Most Unusual Guitar Pick Replacement

11/04/2011
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(Gibson) Guitarists typically fall into one of two categories: pick or fingers. Oh sure, occasionally players from one camp will dabble in the other, or they might combine both options into one hybrid picking style, or maybe they'll use both hands on the neck at the same time, Stanley Jordan-style. But as far as guitar goes, pick or fingers are really your only two choices when it comes to sounding the note on the guitar. Or are they?

Some innovative players have been known to jettison both pick and fingers (well maybe not fingers ouch!) in favor of less conventional methods of note generation. Perhaps the most famous is Jimmy Page's use of the cello bow. Page may not have been the first to take horsehair to nickel, and he definitely wasn't the last, but he was certainly the most iconic. Page's use of the bow can be heard most notably on "Dazed and Confused," where it lends an eerie, mournful tone to the already morose descending melody.

The same motor-tone-through-the-pickups technique was exploited in a slightly more family-friendly manner by Eddie Van Halen on "Poundcake" from Van Halen's 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Eddie opens the track by placing a power drill next to his pickups, and later he incorporates the actual note of the power drill into the melody of the "Poundcake" solo. For live shows Eddie even customized a drill with his trademark red, black and white paint scheme. See and hear other examples here

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