Templar0220
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Join date: Jul 2009
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#1
I recently got back into playing and am rebuilding my technique to a more appropriate way (in a way that I can keep my thumb straight and be able to do thumb muting), and at first I was having a hard time holding the pick at the tip of my index and my thumb, it just didnt feel strong enough of a grip and felt off. So now I curl my index back and seems to be more on my first knuckle. Heres a couple pictures:

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130101_124703_zpsd7e45b3f.jpg

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130101_124711_zps4e746750.jpg

I can get a good solid grip most of the time and a powerful alternate/tremolo picking technique now and I can thumb mute now. I can pretty much play everything better, but I just notice other guitar players have their thumb straighter and have the pick at the end of their index before the first knuckle, whereas mine is on the first knuckle. I was just wondering if this should be cause for concern or am I good with what Im doing? Also, this Paul Gilbert video is closer to what I do as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpJNUGHxC3M
Last edited by Templar0220 at Jan 1, 2013,
Lutz Richter
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#2
It doesn't look bad. So I would recommend you to keep it like that. If it works fine and you move forward, it's good.
By the way: I changed my way to hold the pick after playing for many years, but because I had problems moving forward. After watching Michael Angelo Batio videos I changed to small picks (Jazz 3), use not so much of my fingers to hold the pick and my index finger is almost straight... only a little pulled back, similar to Paul Gilbert. In the past I had too much tension in my hand, I made almost a fist :-)... the new way helped to improve that.
But if your hand is relaxed, I think your approach is fine.
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#3
Sure! Plenty of players pick like that. I believe Marty Friedman does, just that he puts his arm into some obscure angle as well. As long as you're comfortable, relaxed and that isn't limiting you in what you can and cannot play, then I say stick to it!
whyze250f
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#6
The way you're holding the pick is fine, i hold it the same way.
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Templar0220
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#8
Im actually bumping this up because i have another question pertaining to this. Im noticing after a while my index finger on my picking hand can get sore after a while with holding the pick and picking fast for a good while. It sort of seems like my index finger is bent inward now towards the other fingers although slightly. Is it because of the pressure of my thumb and pick on that hand plus the force of the articulation of my picking hand? Am I in trouble here?
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#9
Sounds like you're death-gripping the pick. Loosen up, you really don't need to keep that tight a grip on it to keep it in place.
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Templar0220
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#10
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Sounds like you're death-gripping the pick. Loosen up, you really don't need to keep that tight a grip on it to keep it in place.


Believe it or not I actually try to keep a looser grip as much as possible but with still being able to control the pick from sliding around.
MaaZeus
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#11
You may be just like me. I have very bendy finger joints and no matter how loose I hold the pick, my index finger joint gets sore after couple of hours if I held the pick like that.
So I changed my style to loose fist. (the way you see in Freepowers vids) Helped me a ton with the middle finger supporting my index finger. No more sore joint problems.


*edit* This one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT23yafjAN4

Palm mutes may feel wierd at first but you get over it fast.

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Jan 28, 2013,
Templar0220
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#13
Okay well I've been experimenting and I came up with this position. As you can see in the picture below I'm using my middle finger as a support for my index and it seems to do well with aleaviating (sp?) the soreness from my index but I'm not too sure if this is recomended. Would this position hoold me back in anyway? I play a lot of fast alt/tremolo picking stuff and I don't want to be held up in anway, so do you think this is good?
http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130128_111733.jpg
Templar0220
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#15
Quote by Freepower
It's good but you're still holding those other two fingers way out for no reason. Relax everything you can.


Oh yes well I stretched those out exageratedly for the picture to focus more on the fingers holding the pick. Thank you!
JacobReedShred
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#16
Ultimately the way you hold the pick is the way that feels most comfortable to you. Also you could try out different types of picks as well as thickness to help you get an idea of what's the most comfortable.
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#17
I used to hold my pick like you showed in your last post.


But then I clenched my fingers into a loose fist


baab
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#18
Holy hell, your picking hand almost looks identical to mine. Which, from what I've seen, is a first.

As for technique, it looks fine to me.
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Hckey#
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#19
instead of reading through lazy as hell right now. i play in the normal way with the pick flat on the strings. i hate this, so as of late i flip/tilt the pick. makes it much easier play iron maiden songs. so my questions is, when it comes down to practice, should one practice with the pick straight, or should i angle it since, well that is just how it feels natural for me, maybe not for dave murray but i'm not him.
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#20
Quote by Hckey#
instead of reading through lazy as hell right now. i play in the normal way with the pick flat on the strings. i hate this, so as of late i flip/tilt the pick. makes it much easier play iron maiden songs. so my questions is, when it comes down to practice, should one practice with the pick straight, or should i angle it since, well that is just how it feels natural for me, maybe not for dave murray but i'm not him.


