best way to hold pick for shred?


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mr. cool
02-20-2006, 10:42 PM
so i did a search and turned up nothing so i figure i would post a thread of my own

for shred (or hell general playing cause it should be the same right)

what is the best way to hold a pick?

and i ask because i used to do it thumb-index-middle but a lot of articles said to play with just thumb-index. now i started to question that because my pick is always turning sideways and even more curious is that i saw g3 and vai and satch both played thumb-index-middle and petrucci picked thumb-index-middle-ring on top of middle

so now that i have developed both styles of playing...

i was wondering (aside from personal preference because both are plenty comfortable) what is the best way to hold a pick?

Freddedonna
02-20-2006, 10:46 PM
I think the right way is the way you're confortable.

Vindication
02-20-2006, 10:46 PM
Whichever way is comfortable and fsat for you.

It really all depends...the thumb-index way is kind of the traditional way, but like you mentioned, many people hold the pick differently.

apocalypse13
02-20-2006, 10:56 PM
I think the right way is the way you're confortable.
yes

SnowballofDoom
02-20-2006, 11:19 PM
vai and satch both played thumb-index-middle and petrucci picked thumb-index-middle-ring on top of middle


Wha..? Are you talking about anchoring their fingers on the body of the guitar? Because Vai and Petrucci both use their index + thumb only. Their middle fingers may come over their index fingers or something like that, but the pick is held between their index + thumb only.

Here's Steve Morse, who holds the pick with his thumb, index and middle:

http://www.prog4you.com/images_2003/sm2.jpg

And Petrucci (ok ok, he's not picking very fast here, but watch a live DVD, he only picks with index and thumb):

http://images.metalirium.com/reports/koncerty/2005/Dream_Theater/08_dt_budapest.jpg

As for which one is best? I'm not too sure about that. It's not a great idea to go with whichever is more comfortable, while it can work well, there may be other ways that work better. I'd wait for someone more experienced with this kind of question to chime in (coughfreepowercough).

Erc
02-21-2006, 07:13 AM
I think the motion that you pick with is more important then how many fingers you use to hold the pick.

I could be wrong though =)

Resiliance
02-21-2006, 11:14 AM
As long as you don't use more than two fingers.

pavan
02-21-2006, 11:38 AM
and as long as your comfortable

people forgot to mention Van Halen

Stratwizard
02-21-2006, 12:42 PM
As long as you don't use more than two fingers.

What do you mean? Why is it bad to use more than two fingers?

seljer
02-21-2006, 12:50 PM
Well unless you have a gigantic pick I dont think its really even possible without having your hand in some really unpractical position...

Stratwizard
02-21-2006, 12:56 PM
I use Ibanez's Gilbert picks and I can hold it with my thumb, index and middle finger easily. :confused:

seljer
02-21-2006, 01:05 PM
I've got on of the Steve Vai ones and I can't figure how you could possibly hold it with 3 :p: ... guess I'm accustomed to thumb+index....


though other than, it limits what you can do with hybrid picking and switching to tapping quickly

Stratwizard
02-21-2006, 01:06 PM
I've got on of the Steve Vai ones and I can't figure how you could possibly hold it with 3 :p: ... guess I'm accustomed to thumb+index....


though other than, it limits what you can do with hybrid picking and switching to tapping quickly

I can do tapping that way pretty easily, but I guess you're right about the hybrid picking.

Freepower
02-21-2006, 01:10 PM
As for which one is best? I'm not too sure about that. It's not a great idea to go with whichever is more comfortable, while it can work well, there may be other ways that work better. I'd wait for someone more experienced with this kind of question to chime in (coughfreepowercough).

Lol, i spotted this thread but wanted to see what people thought.

Personally, i can see the advantages to almost all methods of picking...i personally hold index pad and thumb pad. Resi, you're index side and thumb pad, right?

Pretty uncomplicated methods.

I know someone uses middle and thumb, he doesnt seem to suffer from it - and i just showed him how to do classical style harmonics, so im sure he'll get something out of it even if his actual "picking technique" suffers.

