#1
I've tried holding the pick in the 'textbook method', which is how the literature teaches you to hold it. But while I'm playing I always notice I hold it differently. I uploaded a pic of how I hold it. Is there a right way and a wrong way of this? When I try the textbook method, it feels awkward.
Attachments:
standard.JPG
my style.JPG
Last edited by Rising Sun361 at Jan 18, 2015,
#2
Personally I would look at how Paul Gilbert holds the pick, it seems to me to be the most effective way of doing it for the largest number of people.

I wouldn't worry too much about it feeling awkward; everything about guitar feels awkward until you get used to it, nothing we do is 'natural' so it all needs getting used to.
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#3
I hold my pick exactly like you, i changed it to the more "formal" grip and i wasted 2 years doing so, now i get back to the way i'm comfortable with and i'm really happy with it, so hold your pick as you like, only one thing: don't hold it with 3 fingers and you should be fine. But if you want to give it a chance and try to practice the proper way, just don't stick with it for a long time if you don't see any progress (like i did).

EDIT: I forgot to mention, i only play acoustic guitar so mainly strumming...
Last edited by sam2289 at Jan 18, 2015,
#4
Quote by Rising Sun361
I've tried holding the pick in the 'textbook method', which is how the literature teaches you to hold it. But while I'm playing I always notice I hold it differently. I uploaded a pic of how I hold it. Is there a right way and a wrong way of this? When I try the textbook method, it feels awkward.


If you're playing lead, then the "textbook" way is going to keep you nearer the strings, for speed and accuracy (not that I call the provided textbook jpg correct ... way to much pick is exposed, which can lead to entrapment with the strings).

As importantly, assess how you're making the actual pick movement, as you pick on one string. For speed, this needs to come from small wrist movements ... move your hand (angle) around until you find your making the least mistakes doing this with minimum motion that is reakky comfortable (no strain at all).

The tricky bit then is maintaining that angle as you change strings. Some folk reach out and are fine ... some slide their forearm slightly, so the same angle is maintained. I find the latter works for me.

cheers, Jerry
#5
My pick will fly off if I hold it your style.
Oh well, oh well, oh well


FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
#6
AS it was already told, it all depends on what you want to play, if it's lead (or anything the least technical), you would HAVE to learn the correct way.

I made the swtich a while ago and, even though you feel like "regressing" at first, you'll be a lot better a lot faster when you get used to it.

But then, again, if you're intention is to strum chords, don't bother!
#7
Going to go with the boring answer and say try everything and see what works for you. If the normal pick keeps feeling too awkward, then a thumb pick could be your thing, for example.
#8
I'd like to add to Zaphods comment. Nothing we musicians do are natural, cause we didn't evolve to play music. Any way works as long as it is comfortable for you, and with time you should be able to develop good playing, granted that you practice within your limit and practice often. (Muscle memory takes some time to develop, i think i've read that it takes around 5000 repetitions of something until muscle memory starts to sink in)

So if you have patience and focus on the quality of your playing, you should be fine. Just keep in mind as said in previous posts that the standard grip allows you to use less pick, which leads to you having to push less mass through the string, which leads it to be more convenient. But we have dozens of good players that don't hold the standard way aswell, so it works to do something else aswell, if you work on it and have patience.

It's really up to you. I would personally take some time and get used to the standard grip, but that is cause i play music that requires me to have that grip for easier usage of my remaining fingers on that hand. As said, it's up to you.
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#9
Quote by Rising Sun361
I've tried holding the pick in the 'textbook method', which is how the literature teaches you to hold it. But while I'm playing I always notice I hold it differently. I uploaded a pic of how I hold it. Is there a right way and a wrong way of this? When I try the textbook method, it feels awkward.


It's just a matter of time until you realize which plectrum holding technique suits you. True that playing different music style's require different way of plectrum hold. However eventually you will get up to it.
#10
Quote by 21sthost
It's just a matter of time until you realize which plectrum holding technique suits you. True that playing different music style's require different way of plectrum hold. However eventually you will get up to it.


Well there's a couple of issues I have with this:

First: Different styles don't require different ways of holding the pick. The way people like Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan, and a good few others hold the pick will work for absolutely anything.

Second: it won't be a matter of time until TS realises what works, it's a matter of time until the way TS picks stops feeling uncomfortable, which is really not the same thing when it comes to getting close to optimal technique. It's how you end up with people who have mad technique like Marty Friedman, which works... but is crazy.

I generally believe, and I know some people will disagree with me, that sticking to holding the pick and positioning your hand in the way that Paul Gilbert does should be the default until a person discovers that it actually just doesn't work for them at all. Not that it's uncomfortable or anything like that, that it literally does not work.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#11
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr


Second: it won't be a matter of time until TS realises what works, it's a matter of time until the way TS picks stops feeling uncomfortable, which is really not the same thing when it comes to getting close to optimal technique.


This is exactly right. You must be very careful about going with what 'feels natural'. Playing guitar is totally UN-natural so there is no reason why what feels right is the best. It nearly always isn't the best approach.

I wrote a short article on this common issue: http://stuartbahn.com/nothing-natural-about-playing-guitar/
#12
Do it how you feel comfortable. I have made myself a worse guitarist in some respects since I took guitar technique lessons on speed picking/alternate picking. I used to be great at tremolo picking styles, now im hopeless, because its amazing how much it changes the whole feel of playing guitar, depending where that pick is and how you hold it.

I mean both movements are coming from the wrist, but I can actually feel the strong, synced part of my wrist muscles from the old style of picking, compared to the new (muscle just feels tight, and dead, doesnt wanna move for me) so now to tremolo pick, I have to use arm/forearm only, which really hurts over periods of time. And is considered really poor technique in the guitar community as you have less control over your timing.
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Last edited by riffmerchant at Jan 27, 2015,
#13
When I started playing, I held the pick like you do, but with my pointer and middle finger, and not just my pointer finger. I switched to the textbook way, and while it sucked for the first two weeks, I quickly got over it and my playing improved as a result. In my opinion, it is a worthwhile investment of your time to learn to play holding the pick the textbook way.

That said, not every professional guitarist holds the pick the textbook way. I have heard Jimmy Page is a good example of this, but I have nothing to site that as fact other than hearsay, so maybe I shouldn't be repeating that claim : )