I mostly try to play lead guitar with a lot of picking. I always play with a closed hand/fist. But now I am trying to learn a riff from Enter Sandman and I find it hard to play with a closed fist while palm muting at the low E- and A strings. It feels more natural to play with an open hand there instead. So is it normal to change between open hand and closed hand/fist in songs or should you always stick to one grip with your picking hand? How do you play?
Do whatever, provided there's no tension in the hand or wrist as a result.
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This probably isn't the answer you want to hear but there is no "best" position for your picking hand. For example, two of my favourite guitar players have totally different ways of holding their pick.

John Petrucci has a very open hand style of picking (http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/3718841/john-petrucci-2014-9.jpg)

Guthrie Govan has all of his fingers lined up side by side (http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/704741/guthrie_govan_toneprint_2.jpg)

The only important thing is if your hand is relaxed or not. No tension.
Either works, just make sure that you don't force your fingers too much into your palm if you choose the closed grip.

Ideally you will chose the grip that is nearest to your hand's default position.
I think either works as long as you're not tense. It's interesting looking back on how i played at the very beginning and i used to have a real closed tense fist, but gradually over the years my hand has slowly began to open up naturally. Nowadays i mostly play with an open hand.

In the end, all that matters with your picking hand is that it is relaxed and not holding you back in any technical sense.
Last edited by vayne92 at Oct 19, 2014,
Based on my personal prefernce, a closed hand is better. I got a sore Index finger for all the preasure was goin into but with a closed hand the other fingers are supporting it. There is also more tension when it is open. I want you to make you go numb like no tension at all. Now when uour hand is straight uou notice that your fingers are cloaed in. That is the absolute no tension state for mo muscles are acting on it. Now try and holdnthe pick with the index. Place there and dont holdnit too tight. If you are fast picker you want tonhold it just a tiny bit tighter. But the only muscle your using is he thumb to push the pick into your index.but when your hands are open ndotice that you arenpulling it up, but when closed not likena fist but just closed, there is no muscle actin upon it, lesss tension. I was an open hand picker, but I can play faster with a closed hand and can achieve 14.66 notes a second. I think you also have more control when it is closed because when it is open, your hands will wigle around more and take more energy to push back, its physics I cant explain it properly, with a closed hand though you are able to do smaller movements which is one key to playin fast.
this is just my perspnal opinion, and I respect you guys opinions about personal preference but sometimes I think there is a better way. But the person was just brought up with a shitter way and comfortable with it and shoukd he try to the other way he cant be bothered trying it cause the other way feels more comfortable and he can play better with it. But had he chosen or practiced the other way, and spent the same time doing it as the shitter way, he may have been a faster player. Just my personal opinion, lets not argue

New pink floyd album coming this november, watched the trailer, david gilmours guitar is giving me orgasms
Quote by viperzz33
I was an open hand picker, but I can play faster with a closed hand and can achieve 14.66 notes a second.

You like to mention that 14.66 notes a second quite a bit around here..
Last edited by vayne92 at Oct 31, 2014,
A lot im proud of, im going for 120bpm 32nd notes, thats my goal after my tendonisities is gone, infact thats the 4th ttime I mentioned it in the last 2 days
Quote by viperzz33
A lot im proud of, im going for 120bpm 32nd notes, thats my goal after my tendonisities is gone, infact thats the 4th ttime I mentioned it in the last 2 days

It's incredibly contradictory that you preach about using a closed hand and offer advice and yet you have tendinitis, which is almost always a result of bad technique, generally from too much tension. I think you should reflect on what you've said while taking that in to consideration..
Its from over playing and im not sure I think its also fro typing lots and lots of essays on the computer, got exams coming uo weve been writing a lot I school, the holidays just finished 3 weeks ago, I played in average 3 hours aday sometimes I get to 7 hours, thats playig really fast stuff all the way through basically. So yeh its a combi ation from overplaying and typing and a bit of gaming........pc gamer here battlefield all the way.....
Another thing I have it on my left hand......my right hand is completely find, my right is is quick but my left is havong difficulty catching, I can play faster than 14.66 notes a second when tremolo picking, dont know how fast I can go with that though

here is me playing afterlife 3 months ago, i may be a shredder now but i still prefer david gilmour style Oh yeh 20 days to go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yessss the album is called the endless river you guys should lsiten to the trailer, sensational!!!!

This me and my bestfriends acoustic song we made a few montha ago i love it
Last edited by viperzz33 at Oct 31, 2014,