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Author Topic:  Jeff Newman..... pick on side of picks
Bo Legg


Post  Posted 13 Dec 2010 10:57 am    
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I seem to remember an article by Jeff Newman where he suggested for speed that you hold your index and middle fingers out straight and pick on the side of the finger picks and move your fingers only at the big knuckle.
It looked interesting but I never tried it because it didn't look compatible with pick blocking.
Did anyone else see this article or do you know of anyone who picks like this.

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Johan Jansen


From:
Europe
Post  Posted 13 Dec 2010 1:18 pm    
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Yes, I was taught that way and I play that way.
regards,
Johan
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Sonny Jenkins


From:
New Braunfels, Tx. 78130
Post  Posted 13 Dec 2010 1:38 pm    
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I remember those teachings,,on more than one occasion,,,except I remember him saying curl your fingers under (like holding a ping pong ball),,,not out straight,,,,and I think a guy named Buddy Emmons picks with knuckle peaked, fingers curled under, picking on the side of the picks,,,pretty good picker,,,as was Mr. Newman.
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Zeke Cory


From:
Hinsdale, New York USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 4:51 am     Blocking
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The "Pick On The Side Of The Picks" method by Jeff Newman was directly related to blocking by the side of the hand in a small bouncing or rocking motion. It was NOT meant to be the picking method used for pick blocking. The purpose, he explained, was to increase speed by picking the string going across it in a sideways motion rather than having to go down in between the strings with the point of the pick - which increases speed. This method DID increase MY speed tremendously, comparatively speaking. I must say however, that contrary to Jeff's opinion, what works for one MAY NOT be right for everybody. Try - Across the string picking for Hand blocking, then try "point of pick" picking for pick blocking. Or - Hand rolled to the right versus palm down. I think you will find whichever method you choose takes considerable time and practice to perfect. Good Luck and Happy Holidays. Zeke
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 7:57 am    
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I basically pick like that - have for some 20 years. Also shape my picks to go with the method - straight with the side-edge shaped for larger contact-surface and double-point leaving the strings.

No one picking method suits all people and all styles, music and situations, but once learned, and modified, I found this method near ideal as a starting point.
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Dick Sexton


From:
Greenville, Ohio
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 8:40 am     Pick like Jeff?
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Many pick like that... If you do, you might want to try Pro-Picks Reso(I think), the ends of the picks come off at a slight angle. Very comfortable, I might add.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 9:23 am     double-point side shaped picks...
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This is how I shape my picks for that method...

...and, yes, those picks are very old Smile
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 9:27 am    
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To each his own, but if you follow Jeff's method, there's no need to modify pick blades or anything else. The shape and position of the hand puts the blade edge at the proper angle.

Look at Jeff's hand in the "right hand" thread.
This method will also give you a nice thick tone due to the mass of the blade on the string and picking strength.

Works for me and many others.

The Right Hand Alpha video and these pre-bent, meaty picks, or ones like them, are all you need if you want to learn the Newman method.


Last edited by Jerry Overstreet on 14 Dec 2010 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 10:16 am    
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Jerry Overstreet wrote:
...if you follow Jeff's method, there's no need to modify pick blades or anything else. The shape and position of the hand puts the blade edge at the proper angle.

I don't follow Jeff's or anybody else's method in great details. The basics of Jeff's "side of picks" method just fitted right into my own range of picking methods, and I don't want to waste time on switching picks when switching method in the middle of some tune.

As for "the proper angle"... that's probably correct for those who wear picks more or less rounded around their finger-tips - like your picks are good examples of. That's no good for me, as I change angle of my hand and pick and strike both forward and backwards, and also hammer down, whip strings and mute with the fingertips, for whatever sound I want for a particular chord/note.

So, you're right, "to each his own" - as it should always be IMO.


Last edited by Georg Sørtun on 14 Dec 2010 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 10:26 am    
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Georg Srtun wrote:
Jerry Overstreet wrote:
...if you follow Jeff's method, there's no need to modify pick blades or anything else. The shape and position of the hand puts the blade edge at the proper angle.



