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> Difficulty Picking High Strings
Jak
post May 5 2015, 05:32 AM
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When i pick the low strings i usually rest the part of my hand near the thumb on the body of the guitar and this feels comfotable. However when trying to pick the high strings I cant rest my hand the same way since the thumb bumps into the strings. The different hand angle on the high strings feels really awkward to me and makes it difficult to get any steady alternate picking going. Do you guys find that you change your hand angle based on which string you play? Ideally I would like to keep my hand angle the same in a comfortable position but it doesn't seem possible when changing strings...
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Phil66
post May 5 2015, 09:28 AM
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Hello Jak,

Any chance of posting a couple of pictures? It's difficult to understand from words alone. smile.gif

Cheers

Phil


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 5 2015, 06:23 PM
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Hi Jak, as Phil said, a video would really help to see exactly what you are doing. When picking different strings we try to pick each string with the same angle, that's why the position of the whole hand moves depending on the string that we are playing.

The best way to see this is checking GMC lessons, for example, check out this lesson by Ben in which he plays 1 note per string, notice how his hand moves up and down depending on the string played:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Picking-Arpeggios/

Please let me know if this clarifies it.



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Ben Higgins
post May 6 2015, 09:29 AM
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QUOTE (Jak @ May 5 2015, 04:32 AM) *
When i pick the low strings i usually rest the part of my hand near the thumb on the body of the guitar and this feels comfotable. However when trying to pick the high strings I cant rest my hand the same way since the thumb bumps into the strings. The different hand angle on the high strings feels really awkward to me and makes it difficult to get any steady alternate picking going. Do you guys find that you change your hand angle based on which string you play? Ideally I would like to keep my hand angle the same in a comfortable position but it doesn't seem possible when changing strings...


I've always had this problem which is why I always revert back to anchoring my fingers. I can pick without anchoring on all but the top E string. If I let my fingers touch the guitar body then it stops the pick from dropping down to the wrong depth and getting caught on the wrong side of the E string. So, instead of just anchoring on the top E and not anchoring on the rest, I just anchor all the time (or most of the time) because it doesn't affect the speed in any way.

Btw, when we say "anchor" it doesn't necessarily mean that you rigidly force your fingers to remain in the same place it just means a point of contact with the guitar body. Some people let their fingers brush against the guitar but it still gives a tactile point of contact.

To me, anchoring is about controlling the depth of the pick, keeping it at the right height to stay on the strings. It doesn't affect speed potential, in my opinion.


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jstcrsn
post May 6 2015, 03:06 PM
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and to only add to your confusion. What works for Ben , is different for Gabe, and will probably be different for you. Spend some time finding out for you, as everyone's tendons and muscles react differently (I have to hold my pick like a caveman due to a injury). I would also encourage you to try to learn multiple ways of picking , your hand will automatically gravitate between them as needed. I can play with or without anchoring my pinky, I played most of my life anchoring my pinky, but started to develop pain in my anchoring pinky so I had to learn anchoring with the forearm / back off the wrist right above the top string and eventually moving down to help mute the low string as I play the high ones. And to sum up there is always anchoring somewhere, you will just have to find your way, nothing but spending time with guitar to answer this question. If you don't anchor somewhere it is almost like 2 moving targets trying to hit each other on tempo ohmy.gif

This post has been edited by jstcrsn: May 6 2015, 03:09 PM
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Jak
post May 6 2015, 07:20 PM
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My hand looks similar to this when picking the low strings
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/XHg13snXlrA/hqdefault.jpg
My problem is that I cant maintain that angle when playing the high strings since the thumb part runs into the strings. Some questions about picking mechanics though. Should the pick travel straight up and down when picking a string or does it move across the string at an angle? I think im trying to keep the pick moving exactly up and down which is uncomfortable if my hand resting at an angle compared to the strings.

I'll try the anchoring thing like Ben suggested, it seems to help with the high strings a bit.
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Phil66
post May 6 2015, 09:55 PM
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To be honest Jak I've never thought too much about it.
There is no right or wrong, each player does what they need to do with their own biomechanical idiosyncrasies.

Just do what you need to do, this is part of the reason why players have their own tone.

Just practise scales across the neck (low E to high E) and eventually you will naturally develop your own method. Try not to think about it, dont watch your picking hand whilst you do this, let it find its own way.

Hopefully this will help along with the other advice given. I remember seeing a busker who had had his hand amputated, he had taped a piece of wood to the end of his arm and pushed and glued a pick into it. He was awesome. There is always a way.

Work at it and one day it will just happen and you will struggle to see how you had a problem.

Enjoy the journey, smile.gif

Phil


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Todd Simpson
post May 7 2015, 06:31 AM
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It looks like your problem may be your basic hand position. Your curling up around the pick and your hand is residing near the top of the bridge. Can you shoot a bit video of your picking?

Take a look at this video. Look at my right hand. See how the palm of my hand rests on the bridge and my fingers tilt to get access to both high and low strings without losing my palm mute. Also notice my hand is flat not curled. This is NOT something that came natural but took me years to figure out. But it's something worth working on smile.gif


QUOTE (Jak @ May 6 2015, 02:20 PM) *
My hand looks similar to this when picking the low strings
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/XHg13snXlrA/hqdefault.jpg
My problem is that I cant maintain that angle when playing the high strings since the thumb part runs into the strings. Some questions about picking mechanics though. Should the pick travel straight up and down when picking a string or does it move across the string at an angle? I think im trying to keep the pick moving exactly up and down which is uncomfortable if my hand resting at an angle compared to the strings.

I'll try the anchoring thing like Ben suggested, it seems to help with the high strings a bit.



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Ben Higgins
post May 7 2015, 07:13 AM
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QUOTE (Jak @ May 6 2015, 06:20 PM) *
My hand looks similar to this when picking the low strings
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/XHg13snXlrA/hqdefault.jpg
My problem is that I cant maintain that angle when playing the high strings since the thumb part runs into the strings. Some questions about picking mechanics though. Should the pick travel straight up and down when picking a string or does it move across the string at an angle? I think im trying to keep the pick moving exactly up and down which is uncomfortable if my hand resting at an angle compared to the strings.

I'll try the anchoring thing like Ben suggested, it seems to help with the high strings a bit.


You are what is known as an "upward pick slanter" so you use your thumb side of your hand to rotate around and that is where your picking motion comes from. This is a viable technique, there's nothing wrong with it at all. It just means you've got to understand it's strengths and weaknesses. With this position, changing to a higher string after an upstroke is a bit harder than changing after a downstroke. Things like that. So you've got to work around it.

Have a look at this thread which will hopefully help you understand it a bit more

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=53692

Btw, regards the pick travelling across or up and down. Don't worry about that so much, it has less effect on your picking effectiveness than hand position. Hand position is more integral because it dictates what physical mechanics you use to create the picking motion. If you get your hand position then the pick hits the strings where it does and mainly takes care of itself.


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