Fouks
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2009
277 IQ
#1
I have noticed that when i pick i make a small motion with my thumb combined with my wrist. It's hard to explain but meanwhile i pick the thumb is sometimes bent and sometimes i have it straight out.

It's like i use the thumb to press down the string instead of only using the wrist.

The question i have is if that's a problem, should i work to get rid of it or do you think i can go on picking like that?
dannydawiz
Danny Gomez
Join date: Aug 2011
3,503 IQ
#4
Does it give you the tone and results that you're looking for?

Is the pick attack consistent and even?

Is it causing any pain?

Ask yourself these questions and you will find your own answer.
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Geldin
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2008
1,677 IQ
#5
Quote by Fouks
I have noticed that when i pick i make a small motion with my thumb combined with my wrist. It's hard to explain but meanwhile i pick the thumb is sometimes bent and sometimes i have it straight out.

It's like i use the thumb to press down the string instead of only using the wrist.

The question i have is if that's a problem, should i work to get rid of it or do you think i can go on picking like that?

What you're doing is called "oscillatory picking". There's nothing wrong with it as long as you don't create undue tension to get a satisfactory pick stroke.

Here's a good video explaining basic picking mechanics (conveniently titled "Picking Mechanics". The uploader, Freepower, is a forum mod here and does a better job explaining the basics of various picking styles better than I can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkeyHyIgqvY
Zaphod_Beeblebr
Shallow and pedantic.
Join date: Apr 2006
1,670 IQ
#6
Quote by Geldin
What you're doing is called "oscillatory picking". There's nothing wrong with it as long as you don't create undue tension to get a satisfactory pick stroke.


No dude, oscillatory picking is the plane of motion that goes directly in and out of the guitar body, moving the thumb is circle picking.
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Fouks
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2009
277 IQ
#7
I feel good about picking like this so im going to keep it up. I would say that i combine circle picking with a small touch of oscillatory picking, if someone is interested.

Thanks for the answers by the way, the movie really helped.
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
295 IQ
#8
At higher speeds, circle pickers tend to start using their wrist to pick anyway.

I wouldn't advise circle picking but as others have said, if you're not encountering problems then carry on.
InfiniStudent
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2008
11 IQ
#9
I don't know Fouks... that is part of your core foundation and is one of THE most repeated motions you make. I would look into it and fix it now, by the time you go to do something and realize the "extra (non-economy) motion" is an issue it would be SO ingrained it will be a huge struggle to get rid of. The other byproduct is you might be more prone to dropping your pick during intense performances.

When I pay attention to my picking hand, my thumb is completely straight and parallel with the string; The shape never changes. My "Chi" (area where my mind detects my energy focus) is on my thumb-nail and it is my thumb-nail that I am turning/twisting like a key.
Yes, the wrist does a lot of the work, but technically, the chain-reaction starts at the source - the thumb. BUT I'm not breaking the chain by bending my thumb to get the picking motion - the whole thing is a straight, circular coil - one motion, not two.

Remember the Golden Rule of Economy of Motion - The most efficient (fastest) movement is the smallest necessary (without any unnecessary/extra motions)

Yes, you can "live with" unnecessary movements and be a perfectly excellent guitarist. But you are better off without them.

Happy Jammin!
Last edited by InfiniStudent at Jan 11, 2013,