Er, aside from that, i suppose one must mention that comfortable means loose as well - i can hold my pick with almost 0 tension, which is nice. I guess thats why resi says one finger? Im curious...

Anyway, certain picking styles would be near impossible with different grips. Lane's would be impossible for someone planning to angle and pick like Guthrie, and vice versa (or it would be almost ridiculous to try and do guthrie's style with Lane's grip, your elbow would be almost vertically above your guitar...).

I personally think its a matter of experimentation. Sometimes you need response, other times easy PHs, other times raw staccato speed...

paddyo
02-21-2006, 02:03 PM
^Dont you ever get tired of people waiting for your "essay" answers which ends all debate? :p: I know I would;)

Resiliance
02-21-2006, 02:15 PM
What do you mean? Why is it bad to use more than two fingers?

Well it's pretty logical... It adds tension and to name something it takes away ease of tapping with middle finger if you use your middle finger as well... Not to mention hybrid picking... Etc...

It's always detrimental to hold it with more than one finger imo.


And yesh fp, yesh I am.

Stratwizard
02-21-2006, 02:37 PM
Well, okay... I tried picking with using just two fingers and it wasn't more difficult than what I've used to do, so I might use that way as well. :)

Prophet of Page
02-21-2006, 03:12 PM
Pad of thumb, side of index finger. Works for me.

Caressing Death
02-21-2006, 03:33 PM
I go for index and thumb.
Off the topic, those Paul Gilbert picks don't look so comfortable to play with, are they?
I'm considering buying a pack and making them my official pick off choice, solely because of Paul Gilbert name on it because I'm so easy to be won over by the media.

Scorzerci
02-21-2006, 03:41 PM
I use the pad of my thumb and the side of my index finger. I started using my thumb, middle and index finger, then I played with the pad of my thumb and the pad of my index finger, then I started playing with the pad of my thumb and the side of my index finger, then I started playing with the pad of my thumb and index finger again and now I'm back to using the pad of my thumb and side of my index finger...

mr. cool
02-21-2006, 04:09 PM
i found that the playing thumb-side of index added a great deal of distortion noise to my playing almost like an extremely distorted wah on every pick

Freepower
02-21-2006, 04:09 PM
^Dont you ever get tired of people waiting for your "essay" answers which ends all debate? :p: I know I would;)

Lol, im just flattered someone cares. I know none of my guitar pupils are interested in that level of detail. And really most of what i say is just obvious but needs to be said. :)

Stratwizard
02-22-2006, 03:13 AM
I go for index and thumb.
Off the topic, those Paul Gilbert picks don't look so comfortable to play with, are they?
I'm considering buying a pack and making them my official pick off choice, solely because of Paul Gilbert name on it because I'm so easy to be won over by the media.

They're the best picks I've played with. I can get a nice tone with them, and they're accurate too.

wynter
02-22-2006, 04:51 AM
I hold a pick between the side of the tip of my index finger and the tip of my thumb.

pavan
02-22-2006, 11:17 AM
It's always detrimental to hold it with more than one finger imo.






hahahaha

Stratwizard
02-22-2006, 11:35 AM
^Well, you can always use glue or duct tape with it. :p:

Aziraphale
08-01-2006, 11:11 AM
I tend to use my thumb and side of index finger, I usually angle the pick Paul Gilbert style. When I tried holding it this way at first, it seemed pretty stupid cuz I couldn't get up to any speed or accuracy with it. The thing was, I was using Fender Medium picks. Now I use Fender Extra Heavy picks, and now this picking style works great. I play a whole lot faster and more accurately now.

ILoveHarmonics
08-01-2006, 11:36 AM
i found that the playing thumb-side of index added a great deal of distortion noise to my playing almost like an extremely distorted wah on every pick
Are you doing pinch harmonics?

Personally I do thumb pad side of index. I've always played like that besides some moments I practised different picking styles or pushed it in a different angle to change tone :p:. With more than two fingers I'm not picking well at all. Resi's one finger... hey thumb is no finger blah hehe forget it... Then it's possible to pick with 0 fingers aswell for some old school blues :D.

