"Your Pick Is a Crutch": Joe Bonamassa's Essential Tips for Playing Without a Pick

Next time you're practicing, try not to use a pick at all and see what kind of expressive guitar playing you can come up with with just your hands.
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Here, Joe Bonamassa gives us an impromptu lesson in picking with your fingers rather than a plectrum.

Why play with your fingers, you ask?

“The pick is kind of a crutch,” says Joe, who likes to use hybrid picking, a combination of pick and fingers. “Sometimes I find it really valuable, especially at home when you’re woodshedding, to use no pick at all and see what kind of expressive guitar playing you can come up with with just your hands."

Joe mentions that players like Jeff Beck and Nils Lofgren have both eschewed the use of picks - and if it works for them, it can work for you too.

In the following lesson, Joe shows us some great blues licks while demonstrating how to use your thumb, index and middle finger in combination with half bends to get more expressive tone from your playing.

Get out your guitar and give it a try.

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