Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


pick - how do you hold it?

Related threads:
Guitar nails (37)
Guitar Picks - How to keep from losing them (82)
Playing away a fingernail (32)
Tech: plectrums/picks (24)
Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp! (42)
Strengthening your nails for pickin' - New method (22)
Tech: soft thumbpick (8)
Worn down fingernail frustration! (31)
Wegen Picks (9)
Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails (71)
Fat pick Thin pick.????? (46)
Tech: Guitar Picks (14)
Guitarist's nails (again) (19)
Tech: Wedgie Rubber Guitar Picks? (22)
Nail Discussion! (16)
Metal thumb pick issue (5)
Thumbpick help (29)
Fingers or Plectrum? (29)
Revolutionary Pick Thinking (40)
Guitar Pick Dilemma (15)
Guitar Picks - What's your favourite? (67)
Anyone tried these picks? (38)
Pick Replacement, Brand, Type (22)
Alaska finger picks (30)
Finger/Thumb Picks (34)
Thumb Picks (9)
They Finally Nailed Me This Time! (63)
Fingernails vs. Fingerpicks (25)
milkjug fingerpicks (14)
Guitar picks from Horn (10)
Finger Picks @#!???!!!! (19)
Flat Pick Question (25)
finger picking and yer nails (39)
Hold your pick correctly (34)
Thanks Mudcatters! Now, about thumbpicks (20)
Fingerpicks??? (37)


GUEST,Tunesmith 27 Dec 04 - 11:23 AM
breezy 27 Dec 04 - 11:30 AM
Clinton Hammond 27 Dec 04 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 27 Dec 04 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,MCP 27 Dec 04 - 01:22 PM
The Villan 27 Dec 04 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 27 Dec 04 - 01:43 PM
The Villan 27 Dec 04 - 01:58 PM
The Villan 27 Dec 04 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,MCP (mostly, but not totally, OT) 27 Dec 04 - 02:14 PM
Zany Mouse 27 Dec 04 - 02:18 PM
Mooh 27 Dec 04 - 03:42 PM
number 6 27 Dec 04 - 04:02 PM
Once Famous 27 Dec 04 - 04:22 PM
The Villan 27 Dec 04 - 04:55 PM
number 6 27 Dec 04 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 27 Dec 04 - 06:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Dec 04 - 06:54 PM
breezy 27 Dec 04 - 08:54 PM
Cap't Bob 27 Dec 04 - 10:42 PM
The Villan 28 Dec 04 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,MCP 28 Dec 04 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 28 Dec 04 - 05:56 AM
breezy 28 Dec 04 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,MCP 28 Dec 04 - 06:37 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 28 Dec 04 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,tunesmith 28 Dec 04 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 28 Dec 04 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 28 Dec 04 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 29 Dec 04 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Beefa 19 Jan 05 - 10:37 PM
Once Famous 19 Jan 05 - 10:59 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Jan 05 - 11:23 AM
George Papavgeris 20 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Jim 20 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM
GUEST, Hamish 20 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:23 AM

I know that the "pick thing" has been discussed lots, but something happened recently that made me think again about the various methods of holding a pick. I hold my pick in the "text book" pre-rock music method as advocated in books by the "danceband" generation of guitar players. I mentioned this fact to a professional guitarist recently and he immediately said that he didn't care for that method of holding the pick as it made his hand tighten up. He then demonstrated what he meant; however, his interpretation of the method was - to my mind - all wrong. The problem is - I think - do to with trying to learn the method of holding the pick via, not very well illustrated, photos and drawings. Interestingly, can anyone out there explain how the gypsy jazz guitarists hold a pick, because, surely, their's is the best method - judging from the resulting technical facility, sound and volume.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: breezy
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:30 AM

I'm right handed so I place my left hand near the end of the handle and I start with my right hand near the pick itself then as I bring the pick down to strike I move my right hand nearer my left. Sometimes I miss altogether.
;O)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:40 AM

" how do you hold it?"

