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Holding pick correctly?

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(@musus)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 59
Topic starter  

This is usually a question you expect to encounter when you first start playing. However I've been playing for two years and I'm starting to question whether I'm holding the pick right.

The thing is recently I decided to grow my nails to try and improve my fingerstyle. All my nails are growing fine except my first finger. It's been weeks and all the others have grown long but the first one is as short as it gets. I realised this is because when strumming heavily my finger seems to scrape the strings so it's as if the strings keep filing my nail down.

When I started playing I took great care not to start any bad playing habits and concentrated alot on holdng the pick right. I'm still convinced I'm holding it right. Does the same happen to anyone else?

Should I wear a thimble? :D

"Hey Hey My My ... Rock and Roll can never die" Neil Young


   
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(@mattypretends116)
Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 530
 

Hard to tell w/o pics, but it sounds like you may be holding the pick in a pencil grip or holding it too close to the tip when strumming. Or both :)

Hold the pick tight enough so it doesn't tend to shift in your grip as you play, but loosely enough so it isn't hung up on the strings. When strumming you want to have a good chunk of the pic exposed, that may keep you from hitting your nails. Always pick from the wrist, whether strumming or picking individual notes. Using heavy picks is pretty much always better, too. They cut through the strings more easily than light ones, enabling you to relax. Relaxation is also a big key.

Efficient picking takes a LONG time, I've put many frustrating hours in and I'm only now starting to get to where I want to be. I've been playing 5-6 years. Its a matter of trial and error. If you like, I can send you some pics of what I mean.

"Contrary to popular belief, Clapton is NOT God. The prospect that he is God probably had a large hand in driving him to drugs and booze. Thanks everyone."

-Guitar World :lol:


   
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(@off-he-goes)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1259
 

Switch up the way you hold the pick if you want. You'll notice, that many people hold picks in very different ways. I hold it kind of strange, or at least compared to other people I've seen, and I attribute that to my love of finger picking, and not using a pick that much.

Try a looser grip, or a tigher one. More thumb, or less thumb. One finger, or two. There are many ways to hold it. Just try different methods, and something will work great, I'm sure.

From your description, I'd say back off on the pick a little, maybe hold it more in the middle.

Good Luck!

Paul

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.


   
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(@musus)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 59
Topic starter  

Thanks dudes, I'll give your suggestions a shot.

"Hey Hey My My ... Rock and Roll can never die" Neil Young


   
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