Poll: what's the best way to hold a pick?
Poll Options
View poll results: what's the best way to hold a pick?
thumb-index
129 83%
thumb-index-middle
21 14%
thumb-index-middle-ring
1 1%
thumb-middle-ring
1 1%
other
3 2%
Voters: 155.
Page 1 of 3
mr. cool
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Join date: Jun 2005
2,147 IQ
#1
so i did a search and turned up nothing so i figure i would post a thread of my own

for shred (or hell general playing cause it should be the same right)

what is the best way to hold a pick?

and i ask because i used to do it thumb-index-middle but a lot of articles said to play with just thumb-index. now i started to question that because my pick is always turning sideways and even more curious is that i saw g3 and vai and satch both played thumb-index-middle and petrucci picked thumb-index-middle-ring on top of middle

so now that i have developed both styles of playing...

i was wondering (aside from personal preference because both are plenty comfortable) what is the best way to hold a pick?
Freddedonna
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#2
I think the right way is the way you're confortable.
Vindication
Banned
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#3
Whichever way is comfortable and fsat for you.

It really all depends...the thumb-index way is kind of the traditional way, but like you mentioned, many people hold the pick differently.
apocalypse13
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#4
Quote by Freddedonna
I think the right way is the way you're confortable.

yes
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SnowballofDoom
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#5
Quote by mr. cool
vai and satch both played thumb-index-middle and petrucci picked thumb-index-middle-ring on top of middle


Wha..? Are you talking about anchoring their fingers on the body of the guitar? Because Vai and Petrucci both use their index + thumb only. Their middle fingers may come over their index fingers or something like that, but the pick is held between their index + thumb only.

Here's Steve Morse, who holds the pick with his thumb, index and middle:



And Petrucci (ok ok, he's not picking very fast here, but watch a live DVD, he only picks with index and thumb):



As for which one is best? I'm not too sure about that. It's not a great idea to go with whichever is more comfortable, while it can work well, there may be other ways that work better. I'd wait for someone more experienced with this kind of question to chime in (coughfreepowercough).
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Last edited by SnowballofDoom at Feb 21, 2006,
Erc
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#6
I think the motion that you pick with is more important then how many fingers you use to hold the pick.

I could be wrong though =)
Resiliance
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#7
As long as you don't use more than two fingers.
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pavan
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#8
and as long as your comfortable

people forgot to mention Van Halen
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Stratwizard
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#9
Quote by Resiliance
As long as you don't use more than two fingers.


What do you mean? Why is it bad to use more than two fingers?
seljer
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Join date: Apr 2005
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#10
Well unless you have a gigantic pick I dont think its really even possible without having your hand in some really unpractical position...
Stratwizard
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#11
I use Ibanez's Gilbert picks and I can hold it with my thumb, index and middle finger easily.
seljer
UG Resident
Join date: Apr 2005
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#12
I've got on of the Steve Vai ones and I can't figure how you could possibly hold it with 3 ... guess I'm accustomed to thumb+index....


though other than, it limits what you can do with hybrid picking and switching to tapping quickly
Stratwizard
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#13
Quote by seljer
I've got on of the Steve Vai ones and I can't figure how you could possibly hold it with 3 ... guess I'm accustomed to thumb+index....


though other than, it limits what you can do with hybrid picking and switching to tapping quickly


I can do tapping that way pretty easily, but I guess you're right about the hybrid picking.
Freepower
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#14

As for which one is best? I'm not too sure about that. It's not a great idea to go with whichever is more comfortable, while it can work well, there may be other ways that work better. I'd wait for someone more experienced with this kind of question to chime in (coughfreepowercough).


Lol, i spotted this thread but wanted to see what people thought.

Personally, i can see the advantages to almost all methods of picking...i personally hold index pad and thumb pad. Resi, you're index side and thumb pad, right?

Pretty uncomplicated methods.

I know someone uses middle and thumb, he doesnt seem to suffer from it - and i just showed him how to do classical style harmonics, so im sure he'll get something out of it even if his actual "picking technique" suffers.

Er, aside from that, i suppose one must mention that comfortable means loose as well - i can hold my pick with almost 0 tension, which is nice. I guess thats why resi says one finger? Im curious...

Anyway, certain picking styles would be near impossible with different grips. Lane's would be impossible for someone planning to angle and pick like Guthrie, and vice versa (or it would be almost ridiculous to try and do guthrie's style with Lane's grip, your elbow would be almost vertically above your guitar...).

I personally think its a matter of experimentation. Sometimes you need response, other times easy PHs, other times raw staccato speed...
paddyo
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#15
^Dont you ever get tired of people waiting for your "essay" answers which ends all debate? I know I would
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Resiliance
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#16
Quote by Stratwizard
What do you mean? Why is it bad to use more than two fingers?


Well it's pretty logical... It adds tension and to name something it takes away ease of tapping with middle finger if you use your middle finger as well... Not to mention hybrid picking... Etc...

It's always detrimental to hold it with more than one finger imo.


