I can't seem to get over this problem I have with up strums, where my pick seems to get stuck sometimes when I up strum, specifically on the higher strings. I've tried many solutions including playing really slow with a metronome, minimizing tension, correcting my technique and changing how I hold the pick to what is considered the ''correct way'', but nothing seems to help.
I've been playing guitar on and off for about 3 years and this has been a constant problem for me. It's really discouraging to me as I often see people who have been playing for much less time than me doing this seemingly effortlessly, sometimes with pretty bad technique. I've read (way too) many books about playing guitar and correct technique and such and maybe over thinking it is part of the problem. I'm hoping if i put in enough good practice this summer vacation I could remedy this. Any suggestions?
Last edited by cal1fub3ralle5 at Jun 22, 2011,
If I understand you correctly, maybe adjust the angle of your pick for the upstroke? you might be pointing the pick too far upwards, so the picking end is relatively higher than the fat end. Rotate your wrist slightly so the picking end points more to the floor when you do the upstroke.

--edit- Look up some videos on sweep picking, they usually talk about angling the pick to help glide over the strings. Also, there are two angles involved, the up and down but also against or with the string. See here around 2:20 or so.
Last edited by black_box at Jun 22, 2011,
1. Turn your pick at an angle instead of being parallel to the string so it doesn't get stuck...or

2. Hold the pick close to the tip so there's less chance of the pick getting stuck
Thanks for the replies.
I do hold the pick close to the edge and at an about 40 degree angle perpendicular to the strings, and I've seen that video numerous times. The picking end being too high is something I have not considered though. I'll look into it and post again.
Try slow, careful, large brush strokes. Just like painting a wall. When you paint, the brush drags behind the direction of the painting movement.

Keep this movement slow and somewhat exaggerated. Then slowly increase speed and economize the wrist rotation so it's not so exaggerated.

Different people also have different percentages of how much the forearm carries the up and down aspect of the motion, and how much of it is the wrist. I use mostly wrist.
It might be the pick your using, try out some different gauges and find the best one for you. I prefer .88 mm (Green Tortex picks), I find it thick enough for precise alternate picking but have just enough give for strumming too.

Another thought I have is maybe your just gripping the pick too tightly and not letting it move with the strings?

I would suggest trying out different picks or loosening your grip on it.