how to hold guitar pick

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by its4subin, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. its4subin

    its4subin New Member

    Its been about a month that I have been trying my hands on guitar. Now after one month my friend(who plays guitar) has told me that my way of holding the guitar pick is incorrect. On consulting few other guitarists, all have suggested different ways of holding the pick. Now I am totally confused.
    Uptill now i have been striking the guitar strings with the pick in the horizontal postion.(ideally it should be inclined at some angle).
    Please tell me the correct way of holding the guitar pick in detail .
  2. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    The one that works for you best is the one that's ideal, if someone tells you that there's only one way of holding a pick, ask them to go drown themself in a cesspool. Try different kinds and see which one works out for you best.
  3. death_metal_fan

    death_metal_fan oh goody, it's a woody!

    Ideally your pick should strike the strings parallel, not at an angle. The reason is that the more you angle the pick the more unwanted 'noise' you will get. As far as holding the pick goes, most people hold the pick with their thumb and their index finger. Do this.

    1) Curl the index finger inwards (as much as you find comfortable).

    2) Extend the thumb all the way onto the index finger, ensuring that you are not bending your thumb at the joint. The lesser the tension in your fingers, the faster you will be able to play.

    3) Now place the pick between the thumb and index finger.

    4) The remaining fingers can be loosely curled into the palm or left stretching outwards. Make sure though that they don't touch the body of the guitar (or in other words, don't take support). In either case they should be loose, not tight. Remember, minimal tension is the key.

    I'll try and post a picture soon.
  4. vini

    vini Repeat Offender

    i think..there cant be any standard way or style for this..
    but generally its just that u have to hold it between ur thumb and index finger and the tip shud face toward the strings.

    gradually ev1 develops a customized style..
    if ur not facing any problem with the way u hold the plectrum then why worry! :)
  5. .:SpY_GaMe:.

    .:SpY_GaMe:. New Member

  6. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    That's a tough question. Somebody help me too please :(
  7. Addy Pant

    Addy Pant Highway Star

    I developed my own way of picking though many people say that the correct way to hold a pick is like what DMF said. I use my thumb and index finger (without curling the index inwards) and using the third and fourth for support for the hand.
  8. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    The other guitarist in my band, holds the pick slanting the otherway as we normally do. The normal way is to slant it in the direction of the headstock but he slants it in the opposite direction. Pretty wierd but his picking is pretty fast and consistent.
  9. Nanda

    Nanda Bassist

    doesnt matter van halen holds it like a pen ......!!!!!
    Its matter of ur comfort .. even slash has a wierd way ...
    Even i have a diffrent way .. BUT for the sort of player i am .. I cant spk ha ha .......
  10. Evo Guy 911

    Evo Guy 911 Banned

    I have this archive which includes some pretty useful advice on how to use a plectum. PM me ur e-mail address if u want it. Its too large to attach (1.87MB, so hotmail users, sorry ur inbox is too small. Get a yahoo or Gmail ID). In my opinion, you should hold the pick firmly. Well not too firmly, but stable force. And try to leave the minimum of pick protruding from ur grip, so that just the tip of it is peeking out of ur hold, and that picks the notes. It gives u a good attack, and minimal noise. But this technique should be used for lead playing or arpeggios. Works excellent for both acoustic as well as electric guitars. Angle doesn't matter much unless ur using a metal pick. In that case, it MUST be horizontal otherwise it savages the strings n too much noise. For strumming, i prefer holding the pick with the thumb & index finger a bit lightly, and leaving the wrist & fore-arm free to move so that each stroke is natural & relaxed. Another advice. Somebody upstairs said not to touch the body of the guitar with ur picking hand fingers. That sounds a bit stupid. You MUST be connected with the body of the guitar so that u have an idea which string is where. I prefer using my pinky for support. But if you must close all fingers, you can go Paul Gilbert style using ur wrist & fore-arm for support. Mind u, it is for lead playing. For strumming, your arm must be free, and here that advice holds good that u must not touch the body of the guitar. The motion shud be fluid n free. Peace
  11. death_metal_fan

    death_metal_fan oh goody, it's a woody!

    @Evo Guy 911: Actually it is better not to have your fingers touching the body of the guitar. Especially for shred guitar, if your fingers are touching the body of the guitar, your speed will suffer. Moreover, if you wish to sweep pick, your hand needs to be completely free.

    You mentioned that it is necessary to have the fingers in contact with the body of the guitar as a guide. This should in fact be avoided. The ideal method is to have the edge of your palm in light contact with the strings. It should in fact float over the strings near the bridge (note: this is not the same as palm muting). That should serve as a guide to the position of the strings. It may seem weird at first but having no fingers in contact with the body of the guitar will improve your speed immensely.
  12. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Moot point.

    Paul Gilbert in one of his VDO tells that the best thign that works for him is to anchor his hand using the little and/or ring finger on the scratch plate and pick using his arms and wrist during shredding.
  13. death_metal_fan

    death_metal_fan oh goody, it's a woody!

    There, you have it. It works for him. A lot of guitarists do great things with sloppy technique. What I have written is a technique that has worked for me and many other guitarists I know. It is also by far the easiest to adopt. Developing speed by anchoring your hand is much much harder.
  14. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Actually what I feel is that a person can only learn the speed pikcing by seeing and trying it on him and deciding whether thetechnique works on him or not.
    Van Halen has an entirely different style of pikcing.

    Anyway this debate can go on n on.
  15. Evo Guy 911

    Evo Guy 911 Banned

    Well I think all has been said abt picking. U have to develop ur own style. THe best way is the one that works for u. Dont listen to those saying the pick shud be at 40 degrees instead of 42 degrees! Find ur own method n go with it.
  16. dharmatma

    dharmatma Banned

    i think weve got to stop confusing the poor guy more.
    keep it simple.

    dude..its just that the conventional way of pickin is with ur index finger and ur thumb..but there have been many players who have had a diff pick grip.
    try the conventional way..first..then if u think u can be more comfortable using ur other fingers do it..and in the end u urself will know which is the most comfortable for u.
    dont listen to too many ppl..
  17. shak

    shak Harrr!

    16 posts of non-stop nonsense ... (17 including mine)

    dont listen to anyone .. hold it as you wish ... more comfortable you are with the pick .. less strain your hand will take ...
  18. har1s

    har1s <b>Untitled</b>

    ^^ agreed wid shak... cant suggest u n e comfortable style bcoz i dont use the pick much... usually i play the guitar with my fingers...n strum with my thumb... (u get a really soft sound with this)
  19. har1s

    har1s <b>Untitled</b>

    hmm... @death meatal...i heard n tested that if u want to pick lightning quick (tremolo picking).... u just curl ur thumb and index finger a bit inwards (make a more acute angle) .... rest the rest of ur fingers on the body...and use ur arm (not ur wrist) for picking...well this works for me when i need to pick real fast... doesnt work with fingers... :mad: :mad: coz m used to fingers...
  20. prit_undead

    prit_undead New Member

    well every1 says i do everything da wrong way
    i just show them my middle finger

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