#1
Hey guys. I consider myself to have a fairly decent picking technique, and I don't really see the need to change it. But whenever I'm holding my pick, my middle, ring and pinky fingers jut out quite awkwardly. It's frustrating and sometimes they get in the way. I've tried curling them up, similar to my index finger, but it just feels weird and uncomfortable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c786ht2WVRU

Here's a short video of me playing through a C major scale, a quick arpeggio, and a short breakdown rhythm. I apologise for the bad video quality, it was taken with my webcam. So yeah, if anybody could help me it would be appreciated.
#2
Paul Gilbert recommends the awkward solution you suggested. Him and a lot of others. Not too hard to find on youtube. I tried it and like it, but sometimes it's still good to let the other fingers do string muting or just help you feel the strings for better accuracy (hitting the right string at speed when there's a lot of string skipping).

Gilbert also recommends holding the pick almost perpendicular to the string (like you'd do to cut it if the pick were made of supersharp metal). That's for tone.

Alegedly, holding it with all the fingers supporting your index finger counteracts the strength of your thumb.
#3
I do the same thing, and I like it. It actually makes sweeptapping easier if you tap with your middle finger!
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#4
Quote by LordPino
I do the same thing, and I like it. It actually makes sweeptapping easier if you tap with your middle finger!



You are absolutely right. I tried it right now.


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Last edited by refriant at Jan 27, 2012,
#7
Quote by Freepower


You have a useful video for everything! That's certainly the best video I've seen on how to hold the pick underwater (you were underwater right?).

TS - I know what you mean about the other fingers getting in the way. I've found this is the case when playing with a relaxed fist kinda grip (like Freepower's video). My solution, for a while, was to bring my fingers closer into my hand. However the act of doing this caused some tension in my wrist that was noticeable after playing for a while. If I didn't bring my fingers in, they'd occasionally brush the strings (or at least feel like they were about to, which is almost as uncomfortable a feeling as the tension itself). My solution was to let my fingers relax but so that my fingers pointed forwards slightly rather than curled inwards. The important thing is that they stay relaxed however, as I've seen many people do this but with their fingers pretty much completely straight, which to me looks tense and inefficient.

Anyway, looking at your video (TS, not Freepower; I'm not qualified to give Freepower advice :P) it looks as if your fingers are quite tense, or are in such a position as to cause your wrist tension. This may not be the case, as you often find people look tense when they're not (especially skinny people such as myself; I often think Paul Gilbert's hand looks tense or awkward but it's totally not.. he's just skinny so his tendons are more visible). Either way, it's worth seeing if there is tension there as if so you really need to change it. The most important thing is that your hand is relaxed. To be honest, Freepower's video explains it all perfectly, just thought I'd add some personal experience in there too.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Jan 9, 2012,
#8
That's certainly the best video I've seen on how to hold the pick underwater (you were underwater right?).




I think there was some kind of audio processing applied by my video software that makes me sound a little strange.

Thanks for the kind words though. I just try and make a video every time I see the same thread cropping up a few times.
#9
Quote by Freepower


I think there was some kind of audio processing applied by my video software that makes me sound a little strange.

Thanks for the kind words though. I just try and make a video every time I see the same thread cropping up a few times.


Well holy crap.

I decided "what the hell, I'll give this style another go" (the way you hold the pick in the video) after having tried it ages ago and ignoring it. Anyway, I got back from work, and tried it - my hands were cold and not fully functioning or warmed up, and it still delivered better results than my old style. I only started using it about 3 hours ago but it's already helped my picking tremendously - I've broken one of my previous 3nps speed barriers, my sweeps are cleaner... But the best thing is that it makes it much easier to fully feel the string when you hit it, giving you that satisfying bounce, particularly when galloping. It also seems to have helped greatly with my articulation...

This always happens. I try something someone suggests, and somehow, I immediately see the benefit, there's no "getting used to it" period.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#10
I still hold my pick similarly to the way Paul Gilbert claims he used to before he actually started paying attention to his picking technique, with three fingers (index and middle finger together against the thumb). :P It is admittedly inefficient when it comes to alternate and hybrid picking styles. I do actually tend to angle it a bit though.

Just to see, I've occasionally purposefuly tried to play holding my pick "properly", and I can play that way but it ends up feeling awkward. So I end up defaulting to my normal ways at the end of the day. But the price for that technique is basically that I can't do really fast alternate picking without some tension, and I have one less finger available for hybrid picking (so I end up just using my fingers if I want to do a chicken-picken thing).
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Jan 9, 2012,
#11
This always happens. I try something someone suggests, and somehow, I immediately see the benefit, there's no "getting used to it" period.




Then you're exceptionally lucky, and need to find some sick teachers to leech off.
#12
Thanks for the tips guys, it's much appreciated. There is absolutely no tension in my hand when I pick like that, which is a good sign. Thanks for the video Freepower!