I've been writing with my band and when we play live, I switch off between picked parts and finger picking parts throughout the songs. I don't notice much difference in the tone playing live together (both methods sound great to everyone). However, when I record my own tracks at home, the difference between picked and finger-picked parts is drastic.

As you can imagine, the finger picked stuff sounds much fatter and less bright. I'm not using fingernails and don't mess with banjo-style finger picks. What can I do to help get the tones to be as similar as possible?

My current clean channel is:

guitar => Compresser => EQ => Reverb => amp

I'm currently playing a strat and tele with humbuckers and I use a 0.75mm pick*

1 Answer 1


Why would you want them to be as similar as possible? Each one has its unique characteristic which is desirable in its own way.

It can be done to an extent though, a few tips would be first in the way you play. You can fingerpick a little closer to the bridge or you can pick closer to the neck. You can also grow your right hand nails out just a bit so you catch some nail along with the skin when you pluck.

The other option is EQ. Experiment with cutting low mids and adding high frequencies a bit for fingerpicking, vice versa for the pick.

  • 1
    In addition to playing closer to the bridge or neck, using the bridge pickup alone for finger picking, and blending pickups or using neck pickup for flat picking might also help.
    – wabisabied
    Jul 14, 2020 at 20:53
  • 1
    @wabisabied I like the idea of using the pickups in different combinations, it’s a good one. Jul 14, 2020 at 23:19
  • Thanks, John. Easy enough to at least give it a try!
    – wabisabied
    Jul 15, 2020 at 23:47

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