Up to this lesson, the majority of articles have referred to "fret hand this" and "fret hand that." By now you should be able to comfortably use a pick to pluck the strings, and you should be decent at changing chords at a reasonable speed. Just keep in mind that every aspect of guitar (like anything else) comes with practice time and not overnight. This article is going to give the plucking hand a little attention. It might not be as obvious right now, but in truth the way you use your plucking hand (the hand by the pickups) is just as important as the way you fret. Lets cover a few ways to use it.
The obvious way to use the plucking hand is to use a pick. Picks are small plastic triangles. You probably already know this. There are a lot of techniques for using the pick, but this lesson is just going to mention them since they are more difficult to grasp. You can tap with a pick, sweep pick, flat pick, circle pick, hybrid pick, and even use the pick to scrape the strings. Each of these are a lesson in their own, so if you're interested in any of them, contact GLI and request a lesson! But they should all come with time regardless of requests.
Finger picking is like picking, but you use your fingers instead. It is much more versatile since you can keep each of your fingers on guard at their respectable strings for quick playing and string skipping. The thumb is used to play the bass notes on the 4th, 5th and 6th strings while the index, middle and ring fingers play the melody lines on the higher strings. The pinky is not a primary finger to use, but nobody is going to tell you to stop if you do. Many players prefer to finger pick because they can switch between strumming with their thumb and index finger and plucking individual strings in no time at all. Also, dropped picks are a hassle to find…
Hybrid picking is a mix of finger picking and using a pick. You hold the pick like you normally would, and then use your middle, ring and pinky fingers to pluck harmonies on the higher strings. It’s a great way to transition from using a pick to using just your fingers. This is a great technique to use if you don’t need all your fingers and want to let a few high strings ring out while you're picking away on the lower strings. At first it may be difficult to play the syncopated rhythms while still using the pick. Just practice away at it, and maybe try to play a song that uses hybrid picking and has a familiar melody.