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How to hold a pick?

Technique
Mr_ka2  
28 Jan 2010 18:05 | Quote
Joined: 02 Dec 2009
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My friend always tells me that I hold a pick wrong but I'm comfertable the way I am. He says that i should pick like him and i've tired and I can't. I play for a couple miutes and my pics back the way i like to pick. then I need to readjust the pick and it gets frusterating. So, does it really matter how i hold it?
EMB5490  
28 Jan 2010 18:21 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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well yes and no. it matters if its blatenly wrong, but doesnt matter if its only slighty wrong and its compfortable, how do you hold it?
Musical_Magic  
28 Jan 2010 20:03 | Quote
Joined: 29 May 2008
United States
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No, not it doesnt...I play my guitar so that the only part of my hand touching the back of the neck is my thumb, And i dont make it so my thumb is opposite to my middle finger, like your suppose to
EMB5490  
28 Jan 2010 20:29 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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its all whats comfortable. but there are some things that are just wrong.thatrs why you have teachers.
case211  
28 Jan 2010 22:35 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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I use my middle finger and thumb to hold the pick, it's how I get most of my own picking style and muting done. plus it makes for quick transition to tapping if need be.
gx1327  
29 Jan 2010 09:00 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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i believe (correct me if i'm wrong) that the proper way to hold a pick is to make a fist, then place the pick in between your curled index finger and your thumb, with the tip of the pick pointing outward from your hand (perpindicular to your thumb). so when you strum the guitar, your thumb is pointing paralell to the strings. this is what my friends say is the correct way to hold a pick.

HOWEVER,

since i began self-taught, i just picked up a guitar and held it how it felt comfortable. i sort of hold the pick with my thumb on top, index and middle fingers on bottom, with the lower fingers pointing towards the face of the guitar and my thumb almost pointed downwards.

when my guitar teacher saw this he said that i hold my pick differently, but that if it felt comfortable i could keep doing it and at worst it would give me my own unique "sound" when i played.

like you i dabble with the "correct" way to hold a pick but in the end i just naturally revert to my personal way.
case211  
29 Jan 2010 09:03 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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if it's comfortable and it doesn't impair your playing, then do it. It may be weird, I mean people see me picking and it looks like I'm holding it with my index and thumb but then they see how I actually hold it and they are like "WTF? That's wrong." My response is some crazy run in a minor scale lols.
JustJeff  
29 Jan 2010 11:37 | Quote
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Even though I am self taught, I still hold a pick as explained above: make a fist and shove it inbetween your thumb and curled index finger. It makes it easy to pinch-harmonic notes while I solo... fun stuff :)

Usually I just use my fingers to pick... it's faster and nicer... just like Mark Knopfler. :)
case211  
29 Jan 2010 11:39 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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I like to use the tip of the pick, and being self taught myself, it's hard to go between the index and thumb since I haven't done that in 3 years now.(decided to try the Eddie Van Halen way of picking)
btimm  
29 Jan 2010 11:41 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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I hold the pick between my thumb and my pinky, because when I switch to finger picking, it just is so easy!
JustJeff  
29 Jan 2010 12:05 | Quote
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There is also hybrid picking :-P Fingerstyle And picking
Domigan_Lefty  
29 Jan 2010 13:45 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
Unless it prevents you from playing, there is no wrong way.

But i hold with thumb in middle on one side, and my pointer and middle near the end of the rounded edges on the other side. Or with pointer and thumb only, both in middle. (Usually just when i want/need speed)
harleyofdoom  
29 Jan 2010 16:02 | Quote
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If it sounds good than it can't be wrong.

I tend to change the way I hold the pick depending on what style I'm playing; spreading out my fingers for funk, fast folk, or reggae strumming to help loosen my wrist or making more of a loose fist for quick up and down picking. The pick is really just an extension of your nail or finger so just make sure you feel comfortable and then try and forget that its there.
EMB5490  
29 Jan 2010 16:30 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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ok ive never heard of pinky and thumb. theres a reason why no one does that. its just wrong. you have not nearly as much control strength, or anything as using your pointer.
Heather  
29 Jan 2010 17:38 | Quote
Joined: 21 Aug 2008
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I personally balence the plectrum on my curled index finger with thumb covering myself but like people have also mentioned middle finger can work well. I knew an awesome guitarist back in school who used his middle finger since he was most comfortable with it himself. Just give either of those a go, only I have to agree with EMB about the pinky. I just can't see how that could have a good impact on someone's playing.

