#1
I hit a plateau in my playing about 9 months ago, and I knew the problem was my picking hand, because I simply cannot trem pick.

I recently discovered that I angle the pick the wrong way.

Looking down at the guitar string it looks like this

------/--------- with the pick being the slash

I'm trying to change my grip and how I angle the pick, but it feels like I'm starting all over. I can hardly play anything.

Any advice?
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#2
Start over. *shrug*

It's a pain in the ass, but it'll make you a better playe in the long run. Freepower started over from scratch if I recall correctly.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#3
some angle isn't bad, but keeping it mostly flat should help
just keep at it
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#4
I tried holding the pick like you suggested... I could trem pick fine.....start over, start slow.
#8
Quote by DDOW
Shawn Lane picks like that


This way of picking wins

/thread
Quote by blackflag49
Condoms, for all the copious amounts of pussy with which you will be inevitably bombarded from this moment onward.


#9
Ok being left handed but playing right handed guitar I had to overcome some right hand technique obstacles. The first thing I learned to do was alternate pick slowly I would do it about 5 to 7 times then switch to some rythym picking and then go back to the alternate picking I noticed improvement in about a month. Then had to overcome being able to shake my wrist fast enough for some speed that took longer about 6 months but eventually got better. Been playing about 30 yrs now and can play anything from Vinnie Moore to Malmsteen accurately. So you see what I had to contend with, you can probably do the same. Eventually you will be able to go from alternate to economy picking which I do sometimes but still prefer alternate for all of the shred stuff. And I would put my technique up against any other players that use a pick except for those flat picking bluegrass guitar player man lol. Anyway don't be discouraged Later
#10
Quote by jetwash69
Try anchoring your little finger near the e string and using your arm



Please GTFO. You're now telling someone to anchor AND pick from his arm?
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#11
Does it really matter a rat's ass?
I use the smaller Black Ice picks these days. I have been picking with the pick turned on its side using my thumb at times with the pick edge, for a very long time. You sort of adapt to the style you are playing, I cannot see using one technique as a set formaility. I can play as fast as anyone when it's required but pinch harmonics and the ability to use different tension on the strings is where it's at. How cares if the pick is angled or straight? Does it sound right, can you work it?

Ask Jeff Beck where his pick is or how he holds it. Speed is all fine and good but Malmsteen as wunderkind as he is, puts me in a coma after two songs. It's amazing stuff, but just taxing after a short period. Same tone, same technique. You can study theory till you die and you will never grasp it all, it is just infinite and when you think too much about all of it you lose all sense of spontaneous groove and creation.

I've been playing over 30 years myself and I have forgotten more **** than most have learned. Most of the new players these days are making the same old mistakes of copy, copy, copy, play that exact, it simply is not music, music is creation, improvisation, the ability to pick up the guitar and create something without thinking about it, without copying somebody elses riff note for note. I am so glad I taught myself to play music from a young age as it is no fun without that ability. I have known a lot of amazing players in my day, some young cats who could seemingly play anything, and yet when it came time to just play something or jam spontaneous all they could do is play something they memorized. That is not music. I did not have the luxury of so much tab in my younger days, in fact there wasn't any and really most of it I have seen on the net is so wrong. Watch a master player like Beck they will flip the riff in different position probably to keep from boring themselves to death.

I see no reason to start over, my God, I felt bad for that poor kid who had his guitar up to his chin and could not span 10 frets with his thumb behind the neck. He was going to quit playing because he thought his little finger was bent weird and he could not reach properly. I told him to watch Beck's new DVD and see how his thumb is on the top of the neck in the most un-Mel Bay method. I cannot find that damn thread, seems to be a curse on this site.
Last edited by FoolDrive at Oct 11, 2009,
#12
Quote by FoolDrive
Does it really matter a rat's ass?
I use the smaller Black Ice picks these days. I have been picking with the pick turned on its side using my thumb at times with the pick edge, for a very long time. You sort of adapt to the style you are playing, I cannot see using one technique as a set formaility. I can play as fast as anyone when it's required but pinch harmonics and the ability to use different tension on the strings is where it's at. How cares if the pick is angled or straight? Does it sound right, can you work it?

