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> How Do You Hold A Pick?, Pictures welcome
fkalich
post Sep 2 2007, 06:21 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Sep 2 2007, 12:04 AM) *
It's best if you start and get used to one certain style. Than you won't have to relearn later! It's not good to plan on changing picking style or any part of technique. Every change is a pain in the ass and a waste of time so better learn it one way and stick to it for the rest of your life.


remember "Animal Farm". "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." In this case it is all "All changes are a pain in the ass, but some changes are more of a pain in the ass than others".

QUOTE (Juan M. Valero @ Aug 31 2007, 12:04 PM) *
Why doesn't it sounded too bad? simply what I wanted to say is that the most important isn't how you hold the pick. The most important is the movement of your wrist. Without a good wrist move you cannot find a good sound.


Sorry to go off on a tangent a bit, but what is your philosophy here, regarding wrist. At higher speeds, at least what I consider higher speeds, say 200bpm 16th notes, I find myself playing with my lower arm, the pivot point being the elbow. My wrist is fairly fixed. I think we will have some opinions on this, regarding playing that way, or with wrist movement.

edit: even so at slower speeds, I find this sort of kicking in at about 140, and certainly by 17.


EDIT &2 Wow! I had a typo, and due to that had a seriously vulgar phrase, fixed it, sorry, absolutely unintentional.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Sep 2 2007, 07:44 AM
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SLASH91
post Sep 3 2007, 04:41 AM
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QUOTE (Juan M. Valero @ Aug 31 2007, 10:19 AM) *
It's not really important how you hold the pick, the most important is that you feel confortable. There are a lot of guitarrists that hold the pick with a horrible position, for instance Marty Frieman, hehehe, and that's not a problem for their picking.


Lol. I think I hold my pick like him. He holds it Angled upwards right.


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Juan M. Valero
post Sep 5 2007, 04:46 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Sep 2 2007, 07:21 AM) *
Wow! I had a typo, and due to that had a seriously vulgar phrase, fixed it, sorry, absolutely unintentional.



Don't worry wink.gif I like learning new bad-sounding words biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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MickeM
post Sep 5 2007, 05:29 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Sep 2 2007, 07:04 AM) *
It's best if you start and get used to one certain style. Than you won't have to relearn later! It's not good to plan on changing picking style or any part of technique. Every change is a pain in the ass and a waste of time so better learn it one way and stick to it for the rest of your life.

Yes, but how do you know the style you choose to get used to is the style that's right for you in the long run?
You have to develop experience with the (right or wrong) technique before you can realize it can be changed/improved.


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Ayen
post Sep 5 2007, 10:41 AM
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Well I've just checked out Pavel's Ionian Scale Speedpicking lesson, and I already hold the pick the same way he does.

Here is a quick link to the video I'm talking about.

http://guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guitar/i...cking/index.htm

In Video 2, at about 1:18, Pavel shows his picking hand.


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fkalich
post Sep 5 2007, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE (Ayen @ Sep 5 2007, 04:41 AM) *
Well I've just checked out Pavel's Ionian Scale Speedpicking lesson, and I already hold the pick the same way he does.

Here is a quick link to the video I'm talking about.

http://guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guitar/i...cking/index.htm

In Video 2, at about 1:18, Pavel shows his picking hand.


same here
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Ayen
post Sep 5 2007, 11:16 AM
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Glad to have that cleared up, I was dreading the idea of having to get used to a different picking style.


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buttmonk
post Sep 6 2007, 02:17 AM
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Hi all,

Any thoughts on pick size? I use a normal size dunlop pick and have done since I started out. Back then I also tried 1 of those tiny little picks like Kris uses (and we know what they say about guys with tiny little picks:) [joke, hehe] ), anyways, I found when strumming chords and things I could not keep hold of it (it kept rotating round in my hand) which is why I switched to the bigger pick.

