#1
I have been oddly frustrated over why I have trouble progressing technically on the guitar compared to all other instruments I have played (piano, percussion instruments). Building solid technique and speed have always been very very easy for me in piano and other instruments, but I never really made it past a certain speed in guitar.


-Some things that got me wondering were ...why is everyone else doing pinch harmonics so easily and I have been playing for 7 years and still can't seem to "choke" the pick up enough - I was starting to suspect it wasn't my lack of practice
-I can tap and do legato runs at blazing speeds, without practicing much. But when it comes to alternate picking, I stumble through 16th notes at 140 BPM - it didn't make any sense given how much I practiced technique and my track record with other instruments.


Then I started looking at the picking style of the great virtuosos and some good youtube players - they all have the base of their thumbs flat on the pick. All of them. its like if you were to take a fingerprint with your thumb and the pick was on the inkpad directly underneath your thumb, that's where it would be.

Well anyways, I have been anchoring the pick with more of the tip of my thumb than the base of my thumb. The best way to describe it is to make an "o" with your thumb and index finger (kind of like the "ok" symbol, and place the pick between the fingers with a small amount of the tip of the pick showing.


I tried using the base of my thumb but it feels very very awkward and will take a couple weeks of playing to get used to. The biggest issue I have with this new style is that my index finger keeps hitting the strings when I do rhythm playing....is this because I use Jazz 3 picks?
Last edited by psychosylocibin at Feb 22, 2009,
#2
I don't know what the title has to do with the post, but yes, you're holding the pick incorrectly, which is probably the reason you can't do a pinch harmonic.
#4
Quote by psychosylocibin

Then I started looking at the picking style of the great virtuosos and some good youtube players - they all have the base of their thumbs flat on the pick. All of them. its like if you were to take a fingerprint with your thumb and the pick was on the inkpad directly underneath your thumb, that's where it would be.

Well anyways, I have been anchoring the pick with more of the tip of my thumb than the base of my thumb. The best way to describe it is to make an "o" with your thumb and index finger (kind of like the "ok" symbol, and place the pick between the fingers with a small amount of the tip of the pick showing.


Yes, that has been your problem.
You don't have any stability like that - the pick will move too much.
Your thumb does need to be flat against the pick.
EDIT: Good news: You can enjoy an immense increase in playing ability practically overnight.

From your post, did you say you can, or can't do legato and tapping ?
Sunn O))):
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Last edited by Simsimius at Feb 22, 2009,
#5
Last line. (and it may take you a few weeks considering you've been playing 7 years....but if you're good at breaking habits, it may take less)

Just do it.

I used to do the same thing as you, but my cousin caught me early (3rd or 4th week of me playing, the first time I played in front of him) and quickly fixed me.

You should hold it 'comfortably' but there is still a 'correct' way (or two, lol) of holding the pick, and often times somehting uncomfortable will become comfortable with some practice.

/tangent time
(I remember my first B and F chords....sheesh.... "How is this possible! O_O!" lol)
Last edited by Invokke_Havokk at Feb 22, 2009,
#7
Alright, I am going to give it a shot and change my pick position! Hopefully it helps me squeal a little better and get over this stupid alternate picking rut
#8
Hmm, well i have my pick held with my pointer finger just starting to touch the joint in my thumb, and then i bring it back just a little to where they are pointing in opposite directions. So if you had your hand held up completely limp you would move your pointer finger just a little to touch the joint of your thumb (furthest away from palm). This for me gives a bit of a relaxed feel for strumming. For precision picking i tend to point my finger in a way that the thumb would be pointing to 9'o-clock and pointer pointing to 6'o-clock. Since i use Jazz III picks its isnt too hard to find the best place to hold it and usually its a reletively small amount showing.

Hope this helps >_>
#9
Quote by psychosylocibin
I stumble through 16th notes at 140 BPM .


I'm not exactly sure what's meant by this when it's said. It's actually quite a respectable speed. But, I suspect if you put you through some paces of how I'd measure it, it would be a lot slower. Anyway, in the big scheme of things, it's a pretty meaningless number.

Everybody has an upper limit. How high that goes depends ultimately on your technique. At some point even great technique hits a limit. You just keep making adjustments, but the adjustments have smaller and smaller payback. It's just the nature of how it works.
#10
I heard dave mustaine say that he "fixed" the back end of the pick against the 1st knuckle crease in his index finger....
#11
Quote by psychosylocibin
I heard dave mustaine say that he "fixed" the back end of the pick against the 1st knuckle crease in his index finger....


I do the same thing for my .38mm pick, but not my 1mm. Bend your index finger until you touch your palm where your thumb "starts" then put your thumb over the index finger (on the side) the fingerprint part of your thumb should cover the "crease" he is talking about. You're still holding it like how you said you think you should hold it.

Depending on your fingers, that crease can be made into a good support for playing (it helps me with thin picks) but other picks you want to"scoot up on" so that only a small portion actually shows (what I do with my 1mm's)