Depends. Different angles give different sounds. Do what suits you the most.
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Templar0220
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#21
Just to let you guys know i switched back to just using my index, not the two fingers like i showed you. Its just not as comfortable. I just think i might have been overusing/playing too hard. But if any problems continue ill be sure to let you know.
B&J
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#22
Robben Ford plays the pick the other way around.... just saying. Matter of taste i guess
Templar0220
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#23
ugh... still having somewhat of an issue. My index is still getting sore (I think a lot of it has to do with when i practice upstrokes). I tried the whole "closed hand" technique like how Mustaine and others use it but it just feels awkward. Yea it helps support my finger but It doesnt feel the same. I can get good control and speed with just my index but like I said for some reason it gets sore and it looks like my finger is bending inwards. Idk what to do this is frustrating..
MaaZeus
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#24
Quote by Templar0220
ugh... still having somewhat of an issue. My index is still getting sore (I think a lot of it has to do with when i practice upstrokes). I tried the whole "closed hand" technique like how Mustaine and others use it but it just feels awkward. Yea it helps support my finger but It doesnt feel the same. I can get good control and speed with just my index but like I said for some reason it gets sore and it looks like my finger is bending inwards. Idk what to do this is frustrating..



I did say it feels wierd at first, especially palm mutes felt very awkward for me. But if you keep doing it, you'll get over it after few days. Now having an open hand feels wierd and loose fist feels more natural to me.

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Templar0220
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#25
Ok so ive been experimenting more with this and here are some pics below. Im trying the loose fist feel and I can see i working out but as you can see I like to use my pinky to help give support to my hand, always have. Is this a bad idea? Also, if I keep my fingers 'too' relaxed, my ring finger will touch the strings (you can see how close it is in the pics) and idk if I should let it do that or not. I just want my technique to be set in so i can focus on playing and getting better so I really hope I can just find my way here. You guys are pretty much my only source of help here as I dont really know any great guitar players around here that or any that will be willing to show me for free. I dont want to have to drive to the nearest city just to pay $60 on a lesson just to get something small like this fixed.

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130203_195302_zpsa305d618.jpg

http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/ForgottenPast27/IMG_20130203_195219_zps36936262.jpg
Funk Monk
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#26
Do what's comfortable in my opinion. Although I must also say that flat-picking can be taxing on your wrist, so once you reach a comfortable grip make sure you are hitting the string at an angle, which can be a bit confusing at first.
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Templar0220
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#27
Quote by Funk Monk
Do what's comfortable in my opinion. Although I must also say that flat-picking can be taxing on your wrist, so once you reach a comfortable grip make sure you are hitting the string at an angle, which can be a bit confusing at first.


well I always pick with an angle thats not a problem. I have to say im a bit embarrassed, ive been playing guitar on and off for years and ive always been having to figure out what ive been doing wrong in order to progress. I mean, ill never quit, but god is it really frustrating and discouraging. I understand the whole do whats comfortable, but some times what seems comfortable to me i eventually find to be holding me back in some way. Thats why im pretty serious about getting this solid.
Funk Monk
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#28
I understand completely man, when I first began playing I was actually flat-picking everything and got good at it but realized I had develop a really bad habit. Had to re-learn everything when it comes to my picking hand, but now i'm a much better player with really good picking habits.

At the end of the day the goal is BALANCE. For most of us at least.
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#29
Looks good. Don't forget, a lot of this stuff isn't really that big a deal. If you find your ring finger on the strings causes problems, just change your position a little until it isn't.
Templar0220
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#30
Quote by Freepower
Looks good. Don't forget, a lot of this stuff isn't really that big a deal. If you find your ring finger on the strings causes problems, just change your position a little until it isn't.


Thanks again Freepower!
Templar0220
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#31
Back again, just something I noticed that's kind of odd is I was looking at photos of me playing guitar from years ago and I was holding the pick in the normal straight thumb on index finger way. Somewhere along the road my picking hand shifted to more of a bent thumb kind of thing because I was using a smaller pick. Then last year I tried correcting this with a new pick and keeping my thumb straight. And now I'm having this issue with my index where my thumb pressing down on my index with the pic makes it sore. I never had this issue until now. What id like to know is what the hell was I doing in the past that suddenly changed and is now a problem O_o. This is crazy

I should also note that I work on a computer all day and im considering the fact that I have to use my index to click a mouse all day might be wearing out my index as well. Ive using my middle finger for this lately to give my index a rest but maybe this could be a possibility as well.
Last edited by Templar0220 at Feb 5, 2013,