Well, I've been playing guitar since februari last year (2008) and also playing a band since juni/juli of 2008. I teach myself, and I've made a mistake I guess.

I've always been holding my pick with three fingers, just klamp your thumb, indexfinger and your middlefinger together, thats how I hold it. Now I've seen quite a lot of guitar lessons on youtube and in every lesson they tell that I need to hold it between my thumb and a bend indexfinger. Well I've noticed that a lot of people hold it that way, so I tried... But it's like starting all over again.

What I'd like to ask you is, what are the advantages of holding the pick according to the lessons over my way. And what's your oppinion, should I keep it this way or change it and kind of start all over again?
Last edited by sido at Jul 9, 2009,
Can you play fast, or are you mostly playing chords and at a slower pace?

I assume it would be harder/slower to skip across strings (say you're bouncing around a pentatonic scale to create a little solo). Faster guitar playing is all about economy of movement, getting to where you want to go with as little effort as possible, so you can move onto the next note equally as fast.

Plus, if you ever want to learn to fingerpick (which I hope to, one day), you'll have an even harder time I expect.
Thumb and index finger is the common way, but check out Eddie Van Halen he holds it between his thumb and third finger and it dosen't look like it handicaps him .

My belief is if it feels right and it dosen't restrict you go for it, in rock guitar there really are no rules.
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Like the guys said, it doesn't matter how you hold the pick. For example, James Hetfield, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Metallica, holds the pick just like you, with three fingers. And look how good he is.
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A lot of people will tell you "relearn with just your thumb and index finger" but if holding it with 3 fingers feels good, then do it man.

James Hetfield uses his Thumb, Index and Middle fingers and Eddie Van Halen uses his Thumb and Middle finger so it's just what feels good to you.
in my opinion, there isnt really a advantage of holding the pick like in the videos. i think it is the best if you hold it the way you feel the most comfortable
I hold mine the same way, and while I don't do a lot of shredding/sweeping, I haven't encountered any issues in the decade for which I've been playing (man, time flies). And finger-picking is not more difficult as a result of how you hold your pick. Unless of course you're talking about finger-picking while holding a pick still. In which case yes, it can get awkward. I tend to use a thumb pick.

The bottom line is, be comfortable with how you play.
doesn't resally matter as long as it works.. evh used his thumb and middle fingers. numerous others are examples of weird styles..
either way its bad - i dont know animals
I personally can't see how you can hold a pick with three fingers and have your right arm in the right position....however ultimately it's not the number of fingers you use but whether it affects your arm position.

You want as little tension in your arm, wrist and hand as possible - that means you want everything in as straight a line as possible with the pick perpendicular to that line. If your hand is having to kind of bend round with the pick pointing in the same direction as your fingers then that's not recommended and you should look at changing things. If your hand is pretty much straight and relaxed then things should be fine.
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You can hold your pick pretty much however you want as long as it's comfortable.

I hold it with thumb index and middle, and I taught myself the other way because was thinking that using just thumb and index would be better for fast playing, but really, it isn't. So I just play with thumb index and middle, I find it's better for playing most riffs, it's easier to get it to sound more "powerfull", and I find it isn't as easy to drop the pick.

I don't play fast compared to some people, however I have started sweeping and I often play alot of fast riffs, and I find no problem with holding the pick like this, as I said, I tried both ways, and it doesen't really make a difference.
Oke, well thanks for your answers. Ill just keep playing the way I do then.
Heck, look at Marty Friedman's picking. One of the most awkward ever >_>. He's awesome though :O
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Heck, look at Marty Friedman's picking. One of the most awkward ever >_>. He's awesome though :O

I love Friedman's playing but I would never in a million years advise people to model their technique after his.
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Honestly, it doesn't make much of a difference. I'll do it either way automatically. My brain kinda chooses when its easier to do one way. If it ever causes problems for you, then change.
To me, it feels much more natural with thumb and index. I used to use 3 fingers also and I also had a hard switch for about 3 or 4 days and it started to feel normal. I had much more flexibility and speed after I switched.

If you haven't seen it, watch Paul Gilbert - Discussing Pick Mechanics
the advantage to holding with thumb and pointer is that you can hybrid pick - use your pick for base notes and the remaining three fingers for the higher melody notes - but if you don't feel the need for that don't worry about it
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