As a little note that might help you decide though, I find using the index to balence it helps you get into later habits in your playing. For example now when I play A and E chords I like to 'flick' the mojority of strings after using my thumb to pluck the first. Although to do that my hands are purely used in playing you get how using my thumb and index finger before with just the plectrum is helpul for me to do that too?
EMB5490  
29 Jan 2010 17:46 | Quote
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some people use there middle finger. as a teacher i would NEVER teach it. as a player who finds it comfortable and has been using it for YEARS id keep it. dont change what works. but if your starting out or only into it for not to long, or arnt very good, or are stuck at a point where you wana get better. id certainly recommend using your pointer finger.
btimm  
29 Jan 2010 18:31 | Quote
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EMB5490 says:
ok ive never heard of pinky and thumb. theres a reason why no one does that. its just wrong. you have not nearly as much control strength, or anything as using your pointer.


I was kidding.
EMB5490  
29 Jan 2010 19:33 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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o lol good :)
Domigan_Lefty  
29 Jan 2010 20:17 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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my pinkys are double jointed, so i could never hold anything with it. Its also a real pain in the a** when soloing...
case211  
29 Jan 2010 20:33 | Quote
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it really isn't too different using your middle finger instead of you index, my problem was that I could mute very well(or at least how I wanted to) when I would hold it between my index/thumb.
plus i've dropped a pick less since I've gotten comfortable with it compared to when I didn't hold it that way, I have a little more strength with my thumb/middle, and also lets me use just the tip of the pick without having to work to get it to be just right for me, so it's a pretty important part of my style.
but I do agree, I wouldn't give someone that advice, it's only what I know that works for me, and really couldn't be considered universal.
Ozzfan486  
30 Jan 2010 15:17 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
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I usually hold the pick between my thumb [on one side] and have the tips of my index and middle fingers on the other. It really gives me more control and lets me clamp down on the pick pretty hard for the bluesy attack feel. When I'm playing faster though I just hold it like the teach you to [thumb to the side (kind of) of your index finger]. IT really just depends on what kind of music you play. When you really want to sound a certain way, I think you kind of unconsciously gravitate toward certain methods. Just by nature really. I could NEVER learn how to hold the pick right when I first started. It all just kind of fell into place.
hamad  
31 Jan 2010 01:15 | Quote
Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Bahrain
Karma
i hold the pick just like holding a key to open a locked door
just rotate a little to make a fist
and i think thats the propper way to hold the pick
Mici  
31 Jan 2010 11:23 | Quote
Joined: way back
Kosovo
Karma: 9
Ozzfan486 says:
I usually hold the pick between my thumb [on one side] and have the tips of my index and middle fingers on the other. It really gives me more control and lets me clamp down on the pick pretty hard for the bluesy attack feel. When I'm playing faster though I just hold it like the teach you to [thumb to the side (kind of) of your index finger]. IT really just depends on what kind of music you play. When you really want to sound a certain way, I think you kind of unconsciously gravitate toward certain methods. Just by nature really. I could NEVER learn how to hold the pick right when I first started. It all just kind of fell into place.


What HE said.

I was just trying it out and I noticed I was switching between positions playing different songs, then I read Ozzfans and couldn't agree more (except for the bluesy-thingy thing. I don't 'bout that.)
punkrawk101  
31 Jan 2010 19:45 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
United States
Karma
I also hold between my thumb and the tips of my pointer and middle finger... I have taken a few classes in my 10 years and they all teach the Mel Bay method of making a fist and holding between the first section of your pointer (not the point) and your thumb. In some cases this helps a little for example im desperately trying to learn to sweep, this seems to be slightly easier with the mel bay method but unfortunately it causes trouble with everything else. I have more speed and control to gallop and shred when i use my self taught method (pointer, middle, and thumb). So in general like most people said it's mostly about whats comfortable.
Ozzfan486  
31 Jan 2010 20:26 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
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dude, you kinda look like layne.
vincejonesiii  
1 Feb 2010 07:35 | Quote
Joined: 16 Sep 2008
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... its all in the guitarist ...like i hold my jazz picks differentlhy then my 151's
espltd18201  
9 Mar 2010 02:27 | Quote
Joined: 09 Mar 2010
United States
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I guess as long as you can P.H you should be fine.
Nightmare  
9 Mar 2010 17:39 | Quote
Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Lebanon
Karma: 6
Actually, I use the three finger thing too(index,middle,thumb), although I can play with the thumb-index, but wont feel comfortable with it.. The only problem is the squeals(pinch harmonics),I use my index finger to slightly touch the string after u pluck it instead of the thumb.


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