#1
I have been playing for three years, I have always hold the pick with the point facing up, between the front partof my thumb and my index finger, I have always noticed almost all guitarist hold the pick this way:



which is very different, the point of the pick is facing down and the pick is beetwen the front of the thumb an the lateral part of the index finger.

my picking speed have not improved in the last year, I think one of the reasons could be my technique, yesterday I have began to try picking the way that pictures shows, and it was really awkward and my picking speed was something like 50%, today I keep practicing, and now is something like and 80%.

but it feels really awkward, so much that it kills a lot of the joy that I have when I play.

so I wanna know, my other picking technique could be the reason of my not improving speed? honestly since I change is awkward, but the transition between strings when picking feels more "fluid", I should continue until I get used to this?

some exercises you recommend?
Quote by Våd Hamster
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#3
Quote by tappooh
can you post a picture of how you used to hold it?


well I don't have a camera right now, I will try with my web cam but it have really low resolution, I'll be posting one in some minutes.

EDIT:

hope this helps, thank you
Quote by Våd Hamster
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Last edited by andras67 at Jul 6, 2011,
#4
as i expected...

its not bad, as long as you get a good angle on the strings you can pick just as fast. i know some shredders use to hold it that way and can play very fast.

the only issue is that it might start hurting your thumb after a while and might have a hard time hybrid picking.

edit: try add the middle finger as well and see if it helps.
Last edited by tappooh at Jul 6, 2011,
#5
Quote by tappooh
as i expected...

its not bad, as long as you get a good angle on the strings you can pick just as fast. i know some shredders use to hold it that way and can play very fast.

the only issue is that it might start hurting your thumb after a while and might have a hard time hybrid picking.

edit: try add the middle finger as well and see if it helps.


so my technique is not what stops me to improve my picking speed? , what other things could be doing this?

at maximum speed I can play open high E string sixteenth notes at 180 bpm, I would not call that slow, but as I have say I have not improved on this matter in a year, some advice or exercise to improve this?

also, no, my thumb never hurts, even if I play for hours, maybe beacuase I have already been playing like this some years, even when I have been trying to play like in the first image I post it hurts a little, not my thumb but my index finger.
Quote by Våd Hamster
Fuck yes you are the best poster ever

do you wanna hear a little piano composition I have just made?, I promise it don't totally sucks, you can hear it on my profile, any feedback would be really appreciated -C4C
Last edited by andras67 at Jul 6, 2011,
#7
I hold it that way, and the problem that I noticed with that, is that I find myself often picking not from my wrist, but my thumb being sort of the driving force of the motion, which makes my index finger hurt and I feel it limits my movement.

I tried to change it, as you did, but also found other ways of holding it so unbearably uncomfortable that I decided **** it, I'll just stick with this. There are people who hold the pick much weirder and play a lot better, so I can aswell.

For example Marty Friedman. Goddamn his picking hand is weird.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVdyHs_IX1I

Although now looking at your pic, I realized I hold it a bit different. Same thumb angle, but my index finger is a lot more curled. I'm too lazy to take a photo, so I just drew it up in paint.



This is how my hold looks from the side where the pick is sticking out.
Last edited by Shinami at Jul 6, 2011,
#8
As said before i dont think it is the way you´re holding the pick that is the problem, i think you just need to practice things that are hard for you to do. Example: Are you haveing problem switching strings when picking? do you have problems plying 2/3/4/5 note per strings patterns?

When you find out what is your problem you can practice and then with time your speed will improve.
#9
Although that's not how I recommend you hold a pick, if your thumb is flexible and it doesn't hurt then it's absolutely fine.

Your problem isn't with how you hold the pick. Shawn freaking Lane holds his pick like that and he's the fastest alternate picker I've ever seen.
#10
Sorry to highjack the thread, thought my question didn't need a new one because it is realted to the OP.