As best I can...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 01:17 PM

Both comments are disappointing. One is repeating a sad, hackneyed joke, and the other is..., well, is this a joke or serious ? If serious, does " best I can " mean " the best I can based on intelligent advice and information", or what...?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 01:22 PM

The gypsy players I've seen hold the thumb flat across the curled first, the thumb over first finger with the pick centred (more or less) under the top joint of the thumb, or possibly just slightly more towards the top of the thumb with about 0.5-1.0 cm of the pick protruding.

Don't forget that gypsy players also tend to play with very thick (several mm) picks.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 01:30 PM

Lighten up Tunesmith - It's Christmas.

Your title does encourage a bit of amusement.

In Dutch "Pik" means your Willy, so I could say it depends on which side it is hanging :-)

Seriously, I am sure somebody will give you the answer that you need, so hang on in.

At least your thread is coming to the head regularly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 01:43 PM

"lighten up" ? Well, there is a serious side to this in so far as there are undoubtedly a lot of guitarists out there who's experience as a guitarist could be improved if they did things in a "better" way. A lot of frustrations would evaporate if they took the time to do things correctly - or at least in a recognised efficient manner. Silly hackneyed schoolboy humour doesn't help - it just adds to the problem!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 01:58 PM

Sorry Tunesmith wasn't trying to upset you. I know your question was serious and you will get a serious answer from the right person.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 02:04 PM

Didn't see that you had posted Mick.

Hope you and Rhiannon had a very nice Christmas.

Cheers
Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,MCP (mostly, but not totally, OT)
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 02:14 PM

Ah yes Les, some of us boring people are paying attention to the question. (Although I've just noticed that curled first in my post should have been curled fist). Christmas was good and we may get to Gainsborough tomorrow, even though you won't be there (not because of course). Have a happy New Year, and we'll probably see you then.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 02:18 PM

Erm - Mick? If you go to Gainsbrough tomorrow I think you might be on your own. I'm going on New Year's Eve if you want to join me!

Rhiannon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 03:42 PM

Oh goody, a guitar thread!

Don't care for the curled fist posture, and have observed that some beginner and young players who use it often have issues about muscle tension and fatigue.

I personally like my first (index) finger gently curved and pointing in the same direction as the point of the pick, and the rest of the fingers unclenched and relaxed. This lets me use those other fingers for occassional hybrid picking styles, and keeps my hand at ease with only enough muscle tension to keep hold of the pick. (It doesn't differ much from my thumbpick assisted fingerstyle posture except that the index and thumb aren't held together...I think this is why I can move easily between those styles.)

Seems to work for the swing tunes, celtoidishlike stuff, rock and blues tunes, and my own stuff. Your milage may vary.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: number 6
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 04:02 PM

I hold the pic between my thumb and index finger leavng the middle finger open and free to do some alternate picking. I use the pick sideways, picking with the round side, not the point.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Once Famous
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 04:22 PM

I pick with the point and hold the pick (or technically, the plectrum) between my thumb and index finger.

I use a heavy pick which gives me fine speed, accuracy, and intonation.

Virtually every guitar primer starts our with,"This is the pick" followed by "this is how you hold the pick."

What's such a big mystery about it, Tunesmith?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: The Villan
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 04:55 PM

Oh Rhiannon Laugh My Socks Off - Poor Old Mick.

Hey you 2, happy New Year yourselves. I need to get in touch with you for next year. I will give you a ring.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: number 6
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 05:17 PM

MG - Of course we all learn (initially) the techniques of holding the plectrum in the 'standard' way. After a while, some of us find a unique way that suits us and delivers the tone that we want. I think this is a valid, and interesting post from Tunesmith.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:35 PM

Do you mean plectrum? I have always called 'wrap around finger strips of plastic' picks and 'single flat bit of plastic, held'a plectrum

When I thought about this I could not work out how I hold a plectrum so I went and tried out a few tunes - the answer seems to be 'variously'

sometimes I hold it between the fingertips of the first two fingers and the last joint of my thumb, sometimes the first finger and thumb only but with 2nd fingertip set behind it to stop it twisting, and a 'power grip' is between last joint of first finger and last joint of thumb, 2nd joint of finger is at right angles to tip of thumb.

The tip of the plectrum moves horisontally with these different grips - and the amount of 'free plastic' differs too.

