Skimming your fingertips

MattHenryMattHenry Washington, DC✭✭✭✭
I've been recording all my gigs and noticing that my picking motion gets too big, especially in noisy environments, and it costs me tone and feel.

The thing I've discovered is to emulate some of (but not all of) my favorite players and skim the top of the guitar with two or three fingernails of my picking hand. Mind you, this isn't posting on straight fingers but just keeping the bent tips of my other fingers on the top during solos.

I need more practice but I'm happy with the results so far. It quiets my picking motion and makes things more precise because I have another way to feel my distance from the strings.

The main quirk in getting really consistent is that it's a shift from the floating swivel wrist I use for rhythm so it's like I have remind myself to come down and land on the top when shifting to lead playing.


  • It just takes time.....I was a top skimmer even before I switched to rest stroke several years ago. Make sure that the wrist and fingers are REALLY relaxed.

    Tension slows you down as does a death grip on the fretboard which is another common issue. Practice slowly enough that there is NO tension in either hand and the lightest possible finger pressure to still get a clean note.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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