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Holding your pick if your index finger is destroyed

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New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

FIrst off, I have been play guitar for 4 years. I have been playing 12-16 hours a day for the fast four years and advanced very quickly as I have had a musical background.

Somebody brought to my attention that I have been holding my pick the wrong way. :( I hold it between my thumb, index and middle finger. Now, I do know this is wrong, as I tried to hold it between my thumb and index finger when I first started.
Now, here is the issue....when I was younger, I badly damaged my right wrist and because of that, somehow, my index finger became very weak and very hard to move. Every other finger is fine!

Now, when I play a song, (lets use Mr. brightside by the killers for example here) I notice a different feel in that, if I use the pick between my index finger and thumb, its feels easy and more fluid to play, but hurts badly to move the index finger. Then, when I use all three fingers to hold the pick, its a bit harder to play, but doesn't hurt.

Whats your take on this? Is it okay to hold the pick with 3 fingers (I've heard that The Edge does this, is this true?)
should I try to play with the pick between my thumb and index finger?
and could playing with the pick using the 3 fingers hold me back?

oh, and to add, I play mostly jazz/fusion. When I do play rock, its mostly in the style of The Edge, Dave Keuning (The Killers) and The Eagles.

thanks for your help :D

Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 646

Pretty near everyone I know uses the middle finger too. And they do OK generally. So I wouldn't worry too much.

Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com

Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 125

I read in an interview with James Hetfield (of Metallica) that he too holds the pick with three fingers... and he does ok I guess... :roll:

Just do whatever suits you.

- Electric Don Quixote -

Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 848

I had to fight to use thumb/index. I always wanted to hold it thum/mid finger. You could also try with no pick.... I never use a pick playing accustic. it was strange at first, but now its natral.

Paul B

Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184

don't let people tell you how to play. listen to the information out there, take the advice that you feel you want to apply to your music, sure, but in the end, you're the one playing it, not them.

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 157

don't let people tell you how to play. listen to the information out there, take the advice that you feel you want to apply to your music, sure, but in the end, you're the one playing it, not them.


Just check out Django. What if people told him he was fretting wrong.

Interview guy: What is the source of your feedback?
Neil Young: Volume.

Active Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 6

I think you're going to get a different answer for everyone who replies. My personal take is to play the way that feels right for you. Typically, I hold the pick with my index finger and thumb, and use my middle finger to pick as well, especially if I'm playing blues or a banjo. When I play a lap side, I use a thumb pick and pick freely with the index and middle. I didn't plan it that way...just evolved. If everyone did everything the same way, we wouldn't have the wonderfully unique styles that are out there to be found. Nothing against discipline...just don't let it squash your personal style and creativity. If it feels right to you, then it's right for you.
Good luck.

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 360

Do it the way you are comfortable :D
This guy didn't listen to anyone else and hes doing pretty good!

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 106

I will weigh in on this and agree with everyone that says do it your way. Whatever is comfortable or works for you.
If there are going to be rules about how you hold your pick then I am done. The idea is to make music not follow blindly along with the masses.
Get out there and play however that works for you.