Aaron Moreland currently performs with the Moreland Contingent after having toured and recorded with Moreland & Arbuckle for more than a decade. Here, he discusses playing guitar without a pick.
“The big change for me was just learning how to be independent with my thumb and my fingers. Even now, playing in a four piece band, I’m still not using a pick at all. I just can’t seem to hold onto one and my thumb gets so tired trying to hold onto a pick. There’s advantages to picks for sure. There’s things that I can do much better with a pick but I just don’t think I own a pick at this moment. I saw one the other day and tried to pick it up but it was all mangled and I couldn’t even play with it.
It frees me up to do things. It’s just a different tone. A different style. I find that when I go into the recording studio I’ll use a pick to record solos and things because I can play a little quicker with them. I guess maybe some people call that cheating. But live I can’t seem to. My thumb just seems to wear out when I use a pick. It’s like a muscle memory that I don’t possess at this time. I don’t really have any plans to change that.”