So, you're right, "to each his own" - as it should always be IMO.


Yessir, everyone is free to pursue their own way. My statement was in reference to the topic of the thread which is about Jeff's method.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 10:48 am    
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Jerry Overstreet wrote:
Yessir, everyone is free to pursue their own way. My statement was in reference to the topic of the thread which is about Jeff's method.

I'm perfectly fine with your statement Smile
I simply stated that I was never able to combine Jeff's method with whatever else I wanted to do, with picks shaped like in your example.

In fact: I never liked the sound I got with "rounded" picks of any type, no matter which picking-method I used. And after having watched Jeff up close (back in the 80s) as he reshaped some picks with pliers to exemplify how they could be shaped if a particular player didn't feel comfortable with "regular" picks for whatever reason, I just went a bit further along those "reshape" lines until I had a set of picks that worked just right - for me.
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Bo Legg


Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 10:55 am    
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Jeff must have modified the method a little between the time of the article and the Right Hand Alpha because I distinctly remember the fingers not being bent.
What I gather here is that this method is widely used with the fingers bent not straight.
Which brings in mind another very big question.
If you have been picking a while with another Right hand method It seems to me it would be a difficult transition so why spend the time and hard work on something that limits you to a method specifically designed for arguably slight increased speed at the expense of losing the ability to do other forms of blocking?
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 11:29 am    
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Bo Legg wrote:
If you have been picking a while with another Right hand method It seems to me it would be a difficult transition so why spend the time and hard work on something that limits you to a method specifically designed for arguably slight increased speed at the expense of losing the ability to do other forms of blocking?

What other forms of blocking do we lose the ability to do? I can't see any.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 11:44 am    
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I met Jeff in '79. From that time until he passed away, this was the method that he used and taught.

Elbow in, right hand rolled to the side, peaked knuckle, picking underneath the palm. Thumb, finger, thumb etc.

I never knew him to advocate or use any other method.

In class 1982, he came by my desk many times. Would grab my right hand, roll it over, pull it toward the front of the neck, position it like I described above, look me in the eye and say "Got It?" I finally did and I'm glad.

Before class began, he went around to everybody and shaped their picks like you see in my earlier reply. That was before he began selling his own. Before that, he recommended the old Nationals nickel/silver.

I got a very good look at his hand many times.
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Dale Hansen


From:
Hendersonville,Tennessee, (USA)
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 1:05 pm    
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Jerry Overstreet wrote:


"In class 1982, he came by my desk many times. Would grab my right hand, roll it over, pull it toward the front of the neck, position it like I described above, look me in the eye and say "Got It?" I finally did and I'm glad...."
"...Before class began, he went around to everybody and shaped their picks..."


Yup. He shaped all of our picks first thing, and I also recall that he had to come around to all of us several times throughout the week, to train (our) right hand form.

When I showed up to the school, I had been playing with some horribly mis-shapen picks, of my own devising, which I thought (at the time) were a stroke of pure genius.

After getting our pumps primed on right hand technique, Jeff immediately removed all of the dark 'mysteries', and mental obstacles from the art of palm blocking.
The newly learned right-hand form was foreign to all of us. We began on the first string, alternating the middle finger and thumb...over and over.
It took a couple of days for me to even be able to strike a string right, and get used to the idea that the blocking motion happened naturally, when I repositioned to strike that string again.

The four basic building blocks of learning that form were:
A) To position ourselves with our belly buttons centered somewhere between the 15th, and 17th fret.
B) To tuck, (or lightly curl) the ring, and pinky fingers under the palm...as if gently holding a ping-pong ball. (Like Jerry said..)
C) That from the player's perspective, only the first (index) and peak of the middle finger knuckles should be visible, with the fleshy part of the palm resting on the strings.
D) That the *main crease in the palm was lined up on the string, or highest string to be played.
(*The crease that begins directly behind the pinky, and curves up between the middle and index fingers)

Then, after getting familiarized with tablature, we got drilled on scales,...scales,...more scales, bar hand, VP, and right hand technique. (Did I mention scales?)
Now granted, nobody, in one weeks time, can teach you everything that you'll need to know to play pedal steel guitar.
What that week-long session in Hermitage did for us, was to build a solid foundation upon which to learn,and build on from there.


