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> How Firmly Do You Hold Your Pick?
Praetorian
post Jul 18 2010, 01:09 AM
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I am having a lot of trouble with my right hand and picking. I can never find that sweet area between gripping the pick too strongly, or lightly. When trying to play a gallop sounding picking run, the pick seems to push the string without picking it sometimes. Almost like my strings are too loose (which they aren't...just using this as a visual). If I grip it more loosely and try to change things, I end up dropping the pick! Any advice?


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Azzaboi
post Jul 18 2010, 02:04 AM
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I'm wondering if v-picks help out a lot with this issue.
They kinda stick to your fingers when heated up by them a bit, no loose grip, no pressure, better faster playing?

Stylus Pick are also spos to be good, but you can't use those to continuously play, it's more a training pick.

The idea is to train your hand to use just the tip of the pick over the string(s). Else you run into too much resistances.

Also the angle of your pick makes a big difference. Don't angle it up or down else one direction of stroke will be easiler than the other and the other direction will force the pick to move around. You can tilt and rotate the pick a bit, but no angle!

The thinkness of the pick also matters, if you have a flexable pick, it doesn't resharp in time and on the second stroke gets thrown off a bit.

Check the Paul Gilbert video here, really helpful with picking:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=35940


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Jul 18 2010, 09:58 AM
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Good points by Azzaboi.

I use Stubby Jazz picks, so they're not flexible at all. Therefore I also hold the pick very tightly. smile.gif The real problem for me was how to hold the pick tightly with keeping the rest of my wrist and arm relaxed, but it comes with practice. Thickness of the pick really matters, since if you have a very flexible pick, the resistance when hitting strings is much smaller than when you have a thick, unflexible pick.

I think the problem isn't how firmly you hold your pick, but more like you're drilling too deep into the strings when picking. Try to make the area which hits the string much smaller, like you're almost brushing the strings. Also try using a very sharp pick, which makes this easier. smile.gif

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Jesse
post Jul 18 2010, 10:08 AM
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well, I use different:D If I play something like cliffs of dover, with accurate pciking etc, I use the Jazz3 from dunlop.
If I'm playing an SRV type thing, or something were I strum all the time, I use a bigger/way loosier pick.

For example, I was playing two sisters (not personal choice, it was for a gig:P) Which is like... 100% barre strumming:P

WIth the jazz 3, you dont want to hold it firmly, because it willfeel awful, and you wont be able to strum good enough because the pick is so hard. And if you loosen the grip, the pick will just fall to the floor in the end xD. So for that I use like a fender medium pick.


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maharzan
post Jul 18 2010, 12:25 PM
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I had the same problem till like 3-4 months ago. I tended to hold it a bit loose at first and picking at speed continuously (like 16th notes at 110bpm) made the grip weak and the pick got misplaced from the fingers and then I could no longer pick it until I give my right hand a rest and then relocate the pick properly. Then I got advice that I was picking too lightly so I tried to change the grip very tightly. It gave the awesome sound but then at faster paces, my right arm got so tight that I could hardly pick after few bars. The fingers became numb and I could hardly move my hand for picking. It brought more pain.

After all these, then I tried to relax a bit but time and again hold it tightly and relax.. This combination came with practice and I didn't notice it until I saw my latest recording. I did see feedback on one of my REC that I got excellent right hand technique which I kind of ignored as I never thought of that. I was still learning. But then I was amazed how it turned out and I cannot believe my right hand movement in the video. Its like dancing all the time. If there is faster section, it holds on tight with the pick but then at short rests, it moves and dances. I am still trying to get that sweet spot of holding the pick correctly but I just wanted to share my experience as I had the same problem as you.

It should come with practice but don't stop analyzing what works best for you.

Here is latest video (my channel) of what I am talking about. The song is Oriental Shred.

Cheers!!

PS. Oh, I used 50 different picks as well. While I prefered 0.5, 0.75mm picks as I was so used to light picking and acoustic guitars, it didn't go well with electric. I tried all sorts of picks (Satch, Vai, Gilbert, etc) but some were small, some were big. At one point, I loved small picks but then the grip was getting away from me. So, I tried the big jazz III pick (2 mm?) I tried few others after that but now I am back with Jazz III picks. It just works best for me.


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ZakkWylde
post Jul 18 2010, 12:32 PM
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There is no right pressure when holding your pick!
You have to play and let your fingers grip the pick as hard as they need to in any given situation. You have to get it right subconsiously!

I don't think you should be thinkng about how to grip for the next riff or so, there are more important things to focus your mind on when playing. Just practice your picking in any given situation and don't think about your grip - you will automaticly do it right if it was trained before!


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Fran
post Jul 18 2010, 01:34 PM
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It depends, I use a jazz III, which is quite hard, so when I do AP I hold it tighter but when I strum rhythm parts I hold it loose so it sounds and feels better. It took me a while to adapt to a thick pick, I was used to 0.88 dunlop nylon picks before.


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Praetorian
post Jul 18 2010, 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the input guys! I am currently using Jazz III XL's and a V-pick. Don't remember the model of V-pick, but it was a common one with sharp points.


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thefireball
post Jul 18 2010, 02:58 PM
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I used to grip it so hard when I first started guitar that it hurt my finger joints. I finally grew out of it. I grip it firmly but not too firmly. biggrin.gif
I use V-Picks. They don't fall out of my fingers as badl. The acrylic material helps me grip the pick. I haven't dropped a pick in a while. smile.gif

This post has been edited by thefireball: Jul 18 2010, 03:01 PM


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Azzaboi
post Jul 18 2010, 06:28 PM
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Praetorian and thefireball (also anyone else using Jazz III/V-Picks) -

What one do you perfer? The Jazz III XL or the V-Pick?
Cos I'm really tossing up between getting a Jazz III XL or ordering a V-Pick or set of them?
V-Pick also has the Jazz III shape and design as well?
V-Pick takes time to get use too the big fat ones, then you won't be able to switch back easily?