Resiliance
08-01-2006, 01:24 PM
Read it in context you bunch of anal retentives, ofcourse the thumb is a finger, but it's obvious I'm on about fingers on the other side of the pick, who doesn't use his thumb when holding it? :wtf:

apocalypse13
08-01-2006, 01:37 PM
I've been holding it between my thumb and index finger with my thumb bent back in an L shape lately.

shred masta
08-01-2006, 02:10 PM
I hold my pick with my thumb and middle, dont know why but it feels more comfortable

Tom Martin
08-01-2006, 02:55 PM
Well it doesn't really matter that much in the grand scheme of things.

Think about it this way, one of the greatest guitar players of all time - EVH - played with his thumb and middle finger.

apocalypse13
08-01-2006, 02:59 PM
Yea but to get really fast picking with minimal tension, you should probably hold between the thumb and index.

Tom Martin
08-01-2006, 03:05 PM
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor! Having a flawless technique does help, but its not the end of the world if you do something slightly wrong.

Don't worry, I do agree with you though, I've always help my pick between thumb and index, I've always found it much easier.

apocalypse13
08-01-2006, 03:35 PM
Yea you can still go fast and all with anchoring, but if you don't it's easier.

Matt_Malmsteen
08-01-2006, 03:39 PM
And less harmful for you, Steve Morse for example.

Resiliance
08-01-2006, 05:24 PM
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor!

Stop using that tu quoque logical fallacy already, I expected better from you, once again. :(

Freepower
08-01-2006, 07:09 PM
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor! Having a flawless technique does help, but its not the end of the world if you do something slightly wrong.

:p:

I'd agree with the last sentance.

But seriously, fareri has awful picking technique, as a lot of the "fastest" players in the world do. Tiago has even worse. If you heard either without their masking tone you'd be deaf in a few seconds...

Anchoring is not the be all and end all of picking, nor is it even the most important thing out of the multitude of factors - but to treat it as generally irrelevant just isn't on. If you don't care, great - some people do.

Evil_Empire24-7
08-02-2006, 08:04 AM
thump,index and middle.

it's more comfortable and lets complex parts easy.

C.C. Deville
08-02-2006, 12:15 PM
eddie van halen uses his thumb and middle finger because he taps with his index finger, that just feels wierd to me

Erich yeung
08-02-2006, 01:40 PM
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor! Having a flawless technique does help, but its not the end of the world if you do something slightly wrong.

Don't worry, I do agree with you though, I've always help my pick between thumb and index, I've always found it much easier.

Bandwagon fallacy :no: . But i totally agree that techniue isnt the everything, and much like everyone else, agree with the last sentence.

Personally i pick with thumb index. Another one is if you pick with a fist or with your fingers out. (fingers out for me)

Freepower
08-02-2006, 03:39 PM
EVH also uses a really soft pick...

Good luck with that, he'll never get anywhere. :p:

redaxe
08-03-2006, 07:36 AM
For the last 1 year and 10 months I had played anchored in the exact same picking style as Marty Friedman, I made it my summer task to pick unanchored and I turned out holding the pick and picking in the exact same technique as Paul Gilbert. It has done WONDERS, I can't think of any better way to pick a guitar. It's fast, accurate, 0 tension, and easy harmonics. I also saw this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPaeWj0a6wQ&search=paul%20gilbert) video where Paul Gilbert talks about how he changed his picking technique after 7 years of playing and it turns out he held the pick exactly like I did, so that made me feel good. Paul Gilbert is the king of picking, seriously. I even use his picks. Best. ****ing. Picks. Ever.

Freepower
08-03-2006, 09:56 PM
^ i prefer to take a JazzIII and carve grip into it with a breadknife.

I got the idea from Resi, who said you can improve grip by drilling holes into a pick.

I was all like "Drilling, ****, thats for pussies" and made a big awesome scarface pick thing. Love it!

