#1
this is probably a common question, infact there's a thread sort of about it on this very page, but i will put some pictures so i make sure the question can be answered in a totally relevant way to me...


i find it most comfortable to hold my pick wedged in my hands in a way that produces this sort of angle to the strings

http://i.imgur.com/Q4vUEOg.jpg

however i notice that with this angle its going to cause problems when i play the high notes (and also when i economy pick?), coz i am hitting them with a curve of the pick rather than straight-on with the tip of the pick


the other way to hold it would be to shift my grip so that i'm purposefully straightening the pick tip so that it always goes parallel to the strings

this guarantees a sharper strike but feels less natural to hold. it requires effort to point my thumb up in the air (sort of what you need to to do maintain that position)

http://i.imgur.com/7iILrUw.jpg

so my question is, should i be using technique 2 / flat pick from now on?

are you guys familiar with when i say i need to point my thumb up at my face in order to make the difference between image1 and image2?

thanks
Last edited by percydw at Aug 27, 2015,
#2
Wrong solution to the problem. Get a pick with more of a point, like a Jazz III or similar. I think probably the majority of shredders favour an angled pick.
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#3
hey i just ran this video (part 1 anyway) and he seems to hold it at an angle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx3Tzuoq3Xg

yeah i just noticed he seems to be using a lighter pick perhaps than me,

i have this rock hard jim dunlop jazz 3 and i havent touched any other pick since i started so maybe i should try out my old pick (chance of me finding it is less than 0% lol)

also today for the first time ever (and that guy mentions it in his vid too) i have been bracing/anchoring my hand against the fretboard/strings which gave me waaay greater control suddenly. i literally never done that today and done it by accident today before i saw the vid lol.


oh i am using the jazz 3 you suggested.
#4
to be honest i think maybe that starting to use anchoring/bracing (2.30 in above video) might be the answer to having shitty sideways tone at the higher notes

it seems to give the control and power i was missing

ill try it with the amp on tomorrow and see

exciting stuff its like another 200% boost to speed lol since i stopped holding the pick between forefinger and thumb like a ******

this is probably the slowest its ever taken anyone to figure out how to pluck a guitar lol. and i havent even got to strumming yet
Last edited by percydw at Aug 27, 2015,
#5
yeah, don't anchor. You can be just as accurate without it, and it's generally considered a crutch.

Also, don't worry about speed, and certainly don't try to get into shredding yet, if you're still trying to figure out how to hold the pick. There are a lot of fundamentals you need to get good at before concerning yourself with speed. After that, speed will come naturally.

Your first priority ALWAYS should be accuracy and consistency.

Plus, the guy in that video sounds Canadian, so don't listen to him.
#6
Quote by percydw
to be honest i think maybe that starting to use anchoring/bracing (2.30 in above video) might be the answer to having shitty sideways tone at the higher notes


Search for "anchoring" in this very forum and you'll get reams of threads. Read them and make up your own mind. Despite what that guy says in the video, you don't need to rely on it. On the other hand, some people can get a variety of things to work for them and a light contact with the guitar at the wrist isn't the end of the world.

Whether you're angling the pick or holding it flat, I think that has more to do with how you want your tonal attack to sound than speed. I'll do different things with the pick, fingers, wrist and arm depending on what I want to do.
#7
Anchoring is a can of worms, and rightly so, but here's my understanding of it: "Anchoring" is considered a bad word because it's associated with tension. If you put pressure on your hand, to hold it firmly in place, you'll generate a lot of excess tension and the results are not only limiting but have the potential to be a health hazard. If you just rest your palm/wrist lightly on the bridge/strings, that's completely fine and, I'd say, that's ideal, really. Trying to float your hand above the strings, as the guy in the video puts it, generates a lot of extra tension and is probably just as unhealthy as the "bad" form of anchoring, because you've got to try to hold your hand in position just using your elbow, basically.*

What I would say, while I certainly encourage you to experiment to some extent, is that the hand position of the guy in the video looks very unhealthy - the way he pulls his right hand fingers back has to be generating tension. I also think he uses unnecessary words to seem more authoritative.

