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Frettin' and Pickin'

21 Sep 2010 19:03 | Quote
Joined: 04 May 2009
United States
Karma: 2
There are a few things I'm confused about, Im self taught and I sometimes think about whether or not Im playin' right.

1.I know that your fingers must be parallel to the frets, but when it comes to your thumb I've heard it should be in the middle (minus up near the higher frets) but my thumb is horizontal (nail points to the head of guitar) and I didn't know if this was bad, should it be vertical???

2. Most players Ive seen hold the pick with two fingers and the rest are just hangin around, but I hold it with two fingers and the rest are clenched into a fist. Is that wrong???

3. What is the easiest way to practice pinch harmonics??? They drive me nuts!!

All answers are appreciated (is that spelled right?)
- Joshua
21 Sep 2010 19:22 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Licks: 6
Karma: 24
To answer your first q:
Do whatever is the MOST comfortable for you. If you naturally feel more at home when your thumb is parallel to the neck, that's fine. My thumb changes it's orientation numerous times whilst playing, so yeah...

Numero Dos:
Again it's a comfort thing man. There are ways that you should NEVER hold a pick(like pinky and thumb, that's just asking for trouble) but if you make a fist, it's really up to you. I play with my other fingers out and relaxed, and hold the pick between my thumb and middle(odd...I know haha). I've seen a lot of players that do what you said, and it's fine man. It's more about comfort.

Pinch harmonics are again dependent on how you hold the pick and position your hand. My best advice for this would be to watch a video on how to do them and then find a way that works for you. I don't really have any other advice on them besides use the edge of your thumb for the easiest transition.

Also, ask a doctor/chiropractor about your fingers constantly hurting man, that's raise for concern.
21 Sep 2010 19:25 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
1. When you play with your fingers parallel to the frets it should be more comfortable for your thumb to be placed parallel too at the back of the neck and in the middle. However, if you are comfortable playing with your thumb pointing towards the head that's fine (in my opinion). My thumb is double jointed, as they say, so it too ends up pointing towards the head and I've been playing for 30 years that way with no problem.

2. I play with two sometimes three fingers with the rest fanned out but again its what's comfortable to you. My buddy plays in the fist fashion like you and he is a complete shredder! He can play thrash much more accurately than I can.

3. I don't know how to tell you to play pinch harmonics in writing! Actually, it might be because of how you hold the pick. You need to pick the string with the pick and then catch the string with part of your thumb. I find that I do this best when my thumb is at a slight downward angle.

Hope that helps!
21 Sep 2010 20:12 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
1. My fingers actually curve toward the Headstock (unless i bar), while my thumb is used as a reference point (so i dont have to look at the neck) that points up, down, sideways, backwards, etc.
2. I use Index and thumb or Index, Mid thumb, while my pinky rests at the end of the pickup.
3. Pinch the pick (Index and Thumb) so your thumb lightly touches the string when you pick

This is how I do it. There is no proper way to do it, its all about preference and comfort.

21 Sep 2010 21:59 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
Lessons: 2
Licks: 1
Karma: 25
2. Just keep your arm/hand relaxed, if you are just tucking in your fingers thats fine, but dont clench your fist and tense up.

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