The end of the pick is slightly angled when I hold it, it isn't pointing directly downwards like in the picture above. It points slightly to the left. I was wondering, is this still correct? It hasn't really affected my playing, because I've been playing like this since I can remember.It's just that I've been trying to practice tremolo picking lately and it sounds very... blurry if that makes sense. Either it's bad technique or a problem with my grip.

Thanks
Gear:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Godin Velocity
Peavey Vypyr 15 Watt
AMT WH1 Japanese Girl Wah
Marshall BB-2 Boost/OD
Joyo JF-07 Classic Flanger
Joyo JF-37 Analog Chorus
#11
Without being a dick - "points to the left" is a pretty useless description of an orientation in three dimensional space without any reference point.

A pic would be good, or a better description.
#12
Quote by BlueIceBox
Sorry to highjack the thread, thought my question didn't need a new one because it is realted to the OP.

The end of the pick is slightly angled when I hold it, it isn't pointing directly downwards like in the picture above. It points slightly to the left. I was wondering, is this still correct? It hasn't really affected my playing, because I've been playing like this since I can remember.It's just that I've been trying to practice tremolo picking lately and it sounds very... blurry if that makes sense. Either it's bad technique or a problem with my grip.

Thanks

I assume you mean the tip of the pick is pointed slightly toward the tip of your thumb, in which case, that's fine.
Chances are that your tremolo picking sounds "blurry" because your picking is weak.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#13
Quote by Aleksi
I assume you mean the tip of the pick is pointed slightly toward the tip of your thumb, in which case, that's fine.
Chances are that your tremolo picking sounds "blurry" because your picking is weak.


Yes that is what I meant, sorry if my description wasn't that good
Thanks
Gear:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Godin Velocity
Peavey Vypyr 15 Watt
AMT WH1 Japanese Girl Wah
Marshall BB-2 Boost/OD
Joyo JF-07 Classic Flanger
Joyo JF-37 Analog Chorus
#14
Quote by andras67
well I don't have a camera right now, I will try with my web cam but it have really low resolution, I'll be posting one in some minutes.

(picture)

hope this helps, thank you


I'm not entirely certain due to the angle and graininess of the picture, but are you holding the pick such that the pointed end points away from the guitar? And then picking with one of the round corners instead?

Are you able to post a picture of just your hand holding the pick, composed similarly to the example in your first post? Webcam is fine, it's the angle that's important. Hold up a sheet of white paper behind it so there's less junk in the background, if you like.
#15
I also have a problem with "blurry" tremolo picking and what not, and I was also wondering if it could be the way I hold my pick. I've tried a ton of different ways and I haven't found one that completely feels right. When I only hold it with my thumb and index, it feels too weak. But when I hold it with thumb, index, and middle, something just doesn't agree like when I pick.

I just don't know much else to try. I'm just kinda glad to know that I'm not the only one having this problem. (Not being a jerk..)
#16
Quote by Danielghero
I also have a problem with "blurry" tremolo picking and what not, and I was also wondering if it could be the way I hold my pick. I've tried a ton of different ways and I haven't found one that completely feels right. When I only hold it with my thumb and index, it feels too weak. But when I hold it with thumb, index, and middle, something just doesn't agree like when I pick.

I just don't know much else to try. I'm just kinda glad to know that I'm not the only one having this problem. (Not being a jerk..)

Thumb and index is the way to go and remember that you should be picking from the wrist. Tremolo picking is exactly the same (physically) as alternate picking, you want to make sure that you're articulating each individual note clearly.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#17
I've recently changed the way I hold my pick. I used to hold it between the thumb and side of the index finger, but with my other fingers very loose and kind of curling under the bottom strings. I watched a video on youtube of a guy who goes into great detail about the proper way to hold the pick and how to pick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_fqkNglmGA&feature=related). It was very awkward for me at first, but I've stuck with it and have been using it for about 3 days now. I'm back up to my plateau speed of about 16th notes cleanly at about 90bpm; and I find with this method its really starting to feel 'right'. It's much easier to control the pick motion on a more refined level and I can really reduce the wrist motion easier and pick more efficiently. I highly recommend this method. I think this is how Paul Gilbert picks--at least that's what the guy in the video says.
#18
So your saying I'm not articulating the notes right? How would I go about changing that and articulating right?
#19
Quote by Danielghero
So your saying I'm not articulating the notes right? How would I go about changing that and articulating right?

