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> Pick Issue, Need some pointers concering holding the pick
Frobb
post Sep 13 2009, 11:21 PM
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Heya GMC!

I've been playing guitar for 2 years now, and I've recently started to really evaluate my playing and searching for flaws and working on phasing them out and such. And it's recently gotten to me that I might not be holding my pick/plectrum the optimal way.

Let me straighten things out with a picture. You can find a picture of how I hold my pick following THIS link and another angle can be found HERE.

As you can see, I hold the pick between my thumb and index finger and really tuck it in there. When I pick, let's say the E-string, my thumb will be touching the A string, as you can see in the picture. One thing that struck me while practising tonight is that this might be causing unneccessary friction while changing strings, and maybe even when just picking one string while let's say tremolo picking it.

I reckon this might be a disadvantage yeah? How should one really properly hold the pick for maximum comfort and speed and such? Please help me figure out how to reposition the way I hold my pick!

I've been concerned about the way I hold the pick for quite some time now but I can't figure out how to improve it. Need some help here!! huh.gif

Thanks in advance!

// Frobb

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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 13 2009, 11:59 PM
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You will improve it in time in practice my friend. Just keep it easy and stay focused on your goal. I think the pick should be moved towards the tip of your thumb, and the tip side of your index finger. It may be strange and uncomfortable at first, but in time it will be alright. I believe this would solve your problem with tip of the thumb getting into contact with the strings.


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methodseeker
post Sep 14 2009, 12:01 AM
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Yeah, that's really tucked in deep. If you're getting accidental strikes of your finger flesh on the strings, that's a problem. Try to figure out why you're holding it this way. I've gotten away from a deep choke pinch on the pick as I've gotten a better feel for where the strings are (lots of string crossing AP exercises) and also by gradually moving to a thicker, stiffer pick. I think when I was starting out I liked a softer pick for some things, but then tucked it in deep when I really wanted a stiffer pick.
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MickeM
post Sep 14 2009, 09:06 AM
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You're holding the pick very much like I do, I even posted some pictures of it looooong ago if you care to search.
But I have the tip of the pick placed right between the joint of the thumb and the nail, that's perhaps moving it 1 cm further towards the tip of your thumb.

I think it's ideal to only have a small piece of the pick sticking out like that. I renewed my technique after say 15 years of holding it like a pen, or something, with a ig chunk sticking out. The new grip (like yours just a tad different) was an enormous improvment for me in both speed and accuracy.

So if I should reccomend anything it'd be to keep the pick that way, only move it to right between the joint and the nail.

Belive it or not but my picking became a lot more controlled and it's now easier to hit the strings right with only the small tip of the pick sticking out that before when a large chunk of it was out. While holding the hand close to the strings I feel a lot more in control myself.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 14 2009, 12:00 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 14 2009, 04:06 AM) *
I think it's ideal to only have a small piece of the pick sticking out like that. I renewed my technique after say 15 years of holding it like a pen, or something, with a ig chunk sticking out. The new grip (like yours just a tad different) was an enormous improvment for me in both speed and accuracy.


+1 - I did pretty much the same a couple of years ago when I joined GMC and it has helped me enormously!


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Eat-Sleep-andJam
post Sep 14 2009, 12:43 PM
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I honestly don't see anything reallllly wrong with it.

If it was me I would have maybe tucked my thumb in just a bit more. But thats just me wink.gif


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CathShadow
post Sep 14 2009, 01:02 PM
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I only recently got my pick technique better as well... I found that (especially with alternate picking), my speed is faster and my notes smoother with the pick tucked in similar to yours (I think there might be a LITTLE more 'flesh' (plastic) of my pick showing lol but not much....

I agree with the others -> maybe move it slightly closer towards the thumb tip other than that I hold mine similar


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Marcus Siepen
post Sep 14 2009, 05:14 PM
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I would also recommend to move the pick more towards the thumbs tip, but I still say there is no absolutely right way of holding a pick, many different ways are absolutely possible and lead to great results, important is that you feel comfortable with it and of course that you are in control over your pick.


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Frobb
post Sep 14 2009, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Sep 14 2009, 06:14 PM) *
I would also recommend to move the pick more towards the thumbs tip, but I still say there is no absolutely right way of holding a pick, many different ways are absolutely possible and lead to great results, important is that you feel comfortable with it and of course that you are in control over your pick.


Haha, yeah, just look at Marty Friedman lol. Everyone seems to be agreeing about moving the pick a bit closer to the tip of my thumb so that's what I'll try. Like moving it 1cm forward or something like that so I'll have the pick right between the tip of my thumb and the joint, at the more fleshy part!

Thanks for all the pointers guys! Really appreciate it!

I'll write back in this topic if I need some further help concerning this!

Cheers! biggrin.gif
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