*This is all primarily in the context of lead guitar playing. Chords, in my experience, never benefit from maintaining contact between the hand and the body.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Aug 28, 2015,
#8
I think that you should use both techniques depending on what sort of sound you want and what you are playing. When playing the lead melody, e.g. a folk hornpipe or reel then use the flatter angle to get more attack, when playing a high speed rock solo use the angle to give you less resistance and more speed (less likely to catch).

Personally I think it best not to anchor, so would advise against it, though again, it may depend on what you are playing.

I tend to think light picks are for beginners who can't hold a more rigid pick lightly enough without dropping it, on the other hand I don't think I would like to have a very hard one like yours. They are cheap enough, just try some. Remember one advantage of electric guitar is that you don't have to pluck the strings hard, you can turn up the amp instead.
#9
Quote by K33nbl4d3
you'll generate a lot of excess tension and the results are not only limiting but have the potential to be a health hazard.



Agreed. Whatever technique you use there should be no tension, for both hands learn to play with minimum force.
#10
It's going to sound a little asinine and not very helpful, but I think you need to find the balance between having enough attack in your picking and not being perpendicular to the strings. My personal style is closer to flat picking than a curve, but it's not at a right angle. I can't really pick as well feeling my pick sliding into the next string.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Anchoring is a can of worms, and rightly so, but here's my understanding of it: "Anchoring" is considered a bad word because it's associated with tension. If you put pressure on your hand, to hold it firmly in place, you'll generate a lot of excess tension and the results are not only limiting but have the potential to be a health hazard. If you just rest your palm/wrist lightly on the bridge/strings, that's completely fine and, I'd say, that's ideal, really. Trying to float your hand above the strings, as the guy in the video puts it, generates a lot of extra tension and is probably just as unhealthy as the "bad" form of anchoring, because you've got to try to hold your hand in position just using your elbow, basically.*

What I would say, while I certainly encourage you to experiment to some extent, is that the hand position of the guy in the video looks very unhealthy - the way he pulls his right hand fingers back has to be generating tension. I also think he uses unnecessary words to seem more authoritative.

*This is all primarily in the context of lead guitar playing. Chords, in my experience, never benefit from maintaining contact between the hand and the body.

I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the difference between anchoring and resting.
#11
ok thanks for the replies everyone

if you need to balance your pick angle and attack appropriately according to where you're playing and what tone you are (failing) to produce then that's good to hear

i watched a few random short videos of those people like gilbert or whatever too to see what they were doing to hold the pick

so the changes i made:

a) change from fist hand to open hand. i think fist hand is good in some circumstances but bad in others. and those big names were using open hand

b) hold pick more towards the end of the thumb, rather than behind the thumb knuckle.

c) dont "rely" on bracing but still think about using it (and avoid anchoring).

here is me using the new picking but worn the **** out and fingers hurt coz my ****ing laptop had no audio and my pc was updating then reverting for like 2 hours and first time playing with amp in like forever coz been away

also idk why my webcam is so shit now, ill buy a new one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA21DI_3Cs0
Last edited by percydw at Aug 28, 2015,
#12
i like keeping it flat because i don't like a noisy attack. but professionals will say that you should be able to do both to vary your sound.
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#13
To reiterate, contact with the guitar for stable picking is fine. It's entirely normal to touch the bridge or unused strings. The problem comes when you do something like plant your pinky or rely on palm muting to keep your hand steady.

Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
i like keeping it flat because i don't like a noisy attack. but professionals will say that you should be able to do both to vary your sound.


Angling gets you a smoother, more legato tone and lets you move a little faster, but you lose dynamics. Holding it flat lets you work with accents and dynamics much more easily, though it's harder to pick fast. You can get a very punchy, plucky sound with a flat pick. Ideally, your technique is dictated by the sounds you want to get.
Last edited by cdgraves at Aug 28, 2015,