duffy's Corner

I just finished reading Dan Duffy’s book…


Some of you know that I often play without a pick. Not because I think it sounds better, but I lose picks and can't always find one. Anyway, in doing so I had developed a nice, ugly callus around the cuticle of my first finger. It was almost 1/8 of an inch high and worked great as a pick. Today I was burning brush on my property and it must have caught on a branch or something. I didn't realize that it was gone until I saw blood everywhere. Now I have to find some picks. Dammit!

Just bitchin'. Thanks for listening.


Hey John, send me your mailing address and I'll send you a little bag of about 25 picks of various thicknesses.


well, that's the problem with calluses (and nails)...eventually they decide to go their own way.

i really prefer to pick iwth my fingertips a lot of the time rather than a flat pick because the amount of control is so much greater, but the problem is that once i get to a certain tempo i just can't play certain kinds of stuff in that style. i have to use a flatpick. in fact, there are a couple of songs i'm working up where i'm going to have to do a Richard Hudson in reverse and take songs i used to fingerpick and convert them to hybrid picking so i can solo effectively on them.


I like to do both. Sometimes, if I'm really gettin' into the tune the pick goes flying and I'm left you use my fingernail instead. That can end up with a blood blister underneath.


I would like to thank my Father; not me Mum; but me Dad; for giving me the GAGGTCTCA code rather than the GAGGTCTAC genetic code that poor Chet got for his fingernails from his Parents.

My Dads nails were so tough that he couldn't use just plain ol' nail clippers to cut them, he used wire cutters. Mine are almost that tough.

Just for grins; I slap on a coating of "Hard as Hoof" cream most everyday, and I dare not go over three days without filing them back or the strings are in the wrong place!

I tried meat picking a few years back but found the callouses building up to be a bummer, and the thoughts of losing one even more of a Bummer! Ouch!


My nails grow so fast, I can't finish any song.

Once I'll have a truckload of picks in a special room so I can always find one. My picks get abducted by aliens at night.


Never was very good with a pick. I have probably close to one hundred picks sitting within ten feet of me. Go figure. My right hand is getting pretty good and my thumb is becoming independent enough to hold a good bass line while my other three play counter point to it. They can still find their way to an exceptional train wreck when I try thinking about it.


Ok Geoff; my Wife suggests you may be fibbing just a wee little bit!

Oh; when I met my Wife I was real big in Amateur Astronomy, and when she said she was a Cosmetologist I thought she said Cosmologist, so I figured we were a great match.

Anyway; since she knew what Tricoptolosis was and knew how fast hair grew and all that good stuff; when she said you were mistaken about "Any Song" and insists you meant all three movements of "Any Symphony" instead, then maybe I gotta agree with her. :P

.....what the heck; I've had free haircuts for the last 44 years!

Trainwrecks!! The Banjo Rolls part of "Glow Worm" absolutely demands a blank mind! Ya can braid yer fingers together on that one!


Get a Pick Punch! I love mine and it's been a life save a time or two. I think every guitarist should have one in their gig bags or near their guitar. You can buy pick material from them too for pretty cheap (about 3.00 a sheet) or you can just use old gift cards, credit cards, insurance cards, etc. etc.

And they're pretty cheap too!

I wouldn't go with any imitators though. The real deal is really good.


Picks. No picks. What the smurf difference does it make? It's all rock and roll in the end. I use celluloid picks, I use my fingers, Hell, I even use a 1912 silver Barber quarter as a pick. What the hell difference does it make so long as you are making good music?


Uh oh; another one for Bears "'Old' is when", thread......Old is when....you don't play Rock and Roll.(!) :|

... she said you were mistaken about "Any Song" and insists you meant all three movements of "Any Symphony" instead ... -- F107plus5

Symphonies typically have four movements. Sonatas and Concerti typically have three. There are exceptions to both, but them's the standards.


See there; "'Old'.... is when" you knew that, well over fifty years ago!

....but it escapes you....today. :(


Sorry for your loss Unclegrumpy. I don't develop calluses. I don't know what it is, I just don't. Play for hours and hours and my skin heals up soft. My nails, however, grow like crazy and work pretty well for strumming.
Wes Montgomery had a corn thing on his thumb that he used to get different soft and hard sounds from.


My nails grow so fast, I can't finish any song.

-- Geoff Vane


One thing I'm sure a lot of us can relate to.....when we were young and completely anal about fretting; we'd get massive callouses on our fretting fingertips. But as we get more accomplished and find ourselves mostly dancing around the fingerboard, the callouses kinda melt away.8-)

.......or maybe we're just gettin' old and the dead skin isn't replaced as often.

I dunno. :|


Maybe all y'all old-timers will need to start to wearin' those plastic finger picks when you play finger style, so you eat away your aging fingers. :)


Until last week I never used a pick, but I started this (been playing 7 months fingerstyle only) last weekend because my main picking/strumming nail had worn down to absolutely nothing. It's been easier than I thought to get used to.

Personally I still prefer just using my fingertips because I do think you can get more control and variety out of them and it's easier to swap from more strumming style playing to very fingerstyle type playing in the same song, but you definitely do get a different sound from a pick.

Tough call.

I remember coming across a site ages ago which sold a sort of ring pick that went on your fingertip that gave you a sort of fake nail so you could still get the advantages of that style of playing without needing your nail to grow back all the time. Can't remember where I found that now or I'd give those a try.

The other option is fake nails and I am still considering that. (My sister is a hairdresser/beautician so she can hook me up with those.)

Register Sign in to join the conversation