Now that I think about it, I reckon this is cos I am striking too hard and digging the pick in too much, and too much power probably means too much tension in the muscles which is bad for speed etc. Sometime when I am playing and not really thinking about it I notice that my hand frees up a bit with lighter pick strike and the notes come out a bit more fluidly, of course at the expense of some attack. I was thinking of changing to a little pick and forcing myself to be learn to use it, which means I will need to strike softer. Anyone think this is good idea? Are there any shredders out that with heavy pick strikes?

QUOTE
Now I'm holding the pick same way as before, but with my other three fingers tucked in and not touching anything, and my palm placed on the bridge, usually muting one or more strings, using my wrist to pick. I find this is really good as I can pick fast while at the same time muting strings, plus the picking motion is about the same for all 6 strings.


So is this technique widely considered to be good for speed and fluidity? Any downsides to this technique? At least when I try it it feels like it has the potential to be better since there is less tension caused by having several fingers out straight...but it did not really feel right (that would take time)..

Cheers,

This post has been edited by buttmonk: Sep 6 2007, 02:18 AM


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Ayen
post Sep 6 2007, 02:27 AM
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If the pick is slipping in your hand, try out some Clayton Picks.

I use the .50 MM here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Cla...icks?sku=110419


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Evan
post Sep 7 2007, 12:00 AM
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I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately in the past few weeks. Since originally, I moved to the guitar from the piano and woodwind instruments many years ago I've always been struck by how when it comes to how to hold a pick -THE critical core component of picking hand technique-, answers are all over the place when you compare this to how standardized basic elements of technique is on the other instruments. Many 'major' guitar books that I've seen devote no more than one paragraph to holding the pick and often they offer basically no more than "do what's comfortable for you" and other advice that's so lacking in detail that it was useless for me.

Ask a few experienced violinists to show you the correct way to hold the bow, and you'll find little variation in the responses (certainly when compared to the pick question I think). Over hundreds of years, masters of the violin perfected every fine detail of the technique, and now it's standardized- either you follow the method that is so refined that only an even greater genius could hope to improve it -or you're just making things harder for yourself.

The guitar doesn't have quite the same formal history as the violin and piano, and there are techniques that have been widely known for as little as 20 years. We are still in the process of defining the pick grip and when we're done, I predict that there will be multiple pick grip techniques just like there are multiple stick grips for drummers.

When I watch my playing closely, I've noticed that I don't change my grip very often (I grip between side of the index finger and the 'fingerprint' area of thumb, index finger in a neutral position as if holding a pencil rather than curled inward to the palm). I noticed I will curl the index finger inward toward the palm depending on the situation (speedpicking vs. a strum etc.). There are things other than the actual grip that I change a lot though- closed vs. open fist, how much pick is 'showing', angle of the pointed end of the pick in relation to my hand, and then all kinds of things that have more to do with the picking motion rather than grip.

I found this article on the web, and it's the most detailed one I've found yet about his subject:
Pick and Finger Technique Article

I think some of you will find it interesting even though it includes fingerstyle information also.

I'm sorry this post was too long, but I think that this is a fascinating subject and that moving from where we are right now with many books failing to define much of anything at all when it comes to picking technique to the point where there are entire books on the subject and standardized techniques is going to be a key step in the growth of guitar playing as a whole.
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Bulletproof
post Oct 19 2007, 06:57 AM
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Interesting topic. to be honest...I usually hold my pick with the side of my finger and my thumb but when I go to strum to naturally hold it with with more of my fingerprint on the pick and I point my thumb down. But I"m also weird....when I'm on stage I have about 12 picks in my mic stand. I literally just drop the pick and grab a softer one for certain parts of songs. Drop it once again....grab the hard pick...solo...then drop again if need be. When I'm done...it looks like there are shell casing all around me.....Guitar War!! smile.gif

This post has been edited by Bulletproof: Oct 19 2007, 06:58 AM


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PlayAllDay
post Oct 19 2007, 07:18 AM
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I hold my pick with side of finger and thumb - no matter what size pick. As my goal in being at GMC is to one day shred with the best of them I've been focusing on speed by errr, ummm...not focusing on speed if you know what I mean. tongue.gif

So I've been playing scales like an insane person - scales scales and more scales - and last night had a breakthrough. They are just naturally getting faster as I commit them all to my muscle memory though I have not been using the metronome this past fortnight to push them along, I will start checking speeds again soon.

