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Dragging knuckles


(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Has anyone else had a problem when strumming that they brush the strings with their right index finger, which becomes quite painful after a while?

I'm trying to learn to use a pick properly, so my technique is inconsistent, admittedly, but wondering if it is a common problem?

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I get some unintentional finger strum sometimes. Most of the time it's ok, but once in a while it sounds off. It's normally a reminder to myself to pay attention.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Anything can happen. It just takes practice, and a firm grip, but don't let yourself cramp. I would rather relax and lose a few picks, then gradually either choke up or tighen up the grip over time, and that was a long time ago.

Since you mentioned it, I now remember, early on, like 35 years ago or more, I'd get the index finger caught inbetween strings into the soundhole, and lose a pick into the body or the guitar once in awhile. The other thing was scraping knuckles right off - that's why your post caught my attention. The skin would be either sheared off neatly and gone, or hanging there like a flap. Fortunately I quit that then, and now can only pop my right thumb open doing pinch harmonics. Must stop.

If it makes you more comfortable there's a variety of picks with no slip grips. Way back, there were holes punched in them.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

I have a bunch of "Snarling Dog Brain Picks With Cat Tongue Grip." The name sold 'em to me. The raspy surface texture actually works quite well. I've gotten out of the habit of flat picking pretty much, though. One of these days I'll get it back...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

I've had it happen in the past. It was due to not holding the pick "properly" and a bit of angling the pick too much upwards on the down strum. Angling the pick up too much led to the index finger getting too close to the strings and so rubbing against them ahead of the pick. It could also be that you are digging too deep with the pick and so even if you are angling just the right amount your index finger is too close to the strings.

You need to reduce the angle of the pick against the strings or try strumming without digging so deeply. You'll need to figure out which one it is (or perhaps it's both).

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

Maybe try anchoring your str umming hand with your pinky just below the strings. I do that and it seems to work out well.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Just as an update, I have been practicing more regularly, and seem to be doing it less.

In part, to do with keeping the pic a little "longer", and putting a little more pressure on it with my thumb, which seems to keep it straighter so I'm leading more with it and not with my knuckle.

Cheers!

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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(@liontable)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 146
 

Used to have the same issue, especially when palm muting. Experience made it go away for me, so it'll probably disappear completely for you too!


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

In part, to do with keeping the pic a little "longer", and putting a little more pressure on it with my thumb, which seems to keep it straighter so I'm leading more with it and not with my knuckle.

Having to hold the pick with more showing may mean that you are digging too deep. Spend a bit of time watching your picking - hold the same chord and just strum while you watch. Are you striking the strings with just the very tip of the pick? If you can put less of the pick into the strings you will have better control of the pick, it will be smoother (less buzzing strings), and less tiring.

You could spend just a couple of minutes with this watching and trying to use less pick every day. It will take a while to get it to happen naturally particularly if you have been digging deep for a while but it will come over time.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@bkangel)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 118
Topic starter  

Thanks for that, Hyperborea.

I'm trying to keep me eyes on my right hand when playing... but they so want to stray over to the security of the left hand

I will post something in the beginners' videos soon, which might help people see if there is anything obviously wrong happening with my strum action :?

What I lack in talent and natural ability, I will have to make up with stubborness.


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

SPending too much time watching either hand will set you up for problems later on; you want to be able to feel it, not see it.

But it's normal to look in the beginning. One thing I did, to let me look without screwing up my posture, it to play in front of a mirror. THis lets you play with your eyes facing straight ahead where they're meant to me, and still see what your hands are doing.

Best,
ande


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

But it's normal to look in the beginning. One thing I did, to let me look without screwing up my posture, it to play in front of a mirror. THis lets you play with your eyes facing straight ahead where they're meant to me, and still see what your hands are doing.

Good idea about using a mirror to watch your hands except that if you're trying check out pick depth into the strings you really need to look down from the top to see that and not straight on from the front. I definitely agree that you need to feel it and not rely on seeing it but at first seeing it can help guide the feeling it.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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