sam2289
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#1
Hello guys!
I play acoustic guitar for more than 2 years now, mainly strumming (and a bit of fingerstyle), i was checking my technique and i found out that i was holding the pick wrong, i only hold the tip of the pick with my index and thumb like this:



( i should hold it where the pen mark in the pick)

and when i posted the way i hold it on a forum, most of the member there said that was bad and i'll not be able to play some techniques (playing single notes when strumming for ex) so i tried to correct it and i could'nt, i'm stuck and i can't strum anymore, the pick moves, i hit my index on the strings when i down strum, it's a complete mess. i practiced for months with no progress, i even forget the way i played before, i'm really desperate and i don't know what to do, i watched every video on youtube about holding the pick and every single one proved me wrong, but i can't correct it and i didn't pick the guitar for 2 months because of it (strumming was the only thing that i did).

So what can i do, i was really progressing but now i'm back to square one...

Any advice???

(sorry for my english)
Last edited by sam2289 at Jul 1, 2014,
DrRus
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2013
20 IQ
#2
Hold the pick however you feel most comfortable, there are no "rules".
vayne92
UG's Fedora Enthusiast
Join date: Jan 2011
140 IQ
#3
Quote by DrRus
Hold the pick however you feel most comfortable, there are no "rules".


This is somewhat true. If you can execute a technique in a way which doesn't inhibit your playing ability and doesn't physically strain you then by all means do it a little different.
For you however, it seems your particular technique is in fact affecting your ability to strum. For me I don't fully understand why, but that's the case regardless. I personally would not hold my pick like you and instead hold my pick closer to the tip because it gives me more control and I would never be able to play pinch harmonics like that.
I would compare your picking technique to this awful analogy:
It gives you control similar to when you're trying sweep with a broom.. The further your hand is from the tip of the broom, the less control you have. Move closer to the tip and you have a lot more control. Dunno about you but when i'm sweeping i don't keep my hands right on top of the broom away from the brush.

Alright that's my terrible analogy over.
Last edited by vayne92 at Jul 2, 2014,
yamahaducky8910
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2014
32 IQ
#4
Holding the pick so far back may be effecting your control when strumming. Usually, if you hold it where you drew the pen mark, gripping the pick tighter would allow you to strum/pick louder, and gripping loosely would allow you to play quieter. You might be sacrificing a bit if that control if you're holding it so far back. Or, you might have to grip a lot tighter to play louder. Also, it's a pretty subconscious thing, but when you pick individual notes, your index finger and thumb will probably slide much closer to that pen mark you drew? It's because you definitely get more control when playing, the closer you hold the pick to that triangular tip. I'd say try holding it closer to that pen mark you drew, so playing faster notes in the future will be easier. Now I think your index finger might be touching the strings when you down strum for one of two reasons. Firstly, you might be rotating your wrist back and forth too much, which may be something that you picked up when you were holding the pick so far back. It also could be that your index finger is poking out of the tip of the pick. For the latter, try holding our pick so that when you look at it from the top, the nail of your index finger meets in a straight line with the edge/pad of your thumb. Then relax your wrist, and try simple strumming patterns until you get used to it. I'm no pro in any way, but I had trouble holding my pick far too back like you when I first started. I corrected it by really slow practice using a metronome. haha the times I wished I had a teacher to correct all my bad habits.
darrenram1
Registered User
Join date: May 2013
60 IQ
#5
The way you are holding it exactly the same way I do if I'm strumming on an acoustic. I only hold it at the pen line if I'm playing electric or soloing.

Also, like DrRus said, there are no 'rules'. I usually hold my pick down and angle my hand upwards, kinda like Paul Gilbert or Zakk Wylde.
sam2289
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#6
I really appreciate your answers, my problem is that i hold the pick 2 different ways: when i'm picking individual notes like scales or finger exercices, i hold the pick the right way but when i strum i hold it like in the pic. i didn't notice it since i never strumed and played fills or riffs at the same time. i tried to play single notes with that grip and like everyone said i didn't have enough control but i strum perfectly and vice versa, if i hold the pick the correct way i can pick but i can't strum.

@yamahaducky8910
i tried every possible way, if i hold it loosly the pick falls if i hold it tight even slightly it sounds horrible...
about my index finger:



if i curl it more than that the pick moves to my knuckle like this:



and i do rotate my wrist or the pick will caught on the strings.

I don't know if i have abnormal fingers or something because i tried everything and nothing seems to work, i was really upset to the piont where i didn't play for 2 months. It's frustrating and i don't know what to do next, should i keep practicing and playing loudly until my strings break or my neighbor shoots me in the head?? i really don't know...
sam2289
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#7
Quote by darrenram1
The way you are holding it exactly the same way I do if I'm strumming on an acoustic. I only hold it at the pen line if I'm playing electric or soloing.


I want to practice the right way since i'm focusing only on acoustic, i really want to be able to play advanced stuff without finding out later that i practiced badly the whole time.
yamahaducky8910
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2014
32 IQ
#8
Well, it appears that if you hold your pick close to the tip when picking individual notes, and you can play cleanly, and it works for you, go do it! The way you're holding the pick right now is not necessarily "wrong" in any way. It's only wrong if it's highly uncomfortable for you, or if you can't play cleanly. Take a breath. It's not that big of a deal, as everyone holds their pick a bit differently.
And the reason your pick gets caught on the strings if you don't rotate your wrist, is because you're letting too much of the pick strum the strings, which is why if you hold the pick closer to the pointiest end, you don't have to rotate your wrist as much in order for your index finger not to touch the strings on a down strum. To sum it up, just hold it however you feel comfortable as long as it's not effecting your speed or accuracy. and also, most people change the grip on their pick slightly when changing from strumming to picking individual notes. It's normal.
sam2289
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#9
Quote by yamahaducky8910
To sum it up, just hold it however you feel comfortable as long as it's not effecting your speed or accuracy. and also, most people change the grip on their pick slightly when changing from strumming to picking individual notes. It's normal.


Guess i'll start practicing fingerstyle to avoid waisting time and keep practicing the way i hold the pick and hopefully this will be fixed.

Thank you so much for your help
sdjknights
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2014
10 IQ
#10
I'm very happy everyone took this so well. I was expecting people to get pious about technique. Most techniques concerning posture and hand positions etc feel uncomfortable at first for most people, but you sound like you've gone to great lengths to practice the "proper" way, so I too say go back to your old way.
sam2289
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2012
10 IQ
#11
@sdjknights

Thank you but i'm really affraid to do so and then, when i try to play something advance i'll hit a roadblock. I really want to play like this (intro of the video) in the future, this is the only thing that make stress like this about the way i hold the pick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OPi_BzkMig


I wasted 2 years hoding it the wrong way and i don't want to do it for another 2 and then regret it.