#1
Hello everyone.

To make a long story short, I have been playing bass faithfully for 13 years. I've played in everything from various rock bands to traveling university jazz bands. I have never, ever used a pick. Recently, I have been trying to learn some electric guitar for fun and because I have quite a bit of guitar equipment for others to record with on projects I'm involved in. My biggest problem is how to hold a pick and how to pick one string at a time without hitting everything else. I know there is no "right" or "wrong" way to pick an electric guitar. However, I was wondering if anyone knows of any great videos or articles on how to properly hold a pick, hand positioning, alternative picking and only hitting one string at a time (muting or anchoring videos work as well)? My favorite types of music would range from Slash and Myles' material to Alter Bridge/Tremonti to Alice in Chains. Certain picking techniques are better for certain styles, so hopefully these bands give a little bit of an idea for you of what I'm wanting to do, but honestly, any help would be great. I'm currently learning chords in my guitar lessons, but still lack on the picking and clarity. Thanks!
#2
The way to hold a guitar pick is by resting the pick on the index finger and balance without holding it. The pick tip should roughly point in the same direction as the index finger. Then you should hold the pick with the thumb. Try to find the right balance between too loose and too tight as you play.

The motion should be not from the elbow. The elbow should only move as you change strings. The picking movement should come by rotation of the wrist/forearm. I remember reading from a book that the movement of picking is 'like turning a key'. So the elbow should be relaxed. There is no quick way to learn this, and after 13 years of playing I guess you are proficient at playing bass so it is a bit frustrating not being able to do something as basic as picking.

As far as muting, it should be relatively similar to playing bass. You must be creative as it depends on the music piece you are playing. I should advise against anchoring. If you insist on anchoring, it is generally done by opening your middle finger and ring finger. Then, stretching the pinky finger and anchoring it to the pickguard close to the bridge pickup.

'How to hit one sting without hitting anything else'. The pick angle helps. Experiment and practice. Playing scales over and over really improved the picking technique. Eventually you will be able to play fluidly, clearly and accurately. I would suggest trying to sing the scales while playing. This improves your awareness of the notes.

I am not a huge fan of alternate picking, I tend to use economy picking. You must become proficient in alternate picking before moving to economy picking as alternate picking will help develop speed.

I hope to have addressed all your questions. If something is not clear ask me to further explain. One final thought is that lighter picks are better for playing chords while thicker picks are faster for playing single notes. Most likely you will play with one pick, having the pick protrude more from the index finger makes it easier to play chords. Having the pick protrude a bit less makes single notes playing faster and more accurate. I would suggest about 0.7mm thickness.

At the end you mentioned lacking clarity and you are still playing chords. This has to do more with the fretting hand.
#3
Interesting that you say not anchoring. I notice I always have my 4th finger resting against the body of the guitar or edge of the bridge pickup. I actually can't play without it, feels so odd.
I don't hold the pick particularly tightly, I have my thumb across the middle of the pick and 1st finger supporting the pick from the back. I only use a small part of the pick for picking, but whatever feels natural for you. For picking individual strings you should only need small movements of the wrist and with practice you will get used to the distance between strings, compared to your bass.
#4
Anchoring makes you feel comfortable and inspires confidence but anchoring limits the movement and slows you down.