I never had a 'guitar primer' - just a book of different chords - but I seem to manage to produce a good sound. I have always used tape recorders to check my sound - I suggest that you try out various ways of holding the plectrum and see how easy it is and what sound variations you get.

Each player has different lengths of finger in total, and different proportions in where they bend. Find your own grips.

Anne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 06:54 PM

Tunesmith... try a bran-muffin... It'll help ya feel better...

"Whatever works" is the best advice for such a personal thing as "How do to hold a pick". I'm certain that no 2 players hold their picks EXACTLY the same way ALL the time... Find what works for you and run with it


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: breezy
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 08:54 PM

Flat pick or thumb pick Tunesmif? make it clear and

Sorry about my humour, its the only one I have , which may be one more than



Villan hello there happy new year to Mick and Rhiannon, how are things in Rhodesia?

Fist or thirst easily done.

We re-open on Sunday 9th with Thorn and Roses, Cornwall's answer to Coope ,Boyes and Simpson!!! then Friday 14th with Kevin Buxton , venue the British Legion, Verulam Road St Albans for both clubs, well its warmer than the Duke to where we will hopefully return in April on Fridays.

Chris Flegg uses a pick


and shovel

oops ,here we go again :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 10:42 PM

I had some rather serious carpel tunnel in my right hand and after the operation had problems holding and controlling the pick when doing fast melody style flat picking. A while back I happened to try the Dunlop Big Stubby flat pick. It's made of 3mm thick Lexon and has a depression on each side. I hold it with the first finger curled and the other fingers relaxed. The depressions are placed between the end joint of the thumb and the last joint on the first finger. It seemed a bit awkward due to the thickness, however, after using it for a while it's my favorite pick. The depressions keep the pick where it belongs.   

Cap't Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: The Villan
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:16 AM

Hi Breezy how are you?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:36 AM

breezy - Rhodesia's lovely this time of the year. The sun is shining and dusky maidens are dancing in the streets (well dusky men were dancing at Handsworth anyway).

To return to the pick and what Mooh was saying about the curled fist and tension, in the grip I was referring to above, the fist is only loosely curled, more or less so that the top joint of the first finger lies along the length of the thumb, the fist being quite open, with the other fingers curled slightly less.

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 05:56 AM

Of course, I am talking about a plectrum, and the point I'm making - again - is that a whole generation, and more, worked out - what they considered -the best way to hold a plec. Unfortunately, this method for holding the plec seems to often get mangled in translation i.e. lots of guitarist think that they've tried that method but they haven't. I'm pretty convinced that the method I use is the most efficient for the whole range of playing technique. And I would like to bet that nearly all the great plec technicians used this method.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: breezy
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 06:08 AM

Breezy is well Villan.

Gearing up for my next gig at a day centre in 3 weeks time.It seems I'm in demand, so my theory is that their memories arent as bad as they make out.

I'm enjoying the break before the club resumes in Jan on the dates mentioned. A full twice weekly programme is lined up.

Looking forwrd to the Vin G., Steve Tilston and Dan Mckinnon visits later in the year.Oh and the Soozies too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,MCP
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 06:37 AM

Tunesmith - perhaps you could make things clearer for the posters by amplifying on your original post to describe (rather than just 'dance band' method) how you hold it, and how the professional guitarist had interpreted the method wrongly in your opinion. I know it's not easy, having tried to describe the gypsy method above. (For example, I didn't make it clear that the point of the plectrum points outwards, away from the palm, at right angles to the line of the thumb rather than along the line of the thumb - not a mistake you're likely to make, but if you'd never handled one before and had only the description to go on you might do that.)

