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Old 05-19-2013, 05:29 AM   #1
Chase_nz
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Holding the pick with 3 fingers?

hey, I was wondering if anyone else holds their pick with their thumb, index and middle finger (or used to), and if it limits playing in anyway. I know James Hetfield holds his with 3, but yeah i was just wondering, because 2 fingers is the standard way to do it, but i find that uncomfortable.

Thanks
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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I recommend using 2 fingers. On one hand, using 3 fingers makes for a stronger pick attack and maybe easier downstrokes. On the other hand however, your alternate picking and everything that comes along with it will suffer. Hybrid picking will be much harder as well.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
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^ you can pick really hard with finger and thumb, the trick is that it goes between the side of the index and the pad of the thumb, not the pad of the index. Holding the pick with the pads of the fingers makes it harder to grip and that's why a lot of people feel they need 2 fingers.

Details here -
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #4
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This is confusing me : \
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:21 AM   #5
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I know Mark Tremonti sets his middle finger on his index finger to reinforce the pick. Personally, that feels uncomfortable and if your fingers aren't positioned correctly and your nails aren't short enough then you'll hit the strings with your pick and your fingers, not to mention how when I try that I've got to adjust my wrist so I'm not accidentally palm muting, which overall affects my ability to mute unwanted noise. Bottom line, I'm more comfortable with holding with the thumb and index then letting the other fingers stick out.

http://www.bonedo.de/artikel/einzel...k-tremonti.html

4th video down, 3 minutes into it he talks about his right hand.

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Old 05-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
This is confusing me : \


It shouldn't be too confusing... Misha thinks it's a generally bad idea but it can give more attack. If you need Misha's level of attack then try it out. Personally I get a similar level of attack without that picking style.

I need my middle finger for tapping and hybrid picking.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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Just hold it like Freepower says(Paul Gilberts way).Better control,better muting abilities, more relaxed hand and easily in position to do anything.As for the power.... its there in spades .
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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When I was younger and started taking lessons, my teacher noticed I used three fingers. NO idea how I picked up on that. He kept me on two and my playing got a heck of a lot smoother.
I would still use three once in a while without thinking and could tell because I would sound/feel a bit choppy
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
Chase_nz
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hmm, what about if i play hybrid, i instantly found playing more finer stuff with 2 fingers easier, like some little solos etc... but i play alot of metal and i found downpicking so much better with 3 fingers, it sounds better and i hit harder, is it bad to hybrid pick?

thanks for all the replies guys!
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:13 PM   #10
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You should be getting your downstroke attack by holding the pick perpendicular to the guitar and keeping the thumb steady. If you're holding the pick at such a steep angle that you need more grip, you're really losing a lot of power. I think the only "advantage" is that you can use your forearm instead of your wrist, which might result in less fatigue if you do a lot of chugga-chugga playing.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase_nz
hmm, what about if i play hybrid, i instantly found playing more finer stuff with 2 fingers easier, like some little solos etc... but i play alot of metal and i found downpicking so much better with 3 fingers, it sounds better and i hit harder, is it bad to hybrid pick?

thanks for all the replies guys!



I think it would be for the best if you just learn to play with 2 fingers. Right now you might say "but I'll never use hybrid picking!" - Who knows, maybe in the near future?
Taken the fact that it's hard to change techniques when they are carved into your muscle memory, I'd say take action and learn to play with 2 fingers. Trust me, you WILL get the same chug as you would with using 3 fingers with a little bit of practice. Start practicing now and soon it will feel like 2nd nature.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase_nz
hey, I was wondering if anyone else holds their pick with their thumb, index and middle finger (or used to), and if it limits playing in anyway. I know James Hetfield holds his with 3, but yeah i was just wondering, because 2 fingers is the standard way to do it, but i find that uncomfortable.

Thanks

I hold it like this when snag power chords, thumb and middle finger for almost everything else, and when I'm string skipping I hold it normally.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Last Words
I think it would be for the best if you just learn to play with 2 fingers. Right now you might say "but I'll never use hybrid picking!" - Who knows, maybe in the near future?
Taken the fact that it's hard to change techniques when they are carved into your muscle memory, I'd say take action and learn to play with 2 fingers. Trust me, you WILL get the same chug as you would with using 3 fingers with a little bit of practice. Start practicing now and soon it will feel like 2nd nature.


Indeed, I recently started a thread, the topic of which was my conversion from 3 fingers to 2. My speed, accuracy and SCOPE has increased ten fold.
I strongly recommend the TS converts to 2 fingers, it feels really awkward at first, but its worth it.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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I found the best way to convert was to still use your middle finger, but with just your thumb. It also makes it easy to get back to picking after tapping as you don't have to move your pick if you tap with your index finger.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:01 AM   #15
Chase_nz
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just want to note for anyone who reads this in the future, it has made a big difference already. it took me a while to find the right way to hold it and once i did everything just clicked, my speed increased a lot, my accuracy and there is a lot less tension, i was also able to keep a strong downpick. So if anyone reads this in the future definitely try switch for a week or so and see if it improves your playing, thanks for all the help guys
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #16
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I've always been playing with three fingers, and I do get a little extra noise as my second finger nail hits a string on occasion, but anything else feels very strange. Where are you supposed to put the remaining fingers if you are holding the pick wth two? And what angle is the tip of the index finger supposed to make with the pick, and with the string?

I have long fingers which may be a factor, but if i hold the pick against the side of my index, the tip of my index and the tip of the pick are almost together. If i curl my index finger further in it feels very very weird and unstable, and I have no room for my other fingers, which then have to stick out straight... this cant be right...

My natural grip seems to be to pinch the pick between thumb and the pads of the index and second finger, with a lot of support coming from the second finger (whose first joint is almost straight). Should I try and force myself out of this and into some other grip?
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