Ask Jeff Beck where his pick is or how he holds it. Speed is all fine and good but Malmsteen as wunderkind as he is, puts me in a coma after two songs. It's amazing stuff, but just taxing after a short period. Same tone, same technique. You can study theory till you die and you will never grasp it all, it is just infinite and when you think too much about all of it you lose all sense of spontaneous groove and creation.

I've been playing over 30 years myself and I have forgotten more **** than most have learned. Most of the new players these days are making the same old mistakes of copy, copy, copy, play that exact, it simply is not music, music is creation, improvisation, the ability to pick up the guitar and create something without thinking about it, without copying somebody elses riff note for note. I am so glad I taught myself to play music from a young age as it is no fun without that ability. I have known a lot of amazing players in my day, some young cats who could seemingly play anything, and yet when it came time to just play something or jam spontaneous all they could do is play something they memorized. That is not music. I did not have the luxury of so much tab in my younger days, in fact there wasn't any and really most of it I have seen on the net is so wrong. Watch a master player like Beck they will flip the riff in different position probably to keep from boring themselves to death.

I see no reason to start over, my God, I felt bad for that poor kid who had his guitar up to his chin and could not span 10 frets with his thumb behind the neck. He was going to quit playing because he thought his little finger was bent weird and he could not reach properly. I told him to watch Beck's new DVD and see how his thumb is on the top of the neck in the most un-Mel Bay method. I cannot find that damn thread, seems to be a curse on this site.

I can see your point, but, if someone wants to play something that requires good technique then they will worry about the fine details. If you want to play a song at x bpm but can't, you're obviously gonna start asking questions.
#13
Hi guys ive only been playing 6 months and have decided to start taking lessons and my tutor is telling me to hold the pick a different way which i am finding difficult but it has changed picking sound. I used to hold it with the side of my index finger then grip with my thumb but he is telling me to hold it with the back of the finger and point it down the pick and grip your thumb across the pick. I sometime find it easier to still do it my way and was wondering do you sometimes change your grip on your pick or always use the same???
#14
Quote by wils07
Hi guys ive only been playing 6 months and have decided to start taking lessons and my tutor is telling me to hold the pick a different way which i am finding difficult but it has changed picking sound. I used to hold it with the side of my index finger then grip with my thumb but he is telling me to hold it with the back of the finger and point it down the pick and grip your thumb across the pick. I sometime find it easier to still do it my way and was wondering do you sometimes change your grip on your pick or always use the same???

Can you provide pictures? I'm having trouble following your description.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#15
This is how i used to hold it

This is the otherway ive been shown the index finger is flat on the back
#16
^ There was nothing wrong with the old way...the new way you hole it will give you fuller tone, because you're striking flat with the pick.

The old way however, will give you a slightly thinner tone but will help play fast.

You're going to find it really hard to play with fluency holding it flat on your finger (well, i would anyway).

The only thing you coulda changed with the old way was by leaving less of the tip showing, and maybe try curling in your other fingers. Apart from that it's miles better than the flat picking way you've been told to do.
#17
Oh f***, I think I pick like that too

You mean your pick is hitting the strings from an angle instead of straight?
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#18
The pictures are mainly to show the two different grips but i use about 45 degree of angle with the top one and less with the other.
#19
Angled either way doesn't really make very much difference. Whichever's easiest for your hands - some people are flexible and like holding it "backwards". It doesn't work for me no matter how much I dig Shawn because my thumb won't work like that.

Straight or angled doesn't even make that much difference - noticable, but not gamebreaking stuff.

If you can't pick fast, it's not because of the way you're holding the pick TS. (unless you're really holding on to it very hard. )
#20
Quote by LordPino
Please GTFO. You're now telling someone to anchor AND pick from his arm?