And yesh fp, yesh I am.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
Last edited by Resiliance at Feb 21, 2006,
Stratwizard
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Join date: Feb 2005
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#17
Well, okay... I tried picking with using just two fingers and it wasn't more difficult than what I've used to do, so I might use that way as well.
Prophet of Page
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#18
Pad of thumb, side of index finger. Works for me.
My name is Tom, feel free to use it.
Caressing Death
Virtuoso in training
Join date: Oct 2004
1,176 IQ
#19
I go for index and thumb.
Off the topic, those Paul Gilbert picks don't look so comfortable to play with, are they?
I'm considering buying a pack and making them my official pick off choice, solely because of Paul Gilbert name on it because I'm so easy to be won over by the media.
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Scorzerci
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#20
I use the pad of my thumb and the side of my index finger. I started using my thumb, middle and index finger, then I played with the pad of my thumb and the pad of my index finger, then I started playing with the pad of my thumb and the side of my index finger, then I started playing with the pad of my thumb and index finger again and now I'm back to using the pad of my thumb and side of my index finger...
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mr. cool
welcometothefray
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#21
i found that the playing thumb-side of index added a great deal of distortion noise to my playing almost like an extremely distorted wah on every pick
Freepower
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#22
Quote by paddyo
^Dont you ever get tired of people waiting for your "essay" answers which ends all debate? I know I would


Lol, im just flattered someone cares. I know none of my guitar pupils are interested in that level of detail. And really most of what i say is just obvious but needs to be said.
Stratwizard
Fotzejäger
Join date: Feb 2005
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#23
Quote by Caressing Death
I go for index and thumb.
Off the topic, those Paul Gilbert picks don't look so comfortable to play with, are they?
I'm considering buying a pack and making them my official pick off choice, solely because of Paul Gilbert name on it because I'm so easy to be won over by the media.


They're the best picks I've played with. I can get a nice tone with them, and they're accurate too.
wynter
UG AfroMulletHead
Join date: Mar 2003
22 IQ
#24
I hold a pick between the side of the tip of my index finger and the tip of my thumb.
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pavan
stunt guitar
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#25
Quote by Resiliance

It's always detrimental to hold it with more than one finger imo.





hahahaha
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Aziraphale
Blaster of Muppets
Join date: Oct 2005
829 IQ
#27
I tend to use my thumb and side of index finger, I usually angle the pick Paul Gilbert style. When I tried holding it this way at first, it seemed pretty stupid cuz I couldn't get up to any speed or accuracy with it. The thing was, I was using Fender Medium picks. Now I use Fender Extra Heavy picks, and now this picking style works great. I play a whole lot faster and more accurately now.
ILoveHarmonics
BLURP
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#28
Quote by mr. cool
i found that the playing thumb-side of index added a great deal of distortion noise to my playing almost like an extremely distorted wah on every pick

Are you doing pinch harmonics?

Personally I do thumb pad side of index. I've always played like that besides some moments I practised different picking styles or pushed it in a different angle to change tone . With more than two fingers I'm not picking well at all. Resi's one finger... hey thumb is no finger blah hehe forget it... Then it's possible to pick with 0 fingers aswell for some old school blues .
Resiliance
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#29
Read it in context you bunch of anal retentives, ofcourse the thumb is a finger, but it's obvious I'm on about fingers on the other side of the pick, who doesn't use his thumb when holding it?
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
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Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
apocalypse13
<3 Nile and Marty
Join date: Jun 2005
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#30
I've been holding it between my thumb and index finger with my thumb bent back in an L shape lately.
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Tom Martin
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Join date: Aug 2003
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#32
Well it doesn't really matter that much in the grand scheme of things.

Think about it this way, one of the greatest guitar players of all time - EVH - played with his thumb and middle finger.
apocalypse13
<3 Nile and Marty
Join date: Jun 2005
686 IQ
#33
Yea but to get really fast picking with minimal tension, you should probably hold between the thumb and index.
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Tom Martin
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#34
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor! Having a flawless technique does help, but its not the end of the world if you do something slightly wrong.

Don't worry, I do agree with you though, I've always help my pick between thumb and index, I've always found it much easier.
apocalypse13
<3 Nile and Marty
Join date: Jun 2005
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#35
Yea you can still go fast and all with anchoring, but if you don't it's easier.
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Matt_Malmsteen
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#36
And less harmful for you, Steve Morse for example.
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Resiliance
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#37
Quote by Tom Martin
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor!


Stop using that tu quoque logical fallacy already, I expected better from you, once again.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
Freepower
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#38
Quote by Tom Martin
Blah, to be honest none of it matters that much. People say you shouldn't anchor either, but look at some of the fastest players in the world - Fareri, Batio, and more which don't immediately spring to mind - they all anchor! Having a flawless technique does help, but its not the end of the world if you do something slightly wrong.




I'd agree with the last sentance.

But seriously, fareri has awful picking technique, as a lot of the "fastest" players in the world do. Tiago has even worse. If you heard either without their masking tone you'd be deaf in a few seconds...

Anchoring is not the be all and end all of picking, nor is it even the most important thing out of the multitude of factors - but to treat it as generally irrelevant just isn't on. If you don't care, great - some people do.
Evil_Empire24-7
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#39
thump,index and middle.

it's more comfortable and lets complex parts easy.
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C.C. Deville
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#40
eddie van halen uses his thumb and middle finger because he taps with his index finger, that just feels wierd to me
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