Shreddin 4 Life
08-03-2006, 10:22 PM
Yup like a million^ have said, whatever's comfortable, the only problem I have is finding the right pick style...
Dunlop alone manufactures like, too many different styles to chose from imo

I'm hard-pressed among either, Jim Dunlop 1.5mm's, Big Stubby 's (2.0mm) & Jazz lll's

They each have their own advantages

Anyways, I've never heard o' that neat trick with the Jazz lll 's, I might try it out...
:peace:

Beckerism
08-03-2006, 10:38 PM
For the last 1 year and 10 months I had played anchored in the exact same picking style as Marty Friedman, I made it my summer task to pick unanchored and I turned out holding the pick and picking in the exact same technique as Paul Gilbert. It has done WONDERS, I can't think of any better way to pick a guitar. It's fast, accurate, 0 tension, and easy harmonics. I also saw this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPaeWj0a6wQ&search=paul%20gilbert) video where Paul Gilbert talks about how he changed his picking technique after 7 years of playing and it turns out he held the pick exactly like I did, so that made me feel good. Paul Gilbert is the king of picking, seriously. I even use his picks. Best. ****ing. Picks. Ever.

EXACTLY what happened to me also.

Erich yeung
08-03-2006, 11:24 PM
Pfft anchoring, ;), yeah i hold the pick and pick like paul does, doesnt everyone :D *waits for a "no" by one of you dicks :p:*

aMeRiCaNsTrAt21
08-04-2006, 02:38 AM
Can someone explain what "anchoring" is to me so I can find out if I do this?

Freepower
08-04-2006, 05:55 AM
^ can you please, please, please, please, visit the HUGE thread in MT called Anchor or No Anchor - and every time something in it confuses you or seems badly explained, continue reading?

EVERYTHING is in there. :)

redaxe
08-04-2006, 06:34 AM
^Gotta' love the good ol' anchoring thread... :)

I think all those stubborn anchor bitches should watch that PG interview up there, that's inspiration.

ILoveHarmonics
08-04-2006, 08:33 AM
^ i prefer to take a JazzIII and carve grip into it with a breadknife.

I got the idea from Resi, who said you can improve grip by drilling holes into a pick.

I was all like "Drilling, ****, thats for pussies" and made a big awesome scarface pick thing. Love it!

That's awesome! :cheers:
The black ones don't need it IMO but the red ones are a bit slippery.

Tom Martin
08-04-2006, 07:21 PM
Stop using that tu quoque logical fallacy already, I expected better from you, once again. :(
Hmm, maybe you are getting me on bad wording here, but I'm not saying that you can anchor and hold the pick however you want and it wont affect you - it obviously will. Thats like saying its possible to alt pick at 15nps with a .44 thickness pick, it just aint gonna happen.

But I am saying don't cry yourself to sleep if after reading this thread you realise you hold your pick wrong - its not the be all and end all. Don't feel you need to hold the pick perfectly, without anchoring, and making sure your elbow moves less than a turtle tied to a stone.

I could go through all the best players in the world and pick out nuances on all of their technique... sod it... Guthrie only really uses 3 fingers on his fretting hand - and I'd like to see you critique his playing. So I don't understand how you are saying I'm using bad logic here - everyone has their faults, so all I'm saying is don't fret if you're not perfect.

Resiliance
08-04-2006, 07:40 PM
What I'm saying is your point will be taken as an excuse to have sloppy technique, which is what I'm trying to combat here.

You know as well as I do the average reader of your comments WILL take it as an excuse, look at MAB and go OMFG well if I can get that good with anchoring I'm not going to bother trying without it.

And I actually am saying you should feel like you should hold the pick perfectly... I don't see how you wouldn't want that unless you have no ambition at all :wtf: .

(and btw, your elbow thing is way off, don't know where you got that you should keep your elbow still)

I guess I'm just confused wether this topic is discussing technique or ways of coping with technical inadequacy :p:

Tom Martin
08-04-2006, 07:49 PM
I guess I'm just confused wether this topic is discussing technique or ways of coping with technical inadequacy :p:
Sometimes I think that the whole of UG is just a place where people can find excuses for technical inadequacy.

