After I figured out you don't pick/strum by moving your arm, I immediately tried using my wrist instead. I got good at single strings pretty quickly (both downwards and upwards picking) but when it came to picking/strumming more than one string, I encountered a problem.

When rotating my wrist (right hand) clockwise to pick upwards on say two or more strings, I either use too much of the pick surface and catch on one of the strings with the pick, pushing the string up next to the 2nd string I was also meant to pick (in one whole motion) OR use too little of the pick surface and miss a 2nd string altogether.

I think my pick is somewhere between medium and low gauge: it's quite flexible, but not too much.

This is really detering me from playing guitar because nobody seems to have a clear answer that works. I guess if I actually went to a place that properly teaches guitar (my mates teaching me right now, but since that's only once a week I do my best on my own, trying to play easy songs and figure things out for myself) I'd be set but because im in Year 12 right now, I don't have much time on my hands and even if my parents paid for the ridiculously over-priced lessons ($300-$400 Aus for like one night a week or something?), I don't think I would want to go to that just to learn that I can't play the guitar. Hell, for that price, I could get rid of this $50 copy-strat my friend sold me and get a real guitar where the strings don't buzz when you play open strings. Hey, I can't complain though, everybodies gotta start somewhere.

If all else fails, I've still got my soul to sell
Last edited by Tr0janV0dka at Feb 14, 2008,
$300-$400 for one night a week, thats gotta be wrong.

Anyways, on the strumming part, when you're strumming upstrokes its not as important to hit every string. Just catching the bottom two or three strings will sound good and if it helps you to maintain the rhythm then fine.
if you work with legato you shouldn't worry about upstroking that much. i have some problems upstroking sometimes so i just use my fingers. legato does wonders
that buzzing noise may just be the action of the strings (distance from neck). Just look up how to increase it, its fairly straightforward.
$300 to $400 dollars has to be wrong. Thats about £150 per lesson!
$30 to $40 sounds more like it.

Maybe you are going wrong because you are rotating your hand clockwise to go up a string?

Joking aside. It depends on what you are doing really, when i strum i dont place my hand on the bridge, but when i pick i do. That works for me anyway.

How are you holding the pick? You should be resting it on your index finger and placing your thumb onto it. Usually when people start playing without lessons they 'grab' the pick, its an easy habit to get out of though. I used to do it when i first started! D:

I hope this helps.

Don't worry - Everybody's gotta Strat somewhere.

I usually strum using my whole forearm, which works perfectly.

$300-400 per lesson?! Who's the teacher, Joe Satriani?
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Sorry I mean $300-400 for I think it was 10 weeks, once per week.

As for the way I'm holding the pick, I think I'm holding it the way you said, since I've looked it up and whatnot. However, nowhere it states as to which angle I'm suppost to strike the pick against the strings, which I have a feeling is where I'm going wrong.

As for legato, which a quick wikipedia search tells me is hammer ons and pull offs, I'm awful at those, especially with my pinky. I just want to learn the basic basic stuff first (picking/strumming upwards properly).

Anyways, on the strumming part, when you're strumming upstrokes its not as important to hit every string. Just catching the bottom two or three strings will sound good and if it helps you to maintain the rhythm then fine.

I don't understand what you mean. For example if I was playing the easy part/intro of War Pigs (By Black Sabbath) I need to hit the 5th and 6th strings at the same time, excluding the other 4 strings completely. If I either catch my pick on the 5th string or nail the 5th string and miss the 6th string altogether, how is it going to sound good at all? Sorry if I haven't been clear but I'm on an electric guitar, a copy-strat, not an acoustic.

Edit: I checked the website for the guitar lessons and it's $300 for 10 weeks, 30 minutes each week. It is however one on one, so I can isolate problems and get them sorted out right away. I'm getting lots of school/home work right now so maybe later, as I can't screw up this year, otherwise I'll have to do it again to get into Uni.
Last edited by Tr0janV0dka at Feb 15, 2008,