When I started playing guitar, other than watching a few videos on how to hold the pick, I never thought much into the form of my entire picking hand. Recently, I've seen a lot of videos where instructors are talking about more efficient/proper ways of forming the rest of your hand, while hold the pick.

By this, I mean that it seems most guitar players have the other three fingers not holding the pick (the middle, ring, and pinky) resting under the pointer finger as to give it support or something.

When I hold the pick, however, my middle, ring, and pinky are extended out (I guess think of me holding them out as if I was drinking tea and trying to be overly fancy?). I do this while picking or strumming or whatever. My question is how detrimental is this? Should I try and learn to hold the pick with the first method I mentioned? If there are videos or links or articles on this, I would be happy to read those. I have tried hold the pick with the way everyone else seems to be doing it. Its awkward and I mess up a lot, but I seem to have more speed at times. I'll be happy to elaborate on this more if my explanations suck.
There are some reasonable arguments that having your fingers extended is slightly detrimental but in the big picture it's probably one of the things you should be worrying about least. As long as your basic posture is good the exact shape of your hand is relatively inconsequential. It's the kind of thing you might look at changing if you're already in the top 5% of pickers in the world but for now there are certain to be more important things you should be concentrating on.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Out loud this sounds either condescending or argumentative, but don't take it that way. I am always looking for new input or helpful tips. What things should I be focused on the most, besides proper posture as you mentioned.
I don't know if this is a stupid question, but do you have links to any good articles/videos on those two subjects? I know I have a huge problem with relaxation, and after looking over my playing these last few weeks, economy of motion is a problem as well.
It's kind of hard to really get those two in to an article or video, at least from what I've seen, because once you understand them as concepts (which you seem to by the sounds of things) then the only thing anyone can really say is practice slowly and make sure you're relaxed and making small movements. I guess one of the most useful things I could say to you would be that if you're still having issues with it, you're just not playing slowly enough. That is always true: if you're ever having problems with something you just need to slow down and be more careful about what you're doing.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

This will improve both relaxation and economy of motion - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvhZ80OsuTQ

Generally speaking the main thing when looking at picking hand form is relaxation. If your fingers are "extended" when they're totally relaxed, that's how they should be. You may want to curl in if you want to start hybrid picking, but it won't be a big deal to change if you ever want to in future. Like Zaph said, this isn't really a huge deal unless your hand is very tense.
Yeah, there are essentially 3 styles of pick hand out there (three non-pick holding fingers):
1) Cupped - fingers loosely curled in
2) "Loose" - middle through pinky loosely open
3) "Achored" - middle through pinky loosely open but with ring and/or pinky lightly resting/gliding along the body

There are pros and cons to each in terms of speed, stability, accuracy, etc

And each has its sworn devotees.

I have played all 3 styles and tend to prefer floating between 2 and 3 depending on what phrase/technique I am executing within a song.

If you do choose "Cup" just make sure your curled fingers are LOOSE (i.e. they have the same shape as your index finger - NOT pinching in tightly against your palm -"fisting")

And if you do "Anchor" make sure you aren't really anchored - this is a horrible (but very common) term for this style. An anchor is firm/hard/immovable - you do NOT want that. So don't be misled by the name, "glue" your support finger to the body, and restrict the motion of your right hand. The "anchor" should glide with you as necessary.
I think of it more like a "Blind man's walking stick" it is really just there to provide a point of reference (how high you are off the strings, how deep you are across the neck)

Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Relaxation and economy of motion. Always those two.

+1 Gold right there.

Happy Jammin'
Last edited by InfiniStudent at Jan 13, 2013,
^ More gold in that post, solid advice InfiniStudent.

This topic is like the perfect answer to this question and should probably be referenced whenever anyone has an issue like this again. Interesting read and watch too!