How To Pick Accurately

If you are tired of having that *put!* sound or missing strikes, or you just can't get your accuracy when you try to solo a little. Use this guide to help yourself become a much more accurate guitarist and make your sound more than pleasant.

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Level 1: Start Simple

Alright, firstly find a good pick. You want one that doesn't flap, fits a good bit of your thumb, but not so much that it restricts your playing. Hold firmly but not tightly, and place the side of your hand in a cup shape near your strings (middle of the pick-ups, or funny square black things). Then without force gently strum this out:
e--0-1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------------------
b------------0-1-2-3-4---------------------------------------------
g----------------------0-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------
d--------------------------------0-1-2-3-4-------------------------
a------------------------------------------0-1-2-3-4---------------
E----------------------------------------------------0-1-2-3-4-----
The reason why I use the 0 is because it teaches you control on open notes. Especially since people hit multiple strings this way. Also if you use a metronome, set it very low and go through this at first down-stroke only. You need those skills in general. But if you want improvement, then you should do this alternate (up and down). Do this exercise about: Just started-3 months: Do this maybe 6 times, you need the basics of music more than how to play the guitar right now 4 months-7 months: You can do this maybe 4 times through to get better at speed as well 8-months beyond: You probably don't need this but if you have problems then do this about 3 times to warm up your fingers for intense training.

Level 2: A Little Harder Up-downs

Here is my mixture of soloing and warming up. I won't give any explanations, but make all your movements fluid and as close to subtle as you can. Try to make it so that your up-down motion is involuntary (took me a year and a half). You probably think that up-down is either too much a hassle or actually useless compared to just striking down. Well it's Not! You can search for somebody playing a guitar solo or anything and they will most likely be going up-down (if they are good anyway). So now let's try your best friend, the penatonic scale, in an easier and simple way: (use a metronome for best results and this is obviously up-down)
e---------------------------------5--8--5-------------------------------
b---------------------------5--8-----------8--5-------------------------
g---------------------5--7-----------------------7--5-------------------
d---------------5--7-----------------------------------7--5-------------
a--------5-6-7-----------------------------------------------7-6-5------
E--5--8-------------------------------------------------------------8--5
If you get this down (just take it down if you need to, chop into small parts, and keep your goal a little over andante), you can move your root (5 in our case, or A) anywhere in theory.

Level 3: My Own Creative Warm-up Song

You probably want to be pretty agile now, and you want to be able to step back and forth with your hand. If not take it slower and please don't rush through it or give up. that's why you need this training, young grasshopper. Up-down!
e---15-13-12--13-12----12----------------------------------12----12-13--
b-------------------15----15-13--15-13-12--13-15-13--13-15----15--------
g-----------------------------------------------------------------------
d-----------------------------------------------------------------------
a-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E-----------------------------------------------------------------------

e-12-13-15-------|.|
b----------------| |
g----------------| |
d----------------| |
a----------------|.|
E----------------| |
(repeat)
I think that's right, though I didn't have a guitar nearby so that just proved it unreliable. But it's a nice tune and you can add the other strings also. Good luck and respond if you liked it.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Ore4444
    The lesson doesn't teach how to pick accurately. It gives some good excersises, though.
    Swiggles
    Thanks if anyone wants I can make an even better one I would use for soloing.
    miskatsu
    This is cool, useful and it rocks! I got better just in one night! I used to fingerpick, but now I can take on the pick!! You rock!
    Gods Guitarist
    Very good lesson! I never really play with picks, because i just got really used to plucking etc. This was very good for getting me to use a pick again.
    Swiggles
    Yeah practically this is like my mix so you get the extra note in there and you can screw around with it. Its also just all notes. The real action this lesson gave me is alternate picking as clean as possible. You always hear beginners and even 1 year+ guitarists making a little extra scratch and its not necessary. Thx for reading!
    David Blackbird
    Is that supposed to be the Pentatonic scale or the Blues scale? If it's Pentatonic, the 6 on the 5th string shouldn't be there, if it's Blues, leave the 6 but add an 8 on the 3rd string. That little melody sounds ok, it should make a good warm-up when played at speed.