#1
I have been playing a guitar for a while now but while I can learn even difficult chords, I have a terrible problem using a pick, even just for strumming. I have tried them all, soft and hard, big and small, but I just seem to for ever dig in the strings on upstroke, loose the pick, keep shifting it because any way of holding it seems uncomfortable. And yet, without it I can manage even a little bit of advanced rhythms (using the thumb for upstroke).

I am so desperate that I am thinking about starting all over by switching the hands
#2
Quote by sevenofnine
I have been playing a guitar for a while now but while I can learn even difficult chords, I have a terrible problem using a pick, even just for strumming. I have tried them all, soft and hard, big and small, but I just seem to for ever dig in the strings on upstroke, loose the pick, keep shifting it because any way of holding it seems uncomfortable. And yet, without it I can manage even a little bit of advanced rhythms (using the thumb for upstroke).

I am so desperate that I am thinking about starting all over by switching the hands



You'll get used to it, I was exactly the same
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#3
For some reason that I've never tried to analyze, I've always had good facility with the pick and almost never drop them or loose position.
I hold the pick very close to the "point", so that I can either expose more of the point for a more ringing tone or "choke up" on same for some fingertip muting.
The index lies parallel with the long axis of the pick, the thumb almost at right angles "across" the pick.
I use nylon (Dunlop) picks with a raised surface over the entire grip area. Not too tight, and not too loose....

Unfortunately, I don't have any insights; it's always sort of worked for me. I've seen people who constantly break picks (they should buy nylon) and people who loose them constantly...
Someone even made a cute little spring-loaded pick holder that you could put half-a-dozen in and stick to your guitar. So, it must be a fairly common problem.
#4
If you're dropping your pick when playing, try holding it (tilt your wrist slightly or move your thumb) in a 45 ish degree angle to the string.
#6
I've had similiar discomfort with picks during the first few months I've been playing. At one point I just decided to pick a specific brand and gauge of pick to use until I got so comfortable with it that its like an 11th finger. Ever since then every pick besides Dunlop nylon picks has felt awkward and uncomfortable to me. Also to help with whatever awkwardness you have I would also suggest experimenting with different ways of holding the pick with your thumb and finger of choice. I dont care what anyone says, there is NO right or wrong way of holding the pick as long as it hits the strings and youre comfortable with it.

However maybe the problem isnt with the pick but your picking technique. I would suggest keeping your wrist relaxed and holding the pick fairly tight so you dont drop it like tenfold said.
#8
Quote by tenfold
Loosen up on the wrist flexibility. Grip the pick fairly tight with the fingers but keep the wrist loose.


Probably the best advice. Already improved. I'm just a lurker, not even OP.
#9
Tried V-Picks?

Play a Cort ?

Play with V-Picks ?

Every minute is to be Grasped........................................................................Time waits for nobody.

#10
Quote by Volta_91
Tried V-Picks?

OK, I have not tried this. How is the pick different in shape and hold from the other 100s I tried

I apologize for not spelling out more of my circumstance. I have 5 guitars: 1968 Martin D28, Furch Supreme Acoustic, GB-10 (semi), Yamaha SG (silent) and 1990s Larrivee Acoustic. I am self taught with all the bad habits that brings. I play in an amateur band and the leader wants me to play with a pick. I just cannot seem to get it - as soon as the rhythm gets more complicated I just have to drop the pick and play with my fingers and thumb.

I will try to get lessons, that is what I will try

Thank you all.
#11
Have you tried any of dunlops Jazz sized picks?

I was using Jazz IIIs for a while, and then in store I found out they make tortex picks in the same size. I have not looked back since, and now regular picks just feel so wrong in my hand

Are you telling me theyre out of dragons?
They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
GET THIS GUY OUT OF HERE, FIND ME A DRAGON
#12
Quote by sevenofnine
OK, I have not tried this. How is the pick different in shape and hold from the other 100s I tried

I apologize for not spelling out more of my circumstance. I have 5 guitars: 1968 Martin D28, Furch Supreme Acoustic, GB-10 (semi), Yamaha SG (silent) and 1990s Larrivee Acoustic. I am self taught with all the bad habits that brings. I play in an amateur band and the leader wants me to play with a pick. I just cannot seem to get it - as soon as the rhythm gets more complicated I just have to drop the pick and play with my fingers and thumb.

I will try to get lessons, that is what I will try

Thank you all.


It's all in the material of the pick.

Play a Cort ?

Play with V-Picks ?

Every minute is to be Grasped........................................................................Time waits for nobody.

#13
Quote by Volta_91
It's all in the material of the pick.


V Pick as in the giant triangle ones? That would be the difference. Giant triangles instead of the small drop type shape.
#14
Why does your band want you to try a pick? Volume, tone? If your guitar playing is competent and you don't feel like you're missing out on something, there's nothing wrong with using your fingers. Some of the greats refuse to use picks. Personally, I have the opposite problem where I can barely play without a pick. From a technical standpoint though, tremolo picking is about the only thing I can think of that would seem impossible to me without a pick. If you can do all of the techniques you need with your fingers, then maybe try to fulfill your band's requests in a different way.
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#15
to tegrenath: Thanks for you kind words. My playing is far from competent. The band is playing acoustic - the lead player plays with super hard pick (very competently ). He just thinks that without pick, my strumming looses (the edge, he says). In the meantime, I have actually got some slower pieces going but it is a major struggle.
#16
I used to play with only my fingers when I just started as well, though when I started practicing solos I found that when you use a pick the sound has WAY more volume when using a pick, at that point I kept practicing with a pick

Honestly, keep using a pick unless you're playing acoustic songs.
#17
I have the problem vice versa , i mean i can play with pick but not with hands ,
for myself i know that im just use to it , i just cant play with hands ,
if i start learning how to play with fingers it'll be like learning what i know all over again .
#18
The first 2 months or so that i was playing, i started with very thin picks (0.46mm) and gradually worked my way up to thcker picks. This will mean you don't dig in (with the thin picks) and you wil get used to picking this way.
Since you are used to it, you will play the same when you gradually increase the thickness of the pick, and the problem will eradicate itself.
I think it might only work for the first couple of months you play, but try it and tell us how it goes =P
#20
For me, it wasn't until the fifth year of constant playing that i figure out the way of holding the pick that i still use today.

For electric guitar i use dunlop jazz pick and for acoustic strumming i use whatever pick below 1mm.
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

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Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm picks


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