So anyway, I'm using Jazz III pick last night and suddenly my speed almost doubled! It was like a whole new world. I noticed I was holding the pick VERY lightly but the attack still had some punch.
I was soooo happy - it felt like I was flying! biggrin.gif


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Melvyn
post Jan 29 2008, 02:59 PM
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My picking is wierd, i use my Middle finger and thumb to hold the pick, letting my index finger tap and pick (when needed), and i also hold the pick very close to the end, to do easy pinch harmonics (Not really a pinch, its just a strum with my thumb pointing out the end, works everytime i need it to :|)

Works for me at least biggrin.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jan 29 2008, 10:18 PM
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QUOTE (PlayAllDay @ Oct 19 2007, 01:18 AM) *
So anyway, I'm using Jazz III pick last night and suddenly my speed almost doubled! It was like a whole new world. I noticed I was holding the pick VERY lightly but the attack still had some punch.
I was soooo happy - it felt like I was flying! biggrin.gif


That's funny - I picked up a Jazz III pick last night as wll (usually use a much thinner one) and I was liking it too!


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Dejan Farkas
post Jan 29 2008, 10:32 PM
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I never thought on how I hold a pick unsure.gif I just hold it biggrin.gif

It has to stay firmly between fingers, and to feel comfortable that way, nothing else smile.gif


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Bali
post Jan 29 2008, 10:45 PM
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I've been through the most amazing changes through the years pickwise, and finally I've been playing with this little pick type for at least a decade.

I hold it between thumb and index finger. I loose them all the time so I always carry a bag of some 100 picks!

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Henkka
post Jan 29 2008, 10:51 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jan 29 2008, 11:18 PM) *
That's funny - I picked up a Jazz III pick last night as wll (usually use a much thinner one) and I was liking it too!


I played with super thick (2-3mm) dunlops, I liked them since you certainly get a good grip of them. But as always everything has to be tested so I bought normal and XL Jazz III picks (and few others too). Haven't touched the super fat picks ever since. Actually I haven't touched any other pick besides Jazz III ever since. smile.gif They just seem to work...

I hold my pick with the side of my middle finger and thumb so majority of the picking movement comes from the wrist. For now this is the way I get most accurate picking and clean sound.
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Mr T
post Jan 30 2008, 12:34 AM
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Funny that you all should write. I've also recently discovered the Jazz III. Been playing with them for a week now and it's a major improvement compared to the dunlop Gator 1.5mm I was using for a year now. I think I've found my pick.


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ch00ch00man
post Jan 30 2008, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (Ayen @ Sep 5 2007, 09:27 PM) *
If the pick is slipping in your hand, try out some Clayton Picks.

I use the .50 MM here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Cla...icks?sku=110419


.50 mm really!? wow! thats must feel like a limp chicken. i use 3 mm big stubbies, and think they are too thin. to each his own i guess.

after countless experiments with different pick sizes and shapes, and ways of holding them, this is what i found out. if you are going for speed, and articulation, the thicker, and stiffer, the better. pointy picks are better then rounded ones. better for cutting through the string, fewer snags. how you hold it is of great importance. there really is a right way, and all the rest are simply wrong. again, i underscore, strictly for speed, holding the pick between thumb and first knuckle of the index finger, angled slightly to the plane of the strings, is the right way. also, the rest of the fingers should be curled gently under (ala pavel). the reason for that is simple physics. the smaller the fulcrum (ie the distance between the wrist, the pivot point, and the tip of your hand), the less torque you need to apply to achieve the same angular velocity. the faster you can play. also pivoting with the wrist is a lot better, faster, and more controllable, and accurate then pivoting from the elbow.

and the most important thing i learned is, the more relaxed the hand is, the faster you can play. that comes only through countless hours of playing slow to build up muscle memory.

boris
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