Proper picking technique

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Thread: Proper picking technique

  1. #1

    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: Northern Indiana
    ME: Jackson DKMGT

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    Proper picking technique

    I've been playing for just over a decade now and I feel as though both my speed and clarity have hit a wall in the last couple of years. I have a different style of holding the pick than most players. I turn the pick the opposite way; really bending my thumb hard. I know how im supposed to hold it, but it feels so unnatural to me. I'm trying to get opinions on whether or not it would be truly benificial to change my pick holding this late in life. thx

  2. #2

    Join Date: Jan 2010
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    Imo, the way you hold your pick is not important. I just keep my focus on keeping movement to a minimum and accuracy up.

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  3. #3

    Join Date: May 2010
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    I disagree with the qualification that there are several ways which could be considered "proper", but several which would hold you back. I'm not quite sure I understand your method, but it sounds strenuous, which is my definition of wrong. Perhaps a picture?

    Anything you can do to play in a more relaxed manner will make you better. It may take a while to change such a habit, but it can be worth it.
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  4. #4

    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: Northern Indiana
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    Heres A pic.

    Very restricting and sometimes even painfull.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
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    I've seen ridiculously fast players like Vernon Reid hold the pick not unlike that.

    With the pick at such an extreme angle, however, I'm not sure you can get up to the fastest speeds. Regardless of how you hold the pick, one important speed hint is to make sure only the very tip of the pick hits the string. It looks like you're striking the string with the middle of the pick, and you'll probably never get up to speed doing that.

    As someone who doesn't entirely do things "the right way" myself, I would advise you to first work on streamlining your existing hand position, rather than starting over from scratch. Break down in detail (and at slow speed) the mechanics of how and where the pick is striking the strings, and then try small modifications to get a better angle and position of attack.

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jun 2010
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    Thanks you guys and to all others who will post.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    thats very similar to how paul gilbert picks IIRC
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  8. #8

    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: New York State

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    Nope. PG has said that he used to pick similarly to that (but with index and middle as well as thumb), and then switched and then instantly made a lot of gains. I'm not saying the OP should switch, or that he would instantly become Paul Gilbert if he did, but PG definitely doesn't endorse holding the pick like that.

    On the other hand, I have a couple of friends who do that. Neither of them are speed monsters, but they get by just fine. On the other other hand , if your thumb hurts, try something else.

    Edit: Dude, you said it yourself, it's "very constricting and sometimes painful." Go change it. Right now.
    Last edited by thefailshredder; 06-26-2010 at 12:13 AM.

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