So after a long time holding my pick wrong, I have finally decided to force myself to change my habit. I'm not completely sure if I'm doing it right, however.

Should it be like this?

Or like this?

Or does either way work?

Or am I doing it completely wrong?
Don't stress it too much man. Everyone has their own way they like to hold their pick. Their is an 'ideal' way to hold it, but the pics you posted are perfectly fine. Whatever feels best for you and doesn't hinder your playing and potentially any future techniques you end up learning will work just fine.
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It's up to you dude. There is no "right" way to hold a pick (just look at Marty Friedman). Just do what works for you.

That being said. most people would say to choke up on the pick really far so there is only a bit exposed. That will make speed picking a bit easier and more accurate.
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I hold my pick in a similar fashion to your 2nd picture.

There are many ways to hold the pick, you've just got to find something you're comfortable with and works for you
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Dont forget to stay relaxed!! Even if you hate him, watch how Yngvie holds his pick! His hand is totally relaxed! Theres some good Paul Gilbert videos on YouTube about picking!
My thumb loves to tighten up when i try to pick fast, starts pulling in...

I pick the 2nd pic of you pick pics.
Last edited by tostrhed at Apr 12, 2012,
For me, either is fine, my friend told me as long as you are comfortable with it, that's okay.
The first one looks better. If you use to much pressure using the 2nd way you're gonna feel a bit a pain in your nail/index finger. But I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just pick the way that feels good to you. I change the way I hold my pick all the time according to my mood, the style of music etc. There's really no "right" way to hold a pick.
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There is no "right" way to hold a pick (just look at Marty Friedman).

No. Don't look at Marty Friedman, his picking is terrible. You can tell his picking is terrible because if you watch old Megadeth videos with him in he completely changes up his picking when he's playing the riffs rather than the leads. He cannot physically play the riffs with his picking the way it is when he's playing leads which means it is flawed.

Listen to Marty but for god's sake don't mimic what you see. He only makes it work because he practiced so much at it, just because it works doesn't make it good.
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Start with a completely relaxed fist. Where the thumb meets the index finger, place the pick there, so that the tip of the pick extends just slightly beyond the tip of the index fingernail.

Whether or not you're an Yngwie fan, look up some videos on Youtube and watch his right hand. It moves with great efficiency and low tension.
From my very limited experience both of those grips look fine, whichever's most comftorable for you to play what you need to play, i mean there are grips that are technically better but whatever works for you.the past two months i struggled with my pick grip as well, i used to hold it angled the wrong direction after i fixed that and played with my grip i decided to use two different picking grips based on what i'm playing and i'm able to switch betweem them pretty quickly.