About 10 years ago I just stopped using flat picks altogether, I kept dropping them while playing. I've tried using finger picks as an alternative, and I can never find a set that actually stay on my fingers. Growing my nails out is not an option because they're not thick/strong enough to pick steel strings. As an alternative to all of the above I have developed a set of killer callouses on the fingertips of my right hand over the years, almost as hard as the callouses that finger the frets. All I've done is fingerpick with bare fingers, and resisted the urge to bite at the occasional piece of skin that starts to flake off. The callouses are hard enough to make the strings sound bright and loud, and I never have to look for loose picks through the gross carpeting onstage or the puddles of spilled beer on the bar floor because I forgot to buy or bring extras. I never use hand lotion, btw, it destroys the callouses.

I hope this helps someone who is just discovering the art of fingerpicking. Pam Becker



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