#1
Ok so I snapped a few pics of how I exactly hold my pick or pretty much exactly. Anyways I'm real concerned about how much of the pick you guys expose to your strings. Does it look like I need to choke up on my pick particularly for trem picking or running through scales? Do you change how you hold your pick for particular chords vs. how you hold it when hitting single notes?





#3
how much you choke up on it isn't as important as how you hold it in the first place. try curling your index finger in towards your palm, placing the pick on the first knuckle, and then holding it with your thumb. it works much better.
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Last edited by ninjafingers at Feb 24, 2009,
#4
Quote by ninjafingers
try curling your index finger in towards your palm, placing the pick on the first knuckle, and then holding it with your thumb. it works much better.



If I wasn't one to say hold it how you feel comfortable. This^^ is what I would say.
#5
do you guys place it really on the back of your index finger or slap on the side? Cuz when I hold it that way it does give me a good feel of the technique people to use such as tommy bolin I think is his name. He calls it the trap door and just moves his thumb making a picking motion with using his wrist.
#6
Quote by rebel624
do you guys place it really on the back of your index finger or slap on the side?



Mine is on the side of my index, Although I just tried out the way your speaking of Tommy Bolin doing, and it's not that bad.
#7
I sort of hold it with my thumb and two first fingers. A video of Slash playing with Index and Thumb freaked me out. Am I losing on something with my technique?
#8
I hold my pick the same way you do but you choke up A LOT from what I see

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#9
Quote by gabcd86
I sort of hold it with my thumb and two first fingers. A video of Slash playing with Index and Thumb freaked me out. Am I losing on something with my technique?

It's not really recommended by most, but it kind of gives you added stability with crosspicking and string skipping.

I hold the pick with a sort of Steve Morse/Shawn Lane style hand, with no anchoring of course
#10
Quote by ninjafingers
how much you choke up on it isn't as important as how you hold it in the first place. try curling your index finger in towards your palm, placing the pick on the first knuckle, and then holding it with your thumb. it works much better.


What he said.

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#13
I don't agree with the "if it feels good, do it" methodology. Plain and simple, most experienced guitarists (that can play well) will tell you you're not holding the pick right.

You're supposed to curl your index finger in. It makes a huge difference when you finally get a handle on holding it the right way. I recently changed to holding the pick the proper way and it's made a world of difference in my playing.
#14
i hold it with my fingers.

On a slightly off topic note, does anyone else catch themselves flipping their pick between their fingers during breaks between playing during songs? I didnt even realize I did it, but I was watching a video of myself playing Too Late For Love by Def Leppard, and I kept noticing that during any minute break in the guitar playing I would flip my pick between my fingers. Probably not a good habit incase I drop it.
#15
I use a thumbpick, and sometimes I press the side of my index finger against it out of habit (+Stability?).
#16
Quote by Jam3V
I don't agree with the "if it feels good, do it" methodology. Plain and simple, most experienced guitarists (that can play well) will tell you you're not holding the pick right.

You're supposed to curl your index finger in. It makes a huge difference when you finally get a handle on holding it the right way. I recently changed to holding the pick the proper way and it's made a world of difference in my playing.


I agree with this 100%.

I also switched my pick holding a while back made a big difference in tightening my chops and generally just making my shred more controlled and more accurate. I highly suggest it...really only takes about a week to kill the other habit
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#18
i hold mine with thumb and middle finger, with the tip of my index on the corner closest to my fretting hand.
#19
And yea to the TS, watch out, it seems like you might grip the pick to hard which can cause tension. Just from the looks.

Remember to be relaxed in your picking

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#20
Quote by Jam3V

You're supposed to curl your index finger in. It makes a huge difference when you finally get a handle on holding it the right way. I recently changed to holding the pick the proper way and it's made a world of difference in my playing.