And yes, I get your point about making it sound like sloppy technique is ok... thats not how I meant it. Obviously if you hold your pick like a spastic then its not ok, but I meant that if there are tiny nuances, and you've tried changing but you just can't... let it go.

And as for the elbow thing, I was exaggerating :p: It's generally accepted that arm picking = no, therefor elbow movement = BAD, therefor you should play with your arm in a cast :p:

Erich yeung
08-04-2006, 10:29 PM
I donno......... rusty, he says its wrist but it sure doesn"t look like it.

redaxe
08-04-2006, 11:58 PM
It's wrist and elbow, actually your whole arm plays a part. Besides I hate it when people use the ol' "X player does it, so I should too" excuse. So many pros with faulty techniques it's not funny.

apocalypse13
08-05-2006, 12:10 AM
Yea but when you're playing 16 nps licks, most of your motion better be coming from your wrist unless you wanna shred (no pun intended) your elbow.

Godly Moose
08-05-2006, 12:49 AM
Yea but when you're playing 16 nps licks, most of your motion better be coming from your wrist unless you wanna shred (no pun intended) your elbow.

I still lol'd.

Resiliance
08-05-2006, 08:27 AM
Yea but when you're playing 16 nps licks, most of your motion better be coming from your wrist unless you wanna shred (no pun intended) your elbow.

Maybe if you're playing on single strings, but if you're shredding across the fretboard, most of the motion better be coming from your elbow or you're gonna have one sore arm :p:

Elbow = change strings, wrist = picking a single string.

Shreddin 4 Life
08-05-2006, 11:43 AM
well, unless ur Rick Renstrom...

Tom Martin
08-05-2006, 12:26 PM
It's wrist and elbow, actually your whole arm plays a part. Besides I hate it when people use the ol' "X player does it, so I should too" excuse. So many pros with faulty techniques it's not funny.
I didn't say "X does it so you should too", I said "X does it, so don't worry too much if you do/don't".

As for arm picking, you shouldn't really be using your arm to pick, just to change strings. Don't use your wrist to change strings or you'll bust it in no time.

The only reason I'm saying some of this stuff is because people like Resi and Freepower make is sound like learning to shred is like being in a Nazi regeime or something... If everyone starts playing the guitar exactly the same way, then sooner or later the fun is going to disappear out of playing guitar completely. You don't NEED to have perfect technique to be a competant guitar player, but it all depends on what your aims are. If you want to be as good as Eric Johnson, then you can have your little niggles, if you want to play like Allan Holdsworth, then you'd better start focusing on all your little technique problems and iron them out.

I'm not saying you should settle for sloppy technique, thats never the answer. But if you've been anchoring for years and all of a sudden you find out you shouldn't... theres no immediate desire to change.

apocalypse13
08-05-2006, 07:06 PM
Yea, I know arm = change strings, and wrist = single

I've been playing a lot of death metal with some really silly string skipping lately so I have to keep this in mind.

redaxe
08-05-2006, 11:49 PM
When I alt. pick really fast I find its easier just to vibrate my elbow up and down WHILE keep it loose. I use wrist picking for medium to above average speeds though. Is that technically wrong (do I have technical difficulties :P)?

I didn't say "X does it so you should too", I said "X does it, so don't worry too much if you do/don't".

As for arm picking, you shouldn't really be using your arm to pick, just to change strings. Don't use your wrist to change strings or you'll bust it in no time.

The only reason I'm saying some of this stuff is because people like Resi and Freepower make is sound like learning to shred is like being in a Nazi regeime or something... If everyone starts playing the guitar exactly the same way, then sooner or later the fun is going to disappear out of playing guitar completely. You don't NEED to have perfect technique to be a competant guitar player, but it all depends on what your aims are. If you want to be as good as Eric Johnson, then you can have your little niggles, if you want to play like Allan Holdsworth, then you'd better start focusing on all your little technique problems and iron them out.

I'm not saying you should settle for sloppy technique, thats never the answer. But if you've been anchoring for years and all of a sudden you find out you shouldn't... theres no immediate desire to change.

