Ive been playing for a little over two years now and Im at the point where Im starting to get pretty decent. Im curious about the way I hold the pick though. I hold it between the tips of my thumb and index and have them extended. In all the instructional videos and books ive seen they always say it should be held rested on the side of the index and curled it. If you dont know what I mean watch this video that I found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GAFLZsHmKs the first technique is the one in books and what he shows at the end is basically what I do. The book method feels realy akward for me. (cant spell)

So the question is, can the way I hold it hinder me at all? I have trouble strumming fast, and I cant pick very fast either (16th notes at 80 Bpm is the fastest I can pick).

Thanks for suggestions.
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I have a friend that used to hold it with 3 fingers, but changed to the "book way". He did improve his picking after getting used to it, so you might want to try it as well (maybe just for a week to check it out). Obviously it's really what you feel comfortable with, but as you said yourself you can't strum/pick that fast, just give it a try. (But I'm sure you could learn how to pick fast with any technique).
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yeah its way easy when its tucked in like that. Its probably really holding you back.
i think the way you hold your pick is preferential honestly if you feel awkward one way then dont do it, i dont think it will hinder you at all, but this is coming from a guy who constantly switchs holdiong postions for different speeds so i dont get hindered easily lol, but i cant f'ing sweep

*edit* although you might want to look into holding your pick on its side it makes your speed double up since when you hold a pick side ways theres less pick hitting the string thus you go faster, also 16ths at 80 bp is pretty slow (no offense) it kinda was like practice speed (im not that good btw but i am fast so thats where im coming from since i play thrash stuff where playing fast is a given)
Last edited by F8iscruel at May 14, 2008,
however you want so you play well. It's a pick. In the long run it doesn't matter much.
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I use three fingers kinda like my thumb on one side, and my 1st finger and 2nd finger on the other side. I can pick pretty fast though, so I don't know if it really effects your playing, but if it IS holding you back, then switch it. What I think is more important than how you hold your pick is how you ACTUALLY PICK. be it alternate, economy, whatever, just learn some of those techniques so you know what to do when, and then practice them. again IF it's holding you back, then for god's sake, change it.
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i hold my pick with my thumbprint on one side, and my middle finger's print on the other, with the index finger resting on the top curve of the pick.
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i hold my pick with my thumbprint on one side, and my middle finger's print on the other, with the index finger resting on the top curve of the pick.

That's how I held it when I first started guitar. I switched a few months in though.
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Ok, thanks guys. I guesse Ill just experiment with it. Im mostly a blues person so speed's not a big issue for me.
"Good and evil lay side by side as electric love penetrates the sky"
The book way will give you a lot more versatility when you try to learn things like pinch harmonics (because it is easy to get your thumb in the right position). However, the big deal as I see it is this. Hold your pick securely, but not tightly. If you clench onto the pick, you're also tightening the muscles in your forearm, which is never good, and can restrict techniques such as string skipping and tremolo picking. Be firm and precise, but relaxed.

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I use my thumb and middle finger, and sometimes my thumb and both middle and pointer fingers.
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