Hmmm.. For shredding perhaps.. I was taught to use this technique, and sure it's the best way for speed picking, but it limited me so much when playing rythm.. After reading this thread I've realised I hold my pick different ways depending on what it is I'm playing. I guess after a while you figure out what works best in different situations.
#21
I use the Paul Gilbert/ Buckethead style, it's like yours but the index finger is bent and the thumb curls round
#22
Quote by JohnIsMyName
i hold mine with thumb and middle finger, with the tip of my index on the corner closest to my fretting hand.



me too, i've always had better control with my middle finger...probably because when writing with a pen, i use my middle finger as the main control, rather than my index.

it seems to work fine for me on guitar, just a personal preference
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#23
i hold it with my thumb and middle finger. my middle finger basically is putting pressure perpendicular to the pick.. like... |<-- . and my first finger usually is resting on the pick as well for added stability. i don't know if it's retarded but it works for me :P i'm really conscious of the tone my picking produces and i feel this way i get a lot more control over that.
#25
Here's how I hold the pick. Note the thumb and index finger do not run parallel to each other. I tend to keep the thumb at a 45 degree angle to almost form an "X" with the index finger. This gives me better stability.

You can expose more / less of the pick to suit your playing style. When I do sweeps I tend to expose more of the pick.



Last edited by Jam3V at Mar 20, 2009,
#26
This is how I hold it (I might choke up less or more depending on what I'm doing but this is normal rhythm style position for me, plus I bend my index more in so it doesn't hit the strings).
#27
how the **** do you snap a pick. and many???
i have never snapped a single pick, but it could because they are 1.21 mm.
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#28
I've only been playing for a week, but I switched the way I hold the pick to the side of my index finger w/ thumb like a lot of people here recommended. It is a MILLION times easier to pick and I feel like I have a ton more control.

Thanks guys!
#29
I hold by pick with my thumb, index, and middle fingers, and I'm doing fine. EVH holds his pick with his thumb & middle finger. So all I can say is hold in the most comfortable way for you, there is no right or wrong way to hold a pick. In my opinion.
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#30
I agree that you should adapt your playing to suit your dexterity (look at marty friedman's picking style), but there are definitely wrong ways to hold the pick. Simple fact of the matter is, if you hold it the "proper" way, you're going to save yourself a lot of work / effort / discomfort.

It's really hard to scale up and down strings the way the OP is holding the pick. I know, I used to hold it that way. It's hard to maintain control of the pick.
#31
Yep one way might be comfortable but just has a shorter range of motion or less flexibility. I used to hold it with thumb, index, and middle and I was very limited in range of motion and I seized up quite quickly. I switched to just thumb and index (took about a week to feel natural) and have more flexibility and more options, and it's definitely easier to hit pinch harmonics with only the thumb and index. Try Jazz III's, they will teach you to use only thumb and index, plus they're a great pick overall.
#32
Quote by bass wizard
I use the Paul Gilbert/ Buckethead style, it's like yours but the index finger is bent and the thumb curls round



This. Paul Gilbert's picking style is ungodly awesome. It's what I use. Look up Paul Gilbert's picking lesson on youtube.
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#33
i use paul gilberts picking technique, if i dont and try to alternate pick fast i just start "tripping" over the strings.

but if im doing some hardish downpicking i tend to hold it more parralell to the strings.
#34
It doesn't matter how you hold your pick, as long as it works for you. If you come across a specific problem with your picking, like you drop it too much or something, then you should think about how you hold the pick. There's no one-size-fits-all way to hold the pick. It's different for everybody according to arm/hand/finger length, position of guitar relative to your body... a million other things.

Find out what works best for you and stick to it. It may not be the way Steve Vai does it - but that's okay.
#35
Quote by Lirarn
how the **** do you snap a pick. and many???
i have never snapped a single pick, but it could because they are 1.21 mm.


ha snapped a few pictures.
#36
Quote by ninjafingers
how much you choke up on it isn't as important as how you hold it in the first place. try curling your index finger in towards your palm, placing the pick on the first knuckle, and then holding it with your thumb. it works much better.


That is correct. If you curl the index finger like ninjafingers says, which is the "standard" way, there will be a very solid platform behind the pick. It does take some time getting used to, but it is worth it. Choking in on the pick to me is merely an emergency fix for an initially unstable grip. It will of course be necessary to choke in on the pick a bit if you deal with stuff like pinch harmonics.
Last edited by matsp888 at Sep 18, 2014,
#37
Instructions

-Hold your picking hand (the one that holds the pick) so that the back of the thumb is facing upwards.
-Relax the hand completely, this should allow the fingers to curl up.
-Place the pick on to the side of your index finger. The pointed end of the pick should face toward the nail of your index finger.
-Place your thumb onto the pick to keep it clamped between your thumb and finger.