I've been looking around but I cant find any lessons on how you pick the guitar string. What angle should the pick be at and how should it hit he string? Ive noticed that my picking sounds like its being "plucked" so how do I fix this?
it probably sounds plucked cause ur creating fret buzz by striking to hard. There's no way not to hit a string... you gotta use all different ways for different purposes. Paul Gilbert has a video out there about this.

Pretty much, different angle creates a different sound.
then more angled the pick goes, the more 'scrape' u get in your sound, which is a nice effect

Then there's how hard you strike it. this is where ur pluking sound is coming from.
soft= quieter and a cleaner tone
medium= clear
hard= compressed and loud and distorted.

But then there's also certain techniques that are easier at certain angles, like it's hard to sweep pick without th epick on a perpendicular. and it's earier to tremolo pick with a slight angle.

ya dig dog?

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more angle
Last edited by btp at Aug 14, 2010,
Pick thickness what? Thick solid picks (at least with me) require a more rigid grip and most all of the movement comes from the wrist. The thinner picks usually need you to loosen up the wrist and get some finger translation in there.

You can see in that Gilbert vid when he slows down and opens up the hand there is more movement in the fingers as opposed to when he's shredding face.
That is an excellent pic btp!! Perfect at showing grip and attack angle!! One thing I learned when I had an instructor and this topic came up is that no matter what picking style you use (fingerpicking, flatpicking, etc) you need to think of the picking motion and angle of attack as an ellipse and not a linear motion. I will try to explain ----

This may have been explained on UG before but I will go through it again. The picking motion (this excludes sweeping) is actually a tight little circle around the strings. You can't just attack a string straight down or straight up without the pick moving slightly away from the strings. That's the elliptical picking pattern I'm describing. It's all about economy of movement which is so important in playing guitar in both your picking hand and your fretting hand. There are pros and cons to all styles. Fingerpicking is probably the most economical type of picking in that you can reach strings at blinding speeds but it has limitations such as ---- it's hard to palm mute while fingerpicking, it's hard to tap while finger picking unless you aren't using fingerpicks etc. Thinking of what the picking hand is doing in these situations helps you set up your timing for the pick attack with your fretting hand. This is very important stuff especially if you're doing a lot of alternate/economy picking and playing very fast.

Attack angle plays into this as well and if I explained that I'd just be repeating myself. The others have described it all too well. Just remember that the picking is actually circular and very tight close to the strings to preserve economy of motion and to help in muscle memory of the picking hand. Thinking about the plane of the strings has helped me tremendously in that I mostly fingerpick and just allow my hand to float above the strings. I don't even have to think about what strings I'm playing anymore, my hand is just there when I need it to be.

This post may be a little off topic but since you asked how you pluck the strings I thought I'd go into a little dissertation. Sorry but I tend to be long winded

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yeah thats how i usually have it, more pick excess for strumming and less pick for hitting single notes. it takes practice switching the pick around in your hand but it becomes natural after you keep doing it.

also, holding the pick closer to the tip, it makes pinch harmonics MUCH MUCH MUCH easier, IMO.

edit: i also strictly use fender .50mm delrin picks, they stick to my fingers when im sweating, pick thickness is all preference but i honestly cant play with a hard pick worth shit.
Last edited by btp at Aug 15, 2010,