I don't know about you, but my little finger has several joints, so these 2 things are not mutually exclusive for me.

My trem picking got exponentially better after watching some Andy Aledort vids and noticed where his little finger was.
#21
Quote by jetwash69
I don't know about you, but my little finger has several joints, so these 2 things are not mutually exclusive for me.

My trem picking got exponentially better after watching some Andy Aledort vids and noticed where his little finger was.

He's not saying that they're mutually exclusive, he's saying that they're bad technique. It's somewhat debatable whether anchoring is bad technique or not, but picking from your arm definitely is.
Quote by Spitz13
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#22
Quote by Ikonoklast
I can see your point, but, if someone wants to play something that requires good technique then they will worry about the fine details. If you want to play a song at x bpm but can't, you're obviously gonna start asking questions.



Oh, I agree with you 100%, the point I was trying to make is there is no ONE single technique for everything. Every typle of style or the mode you are going for requires a different approach.

Teaching these young guys to hold a pick a certain way all the time is ludicris. It's like playing golf with one club.

Speed picking does require a special method for intense articulation, but that is not to say you cannot get speed from using other methods. Beck uses no pick and blows my mind with that technique he has for fast noting. I arrived at my pick holding naturally, the pick just sort of went that way in my hand even when I was using the Dunlap nylon grays I had for many years. Now I use the small Black Ice Jazz pick but I still turn it to the side and also use my thumb side in combination. Of course if I was playing some really open strumed chords or percussive chording I would play differently. I think the young players should know that there is no ONE way; bottom line is you have to feel the music, a mechanical automaton approach is freezing to creativity.
#23
Quote by Uranutan
He's not saying that they're mutually exclusive, he's saying that they're bad technique. It's somewhat debatable whether anchoring is bad technique or not, but picking from your arm definitely is.



Agree with that. It's all in the wrist, arm strumming is a bad approach and if you are not doing a Townsend swing for looks I cannot see what good it does. Sure if you are playing some type of acoustic chordal thing one uses the arm, but it is only a means to an end, the wrist and hand are where the control is. Anchoring is essential for some forms, bottom line you do what it requires. I always start playing with my palm on the bridge and it goes from there to whatever is needed for whatever style. There is no ONE method, guitar is about expression, versitility and an infinite array of possibilities. There are few musical instruments that afford the player the creativity and expression the guitar puts in our hands, the music can be imbued with any emotion, techniques create and form these different expressions. It's a bag of golf clubs kids, don't play the course with a hockey stick.
#24
^ all approaches are equal, but some are more equal than others, eh?

Anyhoo - "arm picking" in itself isn't bad - it's a great way to approach sweeping and eco lines, plus a little arm movement has to come into string changes unless you have Paul Gilbert size hands.

The problem is tensing up your arm and "vibrating" it - instant physiological and musical trainwreck.

That's the one I did for my first two years, btw.
#25
to the TS, i dont think your style is bad. i saw this one guy on youtube and he was one of the fastest pickers in the world and his adivice was to pick the way you are. jimi hendrix also played this way as well. i dont really think either way is right. if its not working for you, then change it.i change my pick angle a lot depending on what im doing/ what type of tone i want.
#26
does anyone change their picking position for trem picking?
I kind of separate my thumb and first finger to the rest of my fingers when i Trem pick,
then i resume to normal picking it's like a relaxed closed hand.
#27
hi all.
i'm no expert, but Mr Zappa had a strange picking style.
nothing wrong with that mans playing.
everyone has there own style that suits them.
all the best steve.
#28
Quote by Chasing Shadows
does anyone change their picking position for trem picking?
I kind of separate my thumb and first finger to the rest of my fingers when i Trem pick,
then i resume to normal picking it's like a relaxed closed hand.

I do i have the pick with just a bit of angle when picking but then push the end of my thumb down to give me more angle when playing faster or strumming.