(Dale Hansen - Group II, January, 83')
_________________
Bessdang Gizmos - "An Equal Opportunity Annoyer"
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steinar

 

From:
Finneidfjord, Norway
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2010 1:07 pm     Jeff
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To play this way with stretched out fingers and straight picks, is what Tom Brumley did in the sixties. And he did play fast, - just check out his instrumentals, e.g. "Pedal Patter." Later he also bent his picks, but during the Buck period they were straight. And he himself was wondering whether it played a part in his fast, clean picking, when discussing his style.

I attended Jeffran College a number of times, and sure enough, Jeff bent his picks and advocated the peaked knuckle style, - even giving out a small booklet showing pictures of his and Big E`s right hand.
He even said that he had talked with a local hospital about having the students` thumbs broken and reset at a proper angle for his style of playing, - I don`t know just how serious he was about that!
However, he may also have played with straight picks towards the beginning of his career.

Tom and Jeff, - both missed, RI.P..
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KENNY KRUPNICK

 

From:
Grove City,Ohio
Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 6:14 am    
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Post a picture of Jeff's hand in that position if you can.
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steinar

 

From:
Finneidfjord, Norway
Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 6:50 am     Jeff
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Kenny.

If you mean Jeff`s hand with straight picks, -no, I don`t have any pictures. And I wrote that he - may - have played that way towards the beginning of his career, not that he actually did.
If you mean Tom`s hand, have a look at any of the cuts from Buck`s Ranch Show on YouTube.
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Bo Legg


Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 11:28 am    
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I believe this article was on the back cover of one of the woodshed songs in my collection. I'm going to search and see it I can find it.
What I was referring to regarding the loss of blocking, is that among the many things in "pick blocking plus" I could not possibly do using Jeff's method is pick with the sides of the pick.
Here is an example showing blocking with the nails of the picking fingers and the shaping of the picks:

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Sonny Jenkins


From:
New Braunfels, Tx. 78130
Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 12:02 pm    
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WHHOOOOAAAAAA,,,Everything about that drawing is anti-Newman. When I went to his school,,(early 80s) he did not advocate pick blocking,,,stated to be "too noisy".
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 1:19 pm    
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Well, I experience no problems pick-blocking or to simply block with my fingertips, picking with side of picks...

...but I'm probably doing it all wrong Embarassed Crying or Very sad
Too late to change now though, so I'm just happy it's working.
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Stuart Tindall


From:
England, UK
Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 1:24 pm    
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Jeffs right hand position

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KENNY KRUPNICK

 

From:
Grove City,Ohio
Post  Posted 15 Dec 2010 8:28 pm    
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That's it Stuart! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Kenny Radas

 

From:
Edwardsville,IL,USA
Post  Posted 16 Dec 2010 10:16 am    
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Did Jeff N have any hard fast rules or comments on where the bands of the pick should set relative to the finger nail? I know a lot of players have them way out on the ends for the finger, where the bands are only on the fingernail. My nails are not large enough for that, I end up with them at the bottom of the nail and overlapping the cuticle some. Looking the pic of Jeff's hand, appears he has them down pretty far on the finger????
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Bo Legg


Post  Posted 16 Dec 2010 11:42 am    
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I've been trying this for the last 2 days and I had the problem of my thumb being in the way of my index finger when I tried to play two adjacent strings.
I definitely could not cross over pick with my thumb and index finger.
This thumb and finger fighting for the same space also made it impossible trying to pick block.
The picture of Jeff's right hand position appears that he would have the same problem and would necessarily in crossover picking have to use the thumb and middle finger.
I'm not knocking the method, God knows Jeff was a great player but for me I encountered nothing but conflict when trying to change my right method to this.
I think because of the uniqueness of this right hand method you would necessarily start out with this as a student and stick with it for the rest of your life.

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