#1
Hey, I've been playing guitar for about 5 years, mostly rock/blues/metal, and I've been especially focusing on my alternate picking... I have run into a slight dilemma.

I started with an open hand (my thumb and index finger hold the pick, and my other 3 fingers are spread out loosely). This is how I naturally gripped the pick and it has always worked for me, especially for riffing. I typically have my other 3 fingers lightly touching the body of the guitar below the strings (mostly my pinky finger) when I am playing on the higher strings.

I had a goal to play Paul Gilbert's "Technical Difficulties". Using my typical technique, I could (almost) play the main riff, but I noticed Paul holding the pick with a more closed hand (thumb/index fingers holding the pick, but other 3 fingers loosely folded into palm). He doesn't touch the body of the guitar, but seems to rests his other 3 fingers on the strings (could be wrong on this; not sure).

I tried using this technique for awhile and noticed some benefits compared to my "open handed" technique, such as it being is easier to make smaller movements when alt. picking, leading to a seemingly faster picking ability; I felt like it was easier to play solos.

I also notice Danny Gill of Licklibrary playing like this (link ), but then again, I also see Guthrie Govan playing more-so like I do... (link )

Both techniques feel relatively comfortable at this point, but there seems to be some ups and downs for both as well... My question is: Do I stick with an "open hand" technique, or do I adopt Paul's style of "closed hand" picking?

Thanks for reading!
#2
It just depends on the person, everyone picks differently, just do what's comfortable. I let my fingers hang completely relaxed, on their own, which is usually more outstretched than closed, I just let 'em dangle.

Occasionally I anchor my hand lightly with my pinky, some people rage about that...but Michael Angelo Batio swears by it.
#3
An open hand (for me, at least) feels more comfortable and responsive for muted, chugging passages, and playing riffs lower on the neck, usually on the lower 3 strings, while closed-handed strumming is for playing wide-open chords when I'm just swinging my arm up and down across the strings, and for playing solos, especially higher up on the neck, for more precision and control. I tried sticking to one style or the other, but found that, in my case, at least, alternating between the two works best for me.
#5
Quote by vayne92
oh please no.. not another thread like this. GOD NO.


Well...it could be about "something other than picking", if you catch my drift

Masturbation.
#6
Quote by Velcro Man
Occasionally I anchor my hand lightly with my pinky, some people rage about that...but Michael Angelo Batio swears by it.

Michael Angelo Batio has an excellent version of the technique. For those who aren't shred gods it's easy to get used to putting too much pressure on the anchor and possibly strain yourself, as well as restricting your movement. Provided, like MAB, you can keep the pressure low even when playing fast, you don't have a problem, otherwise other techniques are preferable.
#7
Open hand is ideal because it's relaxed. It's also pretty normal to rest your relaxed fingers on the unused strings. It mutes them and keeps your hand in place without planting.
#8
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Michael Angelo Batio has an excellent version of the technique. For those who aren't shred gods it's easy to get used to putting too much pressure on the anchor and possibly strain yourself, as well as restricting your movement. Provided, like MAB, you can keep the pressure low even when playing fast, you don't have a problem, otherwise other techniques are preferable.


Oh, when I do it, I only use friction to anchor my hand, I don't press down at all. Either that or light cup the pickup frame thingy. I just tested out my hands and noticed I don't anchor very much, and when I do pick fast, I tend to pull my fingers in, not to add any pressure or anything, more just to get them out of the way.
#9
It's up to you and it's not a big deal in my opinion. If you're comfortable and ok with your own style go with it. Don't adopt others techniques.