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Too much pick?

New Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

What up guys/gals? New to the forum and somewhat new to guitar . . . been messing around for a few months but would still consider myself an absolute beginner, not that good at all. Here's my question and I don't even know if this will make sense but is it possible to be heavy handed with your pick? What I mean by that is when i'm playing I feel like I hear the pick strumming the strings as much as I can hear the chords ring out (does that make sense?) Happened no matter if I use a thin or medium pick. Also I was told that i'm missing the low E and A all together, is that true?

I left 2 links of me playing so you can get an idea of what I am talking about. I can hear the pick more so in the first one. Not good, no judgments haha

Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 18

I wouldn't say too much pick, as you stated, if your applying too much pick and its causing you to push harder to get your strums complete then choke up on your pick a bit.

However I will say your strumming, it seems like you are tensing up your right hand a bit. so your all but fighting the muscles to make it move naturally. I struggled with strumming when I first started because I was trying to make it sound exactly how I heard it

I use two techniques. one called the Paintbrush and the other the pencil.

When your painting a fence, you use a paint brush you take long broad strokes, to cover as much surface as you can in the least amount of time, aka *Strumming* you want a free flow of energy without struggling or tensing up to get the job done.

I had a hard time with this so how I started was I would pick a chord, any chord. but I use one that uses all 6 strings. so use a G Chord. and then do a strumming excercise using all down strokes count off 1, 2, 3, 4, all the strums should sound even and nice crisp and clean, make sure your strumming hand is relaxed and do a few repitions of it, counting with a beat.

Then when that gets comfortable, put the & in there so then you work on the Down Up motion. so now using the same chord. count 1 & 2 & 3 & 4, or Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up. Down, Up once again all your strums should sound crisp even and full. each time.

If your finding your self stalling lets say on the up stroke, where you require more force, look at the contact of your pick to the strings, is it really dug in there? if it is move your fingers up on the pick and try again, another thing to look at is when your strumming I tilt my pick to allow a smooth sweep. so When I am going down, i tilt the tip slightly to the ceiling and on the upstroke, i tilt it ever so slightly towards the floor. this allows for a nice even brush across the strings with little effort.

The "Pencil Method" is all about picking single notes or arpeggiating a chord. (thats a word, if its not its a word in my world) so using the same G Chord, pick the notes using alternate picking so the E String would be a down, and the A String would be an up. alternating throughout the chord.

when I do this, I rest part of my hand on the base of the guitar to keep my hand steady and have more control. *Like writing with a pencil* I have heard people say don't do this its not proper. But if guys like John Petrucci and Eddie Van Halen do this, I am sure its acceptable.

Another thing to help you along is check David Hodge's Lesson on the Pink Floyd Song - Wish you were Here. He does an excellent job on highlighting different picking techniques to include strumming.

Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 18

Forgot to Add.

As Guitar Players we often focus so much on what the Fretting hand is doing we forget about the other hand. Or we are too busy working on our fretting hand we never consider the opposite hand which is doing all the picking strumming and plucking. I was Super GUILTY of this. All I wanted to do was learn those blissful fast solos, shred away like a boss, and that was all. Then I learned a lot of a guitar players time is taken up playing rhythm and becoming a solid player requires both. Yeah I can zip through a shred solo, but then to play rhythm it was terrible. I would always lose time cause I couldn't catch the beat.

Spend some focusing on each hand individually and then all of a sudden the mechanics you apply just become so natural you don't even think about it anymore.