Hybrid picking - Nails or bare flesh and getting the same sound and volume out of fingers and the pick

I go back and forth on this issue. If I'm playing a lot of acoustic guitar, the notes jump out more when you use nails. However, I have very thin and brittle nails and they are always painful to maintain. (note, this picture is not of my nails, lol)

How I cured my raggedy cuticles - Nail & Cuticle Oil - YouTube

On electric, it's not as important. Several times folks have said to me that they use nails and even acrylic nails because they want the tone to even when they go from the pick to the fingers. To me, that whole argument is one I could care less about!

I don't want things to sound the same, or symetrical or even. 

If I wanted symetrical, I would never play jazz or R&B where the 8th notes are anything other than asymetrical. In fact, when I play with hybrid picking, I rather enjoy the sound and feel of the bare fingers snapping the strings. I try to incorporate elements of chickin' pickin' into my jazz playing and the asymmetry is as beautiful to me as a singer's breathing. (Note that Barbara Streisand once fired an engineer for eliminating the breath sounds out of one of her tracks).

For me, the imperfections are the beauty of the music that I love so much and I welcome them.

Here's a recent lesson I did utilizing hybrid picking.



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