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:59 AM

You cant beat a bloody good pick in the privacy of your own home, pick it outside and you allways get caught with the big green floppy bits


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 12:18 PM

Guest, MCP, I'm pretty sure that the method you describe is the one I use. When demonstrating the method, I stretch my picking arm out at shoulder height - with the back of the hand that holds the plec continuing in the same plane as the extended arm. The middle index finger joint is at right angle to the plane of the arm/hand. The finger joint that contains the finger nail, is at a 45% angle to the middle joint and the plec is placed against the side of this finger joint and the thumb placed on top. With the arm extended, the plec will point downwards.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,tunesmith
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:04 PM

http://www.playprosoft.com/tips/tb_3.html

The above link should lead to a series of photos demonstrating the "correct" plec hold method BUT - as stated previously, there are problems with these ilustrations. First, it is impossible to see the finger joint that the plec is resting against, and secondly, I believe that the middle finger joint should not be pointing downwards. If this does not happen, the hand can become tense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:08 PM

On looking at the photos again, the bottom photo does show the correct technique. But don't forget, the the first finger joint ( the bit containing the nail ) must be at a 45% angle to the middle joint.( this fact is of course hidden by the thumb - in the photo)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:57 PM

If I try to use a plectrum like in the pictures it just rotates anticlockwise.

If you hold a plectrum as in the picture but fold the second finger behind the thumb so its tip is to the right of the first finger tip (preventing the rotation) that is fairly close.

You can't say 'this is how it is done' - despite me having a ferocious grip in both hands I can't maintain enough pressure to keep a plectrum from rotating in a two point grip.

I used to know someone who constantly lost plectrums (plectrii?) into his guitar. He used to get some of them out by shaking it but whenever he changed the strings I was asked to fish out the stubborn ones - I was the only one with hands/ forearms small enough to reach right inside. The first time I did so I found about a dozen, some of them he'd not seen for years. Just what made his method of strumming likely to propel the plectrum into the sound hole I do not know, but he would lose two or three a night.

Anne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 05:44 AM

Talking about grips, most of the time I hold the plec very lightly; indeed, I feel that just a touch less grip and the plec would simply fall out of my hand. Maybe, lots and lots of persistant practice produces an ability to keep making very suble adjustments to the plec hold which keeps it in place - and stops rotation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Beefa
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 10:37 PM

Hi guys,
Just found this forum, hope you dont mind me throwing in my two cents....

I have only ever seen pics of the "traditional way" ie with a fist of sorts and the plectrum held between thumb and first knuckle of forefinger.

For me it just doesnt feel right and never did.
I hold the pick in the same position against the thumb, but use the tips of fore and middle fingers to secure the pick. 3 points means no twist, allows for very relaxed grip without loss of pick, and allows an open relaxed hand.

Just my 2 cents


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: Once Famous
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 10:59 PM

Holding it between your big toe and first toe could work for you, also.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 11:00 PM

attach it to thumb or fore-finger tip
with an industrial staple gun


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 11:23 AM

Recently I found a book on repetition stress injury at the library. It was written by an M.D. with experience in that field. He specificlally mentioned playing guitar, etc. with a pick as a real source for injured hands. According to books I have read on guitar, playing with a pick also limits the things your right hand can do.

So first, ask yourself why you want to play with a pick. Just because it's louder? Or what?

Maybe you are like me, and your hand will never feel comfortable playing with a pick. One reason for that is that when you pinch two fingers together to hold on to the pick, the other fingers can hardly move.

Of course, you can compromise by playing with a pick sometimes and not at other times. And whether or not you injure your hands depends on how long and how often you play.

I do like a thumbpick. It helps bring out the bass and makes the guitar richer and louder. It also leaves my fingers free to flicker. Why don't you try it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM

Pick users.
Ninnies.
If my fingers are good enough for picking my nose, they're good enough for picking the guitar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM

Tunesmith's standard recommended technique (as shown http://www.playprosoft.com/tips/tb_3.html) is fine - worked for me for 25 years without RSI, but 15 years of fingerstyle with old-fashioned finger nails beats it by miles.

Just ask the likes of Eric "Slow-hand" and Mark Knofler. No going back for me - and I suspect that another 15 years of plectrumming just might have resulted in RSI eventually.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: pick - how do you hold it?
From: GUEST, Hamish
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM

Like Mooh. Definitely not using two fingers, nor a fist! Plus, even tho' I use a large pick (Jim Dunlop orange) only a little bit projects. I hear and see some who use a bigger projection (no innuendo, please!) and it seems it creates a bad sound, and wrecks control.

Another advantage is that it makes damping the strings with the heel of the picking hand easier for those percussive effects.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 26 September 8:01 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.