I like how made your point in a mature way but I'm still going to have to disagree with you. Whenever anyone starts out playing guitar they will start picking in the way that is "the easiest" hence most newbies choose to anchor their pinky or more fingers. This doesn't only happen with self taught learners because a month ago when I changed my style to floating my guitar teacher didn't even notice or comment. And yes, I have anchored for more than a year, almost two. I just revamped my technique and bam, it's done wonders. And I'll be a hypocrite and use my "X does it" arguement 'cause I think it's a good example. PG played anchored for 7 years, then changed to his signature floating style. Look at the man now. If anyone settles for anchoring they are just being lazy when with a little effort they can improve their speed and accuracy tenfold. Anyways, this is turning into an anchoring vs floating thread so lets stay on topic.

:cheers:

Is it true that holding a pick with your thumb and index can give you different harmonics?

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 08:07 AM
^As opposed to holding it how?

redaxe
08-06-2006, 10:27 AM
Oops, I meant thumb and middle. EVH style...

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 11:14 AM
I can't think of a single advantage, as I tap with my middle finger anyway.

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 11:27 AM
No, the only advantage to holding it between middle and thumb is that you can pull off harp harmonics a lot easier. Tapping with the first finger isn't neccessarily any easier than with the middle.

Which links onto...

And I'll be a hypocrite and use my "X does it" arguement 'cause I think it's a good example. PG played anchored for 7 years, then changed to his signature floating style. Look at the man now. If anyone settles for anchoring they are just being lazy when with a little effort they can improve their speed and accuracy tenfold.
Yes, but PG also taps with his first finger... so you can't use him as an example of perfect technique :p: Like I said, everyone has their little technique nuances :)

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 11:35 AM
Who says tapping with the first finger is faulty technique? And besides, depending on the situation he also does it with his middle finger, you non-Gilbert fan.

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 11:38 AM
Who says tapping with the first finger is faulty technique? And besides, depending on the situation he also does it with his middle finger, you non-Gilbert fan.
Of course its faulty technique... he's got to swap his pick to his middle finger, tap with the first and then swap the pick back to his index... you don't think thats gonna slow him down at all? :rolleyes:

And yes I know he also taps with his index, but he does tap with his middle when given the choice. Pah.

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 11:39 AM
No, he taps with his index when he can AFFORD the time to switch his pick. When he doesn't have the time, he does middle... So your argument doesn't exactly count ;)

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 11:48 AM
So you're saying that PG has perfect technique?

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 11:50 AM
Yeah, that's what I said :rolleyes:

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 12:08 PM
Well my argument here is that everyone has their little flaws in their playing, and then you launched off on one about PGs technique... so if you're not trying to say he's got perfect technique then what point are you trying to prove? :rolleyes:

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 12:10 PM
I'm not disputing everyone has flaws, I'm disputing your little PG-faulty-tapping theory.

Just that.

Only that.

Get it?

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 12:19 PM
But he does have faulty tapping technique? Sure he doesn't do it all the time, but its not perfect... make sense?

EDIT: Why do I get the feeling sometimes its just me and you on here Resi? :(

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 12:21 PM
Ofcourse it's not perfect, no technique can ever be perfect, I'm just saying he doesn't necessarily have any hindrance from it, as he only does the first finger tapping when he can afford it and at times he would have problems doing it like that he just uses his middle finger, thus there's no problem at all :)

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 12:25 PM
Yuppers, I was just wondering why he uses his first finger to tap at all though? I mean he's obviously capable of tapping with his middle (in faster, harder situations than when he'd use his first), so why does he need to use his first finger at all? Confusage.

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 12:27 PM
Just a matter of preference I'd imagine.

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 12:29 PM
Well I'd prefer it if he didn't :p:

Resiliance
08-06-2006, 12:43 PM
And I'd prefer if he married me instead of Emi, but that ain't gonna happen :(

Tom Martin
08-06-2006, 01:37 PM
If only we could find a way that solves both our problems at once...

Hmmm, this is a tricky one.

