Tone Report Weekly Issue 80 - Page 34

Should you be fortunate enough to have retained all of your digits through the travails of life, you have five built-in, fleshy picks on your hand. The fingerstyle approach is not just for acoustic guitar, and you’ll get a much softer, rounder tone with fingers than you will using a pick. In addition to picking, try strumming with your fingernails or the soft side of your thumb. Chances are you’ve done this before—perhaps a pick wasn’t available and you wanted to strum a few chords. Try doing it on purpose next time, and write a song that way. I’d wager you’ll play it like you wrote it, and you may just like it too. If you just can’t part with a pick, try using a thumbpick and work on developing a hybrid picking style so you can have the best of both worlds. 34 TONE TALK // The EBow uses a magnetic field to vibrate your guitar’s strings. The result is a smooth tone with zero attack and infinite sustain, somewhat similar to the sound of using a volume knob to create swells. If you add some delay and reverb, you’ll have a haunting, majestic soundscape that is guaranteed to captivate even the most indifferent audience member. One thing to watch out for when using an EBow is how close you hover it over your pickup. Placing it directly above will result in very high output, so it will probably take some practice finding the sweet spot on each guitar. While it probably isn’t a device you’ll use on every song, the EBow is a great way to add a little spice to a particular song or passage. It operates on a nine-volt battery, so be sure to have a spare in your gig bag just in case. Drop the Pick (on purpose): 5 Alternatives to Try