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 18 2010, 06:31 PM


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thefireball
post Jul 18 2010, 08:48 PM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 18 2010, 12:28 PM) *
Praetorian and thefireball (also anyone else using Jazz III/V-Picks) -

What one do you perfer? The Jazz III XL or the V-Pick?
Cos I'm really tossing up between getting a Jazz III XL or ordering a V-Pick or set of them?
V-Pick also has the Jazz III shape and design as well?
V-Pick takes time to get use too the big fat ones, then you won't be able to switch back easily?


I'm not familiar with the Jazz picks. I will never go back to a regular pick. V-Picks are so awesome. They give quick action the strings - you can pick really fast. The material is acrylic, which helps you grip the pick. I just bought a "Shredder". I wanted to get a "Psycho Shredder", but dang!!! It is a freakin 20 bucks! Crazy! $4 is enough + $3 shipping!

Check here for more info on V-Picks.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 18 2010, 10:56 PM
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Try practicing on slow tempos, and experiment with various levels of force on the pick. It will be easier to control it then.


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Praetorian
post Jul 18 2010, 11:24 PM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 18 2010, 01:28 PM) *
Praetorian and thefireball (also anyone else using Jazz III/V-Picks) -

What one do you perfer? The Jazz III XL or the V-Pick?
Cos I'm really tossing up between getting a Jazz III XL or ordering a V-Pick or set of them?
V-Pick also has the Jazz III shape and design as well?
V-Pick takes time to get use too the big fat ones, then you won't be able to switch back easily?


I think I like the V-pick better...right now. I seem to switch back and forth depending on what I am playing though! tongue.gif

If you want, send me your name and mailing address in a PM and I can send you a Jazz III XL. I bought a pack of 6 just the other day!

QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jul 18 2010, 05:56 PM) *
Try practicing on slow tempos, and experiment with various levels of force on the pick. It will be easier to control it then.


I have been trying that lately. I seem to hit a wall picking a gallop at about 120 bpm. That's when it all falls apart and gets really sloppy.

This post has been edited by Praetorian: Jul 18 2010, 11:27 PM


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Azzaboi
post Jul 19 2010, 02:15 AM
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Praetorian - Thanks for the offer on the Jazz III XL, couldn't find the XL ones here, but I live in New Zealand and there's delivery costs, and how I would go about to pay you, etc. I think I'll order some V-picks instead. They have ones similar to the Jazz III. Are the Shredder picks too sharp, that they can even cut you? What's a good mix to get?


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Praetorian
post Jul 19 2010, 01:00 PM
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QUOTE (Azzaboi @ Jul 18 2010, 09:15 PM) *
Praetorian - Thanks for the offer on the Jazz III XL, couldn't find the XL ones here, but I live in New Zealand and there's delivery costs, and how I would go about to pay you, etc. I think I'll order some V-picks instead. They have ones similar to the Jazz III. Are the Shredder picks too sharp, that they can even cut you? What's a good mix to get?


Don't worry about delivery charge...I give gear away all the time on this site! It will only be an envelope. PM me your address!

Ben


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jafomatic
post Jul 19 2010, 03:33 PM
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The reason the larger pick (like the v-picks) will feel better for this is twofold. As mentioned above, the material has that natural "cling" to it but also the larger mass requires less pressure to hold. I personally still grip too hard but the large-ish v-pick I'm using has somewhat alleviated that.

They're not cheap but try that v-pick "Snake" sometime. It's not their largest pick by far but it will appear quite massive compared to any other pick you might find in a store. It's much much easier to grip without risking damage to your thumb.


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jul 20 2010, 01:18 PM
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The thing is, you shouldn't always hold it with same grip. Some times looser, sometimes stronger. It depends on picking speed, desired sound and loudness.


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Azzaboi
post Jul 20 2010, 07:30 PM
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Interesting Vasilije,
I've been changing the attack angle and grip on the pick lately and sometimes finding a sweet spot in my playing.

It's really opened my ear to different tones (which I didn't notice before) - I use to play with the pick dead flat.

The issue is I come to play it the next day I have to spend a while refinding it, heh smile.gif

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 20 2010, 07:31 PM


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MickeM
post Jul 20 2010, 08:04 PM
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I find that a thicker pick is easier ot hold. A firm grip without squeezing too hard, easier to balance.


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SirJamsalot
post Jul 20 2010, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (Praetorian @ Jul 17 2010, 05:09 PM) *
I am having a lot of trouble with my right hand and picking. I can never find that sweet area between gripping the pick too strongly, or lightly. When trying to play a gallop sounding picking run, the pick seems to push the string without picking it sometimes. Almost like my strings are too loose (which they aren't...just using this as a visual). If I grip it more loosely and try to change things, I end up dropping the pick! Any advice?


hmmm. interesting that the "pick seems to push the string without picking it". I'm having a hard time imagining that - can you upload a video zoomed into your picking hand while trying this?

If you're picking motion is parallel to the strings, then this shouldn't happen unless you're raising your pick when coming back the opposite direction from AP'ing. Another possibility is that you're holding your pick like Marty Friedman - the pick is not at a 90d angle to the string in which case you might be hooking the string. Or maybe you're afraid of hooking and just gliding the top of the string w/o digging in and you're really missing the string? It's hard to tell from just a description.

Upload a video - that would help in seeing what might be happening.

As for dropping the pick - I find the only time I drop a pick is from it getting slippery from sweat - find a pick style you like with a good gripping texture. There are many out there.

Christian A.


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