LÅLÅLÅ!
01-08-2009, 09:50 AM
I always use Dunlop Tortex 1.14 MM picks. And I find it easiest to play with Thumb, Index, middle combination. But I guess, that's because my fingers are slim n' long.. :peace:

wise1man
01-09-2009, 02:09 AM
For Shred you just need your index and thumb. Anything more will probably not be most efficient for tremolo picking. Plus it gives you more control over the angle of the pick in attacking the strings. Most players angle their picks slightly when picking the strings.

But then again, if you're more comfortable with more than two fingers, by all means go ahead.

Axegrinder#9
01-09-2009, 07:57 AM
try playing without a pick... never know might add something new to your life

public property
01-10-2009, 08:12 PM
In general I find the tone from fingers on an electric guitar just dosen't suit lead playing.

DaFjory
01-10-2009, 08:24 PM
^ Unless you're Brett Garsed or Jeff Beck.

Colton165
01-10-2009, 11:24 PM
i hold mine with thumb-index-middle, after 2 years of playing thumb-index, when i discovered Steve Morse used it for his flawless alternate picking style (he prefers to pick arpeggios, not sweep them). after about 2 months of getting used to it, i havent looked back on my old way of holding the pick

(i still anchor my pinky)

Axegrinder#9
01-11-2009, 04:39 AM
In general I find the tone from fingers on an electric guitar just dosen't suit lead playing.

there's this guitar player back in Calcutta, he's a professional musician. this cat used to play with a pick back in the day or so. He completely eschews playing with a pick right now, and I've seen this cat play Frank Gambale and Holdsworth with maniacal ease and fluidity. And his own music is a cross-fusion of jazz/rock and Carnatic music. Very rarely have I seen him use a pick, and only specifically to execute stereo-typical linear picked "shred guitar" lines (for instance I've seen him cover a bunch of Scorpions songs with his band, and he busts out a pick for that ****).

and he's got tone alright.

personally speaking, I would say that the tone from your fingers absolutely enhances the "sound" of your lead playing. Adds another dimension completely in terms of sound, and makes it so much more richer, and the possibility for broadening the all-important dynamics of your playing are increased ten-fold.

Now whether, the execution is easier with a pick or fingers is a question that is easier to resolve. Obviously there are people who can do pretty much everything with their fingers what another can do with a pick. Consider the guitar player I mentioned, or some one like Paco de Lucia. **** Paco even plays alternate picked lines with his first two fingers (however on a nylon stringed acoustic).

I would agree it is easier to develop the same skill set of techniques using a pick as opposed to with your fingers. However it is a compromise in terms of dynamics and richness of your sound. And I think as one matures musically, the linearity and one-dimensional sonic consistency that arises out of playing with a pick starts to become monotonous.

(However to play devil's advocate, think about some cats like John McLaughlin or Bireli Lagrene who play exclusively with a pick, and are yet able to attain incredible dynamics and a wide tonal spectrum).

A rising trend that I have noticed in most contemporary guitar players (eg, Ritchie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan, Buckethead, Michael Lee Firkins, etc from the "shred" junta) are their indiscriminate usage of the pick and fingers as and when necessary, and where-ever applicable.

That's the approach I've been digging into. I used to be hung up about playing with my pick OR playing with my fingers, and the two should never meet. But that's just silly. The ability to play with your fingers and pick away at the same time or weave in out licks where you pick some and use fingers for the others, just gives you more room for movement and expanding the sonic possibilities while improvising.

PS: got carried away with the length here, but then no one here has a sufficiently long attention span to read anything beyond 5 lines of text I guess :p:

public property
01-11-2009, 08:58 AM
I know where you're coming from and I'm just not at that place right now, so the pick stays as my primary weapon. That said pedal point stuff is hella easy using two fingers.

Ikonoklast
01-11-2009, 09:01 AM
i hold mine with thumb-index-middle, after 2 years of playing thumb-index, when i discovered Steve Morse used it for his flawless alternate picking style (he prefers to pick arpeggios, not sweep them). after about 2 months of getting used to it, i havent looked back on my old way of holding the pick

(i still anchor my pinky)

That's really bad technique. Your wrists not hurt!?