Chances are your articulation is suffering because you're trying to play too fast, slow it down and work on making the note sound clearly every time you pick it. Gradually increase your speed - if you can't make it sound good slow, you can't make it sound good fast.
Also, remember that when you're tremolo picking: it's not just a case of picking as fast as you can; you want to be hitting that note a set number of times at a measured speed e.g. you might pick the 4th fret of the G string eight times using 16th notes at 140bpm.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#20
I'm finally starting to make it sound better slow. Hopefully now I'll keep it consistent and in sync and everything. Thanks!
#21
Quote by ascend
I'm not entirely certain due to the angle and graininess of the picture, but are you holding the pick such that the pointed end points away from the guitar? And then picking with one of the round corners instead?

Are you able to post a picture of just your hand holding the pick, composed similarly to the example in your first post? Webcam is fine, it's the angle that's important. Hold up a sheet of white paper behind it so there's less junk in the background, if you like.


nope, I'm picking with the pointed end, and for the picture I'll thank to post another one tomorrow, thank for all the advices.
Quote by Våd Hamster
Fuck yes you are the best poster ever

do you wanna hear a little piano composition I have just made?, I promise it don't totally sucks, you can hear it on my profile, any feedback would be really appreciated -C4C
#22
Quote by Sickz
As said before i dont think it is the way you´re holding the pick that is the problem, i think you just need to practice things that are hard for you to do. Example: Are you haveing problem switching strings when picking? do you have problems plying 2/3/4/5 note per strings patterns?

When you find out what is your problem you can practice and then with time your speed will improve.


I think my problem is switching near strings, I'm learning "enfermo" by kiko loureiro, and the first part whic is playing going up in three strings in different patter, 2 note on the B string, 1 note on the G string and three notes in the D, that give a lot of problems, I can play it, but I have to be really focus on it, I never play it well the first time, I think is just matter of practice, I'm working on that.

also I want to improve the speed, I don't know how to do that, I am doing three exercise, the first is just play open E , the second is playing with tremolo picking chromatically up and down, the third are some scale runs, I'm practicing wiht a metrenome and when I feel I playe clean and accurate I increase the speed.

is this a good method?

I think it is working, in these couple days, in the first exercise, just, playing open E with tremolo picking I increase my speed from 180 bpm to 195 bpm sixteenth notes.
Quote by Våd Hamster
Fuck yes you are the best poster ever

do you wanna hear a little piano composition I have just made?, I promise it don't totally sucks, you can hear it on my profile, any feedback would be really appreciated -C4C
#23
I don't know if anyone's said this before, but Paul Gilbert used to hold his pick like this, until he switched the direction.

He said it hurt his fingers or something. If it doesn't hurt yours, it's probably okay to continue. Not recommended, but probably no harm.
#24
I think my problem is switching near strings, I'm learning "enfermo" by kiko loureiro, and the first part whic is playing going up in three strings in different patter, 2 note on the B string, 1 note on the G string and three notes in the D, that give a lot of problems, I can play it, but I have to be really focus on it, I never play it well the first time, I think is just matter of practice, I'm working on that.

also I want to improve the speed, I don't know how to do that, I am doing three exercise, the first is just play open E , the second is playing with tremolo picking chromatically up and down, the third are some scale runs, I'm practicing wiht a metrenome and when I feel I playe clean and accurate I increase the speed.

is this a good method?


Those are okay, focusing on cleanliness and accuracy is the most important part. However, string crossings are the most difficult part of picking and you should probably spend more time focusing on them. Picking through arpeggios and working on more complicated sequences is a good idea.