I have been playing for about 10 months now, and it was only recently that I realized a lot of people have there middle, ring, and pinky fingers sticking out of there strumming hand when playing. Its probably just a matter of comfort, but I play with my hand closed and im curious if this position actually improves anything. So....does it?
Set Up:
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR
AMP: Peavey Vypyr Tube 60W
Sanpera Footpedal
It's just presonal preference I think.

The reason I could think of to stick your non used fingers out would be to keep them from accidentally touching strings they are not supposed to touch.

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i do it that way, with my middle ring and pinky sticking out.
i dunno why i do it tho, probably just because my picking hand doesnt get too tense when im playing i guess

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i do it so that the're free for hybrid picking and when i need to anchor my hand with my pinky

EDIT: i also use them to mute other strings when i'm holding a sustained note so that it rings clearly

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Last edited by viper_mike at Aug 13, 2009,
yeah i think its preference too, but then again, i used to hold the pick with two fingers and thumb, and now its just the pointer finger and thumb. it takes time i think to get comfortable enough to hold it that way. plus holding the pick in such a way can help you mute the strings a bit when youre not playing all of the strings.

but i think it really comes down to comfort, preference, and style
Its personal preference but I've noticed from personal experience I get a slightly different sound depending on how I hold the pick, mainly because of how hard I end up digging into the strings and the angle. It varies from person to person, but a certain shape will allow you to pick faster, get a cleaner sound, and prevent any sloppy picking, so experiment until you find a shape that fits. Also, pinch harmonics have a lot to do with this, because some cannot generate that effect without holding the pick a certain way.
^and I do it too, its great for palm muting and strumming, but for pinch harmonics i used a closed fist as well as for fast strumming. I'm not sure if thats economically the greatest ideas to switch between how u have ur hand, but I found it to be the most comfortable
thanks everyone for the answers, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on some sort of secret technique or anything lol :p
Set Up:
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR
AMP: Peavey Vypyr Tube 60W
Sanpera Footpedal
I do it so when I play standing i don't hit my fingers on the strings because if they do they get the skin chafed off on the strings and it hurts lol.
I play with my hand closed. When I extend the 3 fingers like some people do, it stretches/irritates a tendon or muscle in some of my fingers, so I might've been doing it wrong, but I've gotten used to playing with the hand closed now and it works fine for me.

I'm sure opening your hand would be better for palm muting all the strings at once, if need be.
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