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Old 08-12-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
Toxc
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Question Pick angle question

A picture says more than a thousand words so I'll start off by showing how I hold my pick before I ask any questions.

I have to link it because it's a bit too big :O and my phone flipped it upside down D:

This is how I hold my pick, the pick isn't perpendicular to the string.
Is this something that I have to correct?
I mostly play metal rhythm guitar (As I Lay Dying, KSE songs and such) but I'm going to start learning some lead. I don't want to find out that I'm doing it wrong when it's to late already.

edit: Just adding that I normally hold the pick closer to the tip, I just put it out more so you could see it better.

TL;DR I'll just continue doing what I do. Yes, I 'slice' the string with an angled pick like Paul Gilbert on youtube. Although that's not the angle I meant.

Last edited by Toxc : 08-13-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:30 AM   #2
Arron_Zacx
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Long story short, it's all preference.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
TheRiz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arron_Zacx


Long story short, it's all preference.


I agree. Guys like Dave Mustaine say to go perpendicular to the strings, but at the end of the day it's all preference and skill developed over time.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:29 PM   #4
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If it is comfortable and it works, don't think about it so much. Why are you concerned, if I may ask?
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
Chris_Basener
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Something to consider when looking into playing lead guitar:

You might want to experiment with holding your pick at an 30 - 40 degree angle.
This will result in less string resistance (i.e. makes it easier to play) and also affect the tone.
It's a little more 'scratchy' which can sound really cool when playing fast triplet-runs on the lower string (Paul Gilbert is a fan of this)

And also using a stiff / heavy pick will have an affect on your picking technique as well as your overall tone.

I've written a little article a while back that kinda addresses the topic - maybe you find it useful
Picking Article

Hope that helps

Cheers
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:30 PM   #6
vIsIbleNoIsE
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i try to keep the pick perpendicular, but it's only out of a paranoia of having the tip of the pick pointing even further away as the string pushes back on the pick while i'm playing.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:44 AM   #7
Toxc
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I already angle the pick so it slices the string, as Paul Gilbert demontrates in some vid.
I also use Jazz III picks, I don't like flex and I like the pointy tip.
I've also already seen the Guthrie vid (and probably 50 more, I love that guy), but it doesn't really cover my question.

The reason I asked is because I don't want to hit any walls when trying to speed up my lead playing because I'm holding the pick wrong. I also notice that when I play gallops I don't really 'pick' the string, I keep touching it with my pick if you know what I mean. It gives that sound that Paul Gilbert described. I don't want my lead playing on the wound strings to sound all mushy and sloppy when I start reaching high speeds.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
GregoryFrus
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As far as I know, all the really fast guys play with the pick at an angle...30-45 degrees as stated above.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:22 AM   #9
Iwalkalone11
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Okay this was my story when i started to play...at first i was really having trouble; my pick was falling off and i just had to readjust every time...the way we hold the pick influence our tone, the more you angle, you will get a shha..shha kinda sound and when you pick perpendicular you will get a clean sound, As a guitar player you should be able to play with both the styles. Practice a lot; take a lick and change your pick angle while picking the notes continously, you will hear the difference. The "BEST" video explaining what im saying:

Eventually after a lot of practice you will understand that you can pick at any angle depending on the speed you want to play or what kind of tone you want.
Normally, if you are playing a solo which is clean and slow then use
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:54 AM   #10
Toxc
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Ok I'm going to try and explain it again

The angle I'm talking about is not the Paul Gilbert 'shha..shha' sound Iwalkalone11 talked about. I'll refer to that angle as the slice angle.

Take your pick, put it against a string with the point towards your guitar. Now, while keeping the pick against the string (no slice angle for this example) roll the part of the pick you're holding towards the bridge. That's the angle I meant.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
Iwalkalone11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxc
Ok I'm going to try and explain it again

The angle I'm talking about is not the Paul Gilbert 'shha..shha' sound Iwalkalone11 talked about. I'll refer to that angle as the slice angle.

Take your pick, put it against a string with the point towards your guitar. Now, while keeping the pick against the string (no slice angle for this example) roll the part of the pick you're holding towards the bridge. That's the angle I meant.



oh you mean that...well it just doesn't stay straight (the pointer part i mean). I dont think you should give so much importance to that! Just be sure that you have the grip.. dont let your pick slide too much! With enough playing you will be able to control your pick anyway you want! btw siince how long have you been playing?
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
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Changing pick angle is a method of shaping your sound to let your personality shine through. Explore and experiment.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:18 PM   #13
Arron_Zacx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxc
Ok I'm going to try and explain it again

The angle I'm talking about is not the Paul Gilbert 'shha..shha' sound Iwalkalone11 talked about. I'll refer to that angle as the slice angle.

Take your pick, put it against a string with the point towards your guitar. Now, while keeping the pick against the string (no slice angle for this example) roll the part of the pick you're holding towards the bridge. That's the angle I meant.

Ooooh, so that's what you mean Pick angle typically refers to what most here were talking about. As for what you're talking about, I've never heard of it being an issue but I'm sure that as long as you're hitting the strings with the tip of your pick and you're not having picking issues like your fingers/hand inadvertently hitting strings or the pick slipping out of your hand, I'd say you're good to go. If you're hitting the strings with the side of the pick, you could shift the pick inwards I guess but angling the pick towards the bridge mainly just changes the point of contact of strings relative to your hand which depends on preference.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:35 AM   #14
Toxc
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Ok, thanks! I guess I should have explained it like that in the opening post

@Iwalkalone11 I did use to have some issues with picks sliding away but washing them with soap every now and then and scratching them with a nail resolved that problem.
I've had an accoustic guitar for 8 years but I only played chords. Really got into electric 3 years ago and I can play some metal(core) songs clean (way better than most youtube covers imo, i'm quite the perfectionist) at 100% speed.

And I do listen to the sound when I play, I never looked at my picking hand until now. So I guess it's indeed fine and it'll shape my own sound.

Last edited by Toxc : 08-19-2014 at 08:38 AM.
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