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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've played for lots of years and apparently I've been holding my pick the wrong way. A couple of days ago I was at a Guitar Center and this guy helped me out with my picking technique. It seems that I've been holding the pick in such a manner that I don't get proper control.

so, now, I hold my pick in the proper manner.

And now, I PLAY LIKE CRAP!! I have no control now.

I checked out YOUTUBE and apparently this guy at the Guitar Center was right. The thing is that for years I could play fast and accurate and I did not hold the pick properly. Now, I'm stumbling all the way.

What do you guys think, is it worth re-learning to hold a pick? I'm just about ready to forget about it and go back to my tried and true way that feels comfy to me.
 

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Can you provide more details on this pick holding issue? I'm always willing to try new things....before I just go back to my normal way...LOL!
 

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I dont want to be the one sided person here but I dont think it matters AT ALL how you do it if you get the job done. I think guitar playing is like a lot of sports, once the fundamentals are learned you can make your own way of doing things, and that is YOUR style, and if that works for you then do it.

my 2 cents...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Go to youtube and do a search on holding a guitar pick. They basically teach you to hold the pick with the thumb and first finger laying horizontal against it. I hold the pick with my thumb horizontal but my first finger vertical on the pick. It is hard to describe, but I am with Wayward_Son and I'm just going to stick with what works for me because in the end, what matters is the music produced and not how I went about producing it, I think.
 

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I agree w/ wayward

Wayward_Son said:
I dont want to be the one sided person here but I dont think it matters AT ALL how you do it if you get the job done. I think guitar playing is like a lot of sports, once the fundamentals are learned you can make your own way of doing things, and that is YOUR style, and if that works for you then do it.

my 2 cents...
I agree w/ wayward, I've been told my picking technique needs work also and lessons were suggested to me. It could be better, but its mine......you want the best example I can think of.....If nobody knew who EVH was and you showed a photo of how he holds his pick, I imagine a "technique oriented" guitar instructor would have laughed.......But for the person who's natural approach isn't getting it done, there is something to be said for classic proper technique and having the patience to relearn, but sounds like you were happy with your own style.
 

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ArizonaBlues said:
I've played for lots of years and apparently I've been holding my pick the wrong way. A couple of days ago I was at a Guitar Center and this guy helped me out with my picking technique. It seems that I've been holding the pick in such a manner that I don't get proper control.

so, now, I hold my pick in the proper manner.

And now, I PLAY LIKE CRAP!! I have no control now.

I checked out YOUTUBE and apparently this guy at the Guitar Center was right. The thing is that for years I could play fast and accurate and I did not hold the pick properly. Now, I'm stumbling all the way.

What do you guys think, is it worth re-learning to hold a pick? I'm just about ready to forget about it and go back to my tried and true way that feels comfy to me.
I agree with Wayward. If your method fits the bill, then by all means, stick with it unless it is so completely flawed and uneconomical that it needs to be fixed.

Personally, i took the time to amend my picking hand. At first, i held the pick with my middle, index, and thumb fingers. Then i switched to just thumb and index because alot of my heroes played like that. Then i saw a vid on youtube of Paul Gilbert explaining his right hand picking and i adapted to something in the spirit of that and it works for me. Basically, now my pick is held so that is an extension of my index finger and my thumb holds it in place.

I remember Paul Gilbert saying that he got this from guys like Al DiMeola and Yngwie Malmsteen. The old picking technique he had left his thumb looking like a "U" when he picked.
 

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I'm the king of bad technique (both hands). I guess nobody can beat me at that. You could look at the way Marty Friedman holds his pick, it looks really ackward to me but he plays so flawlessly so I guess as long as you are comfortable with your playing then keep on playing great music....
I don't mean that you should not be trying to improve your technique or what but I believe you should enjoy playing.....
 

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I hold my pick with my thumb and middle finger (EVH Style) so I can tap with my index finger. I've always done it that way, even a year before I ever learned to tap. Now I've kinda stopped picking that way unless I'm playing something with lots of tapping and not much alternate picking... And my left hand technique is pretty bad when I want to play good. My motto is "you cant argue with success." so I recommend you play both ways ;)
 

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Technique is a subjective term. Some would argue that EVH has the best technique in the business, but we all know that he's more homegrown than Tommy Chong's weed field. It all comes down to whatever works for you. In my opinion, there is no right - and no wrong here.
 

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I agree with the implication that "it doesn't matter how you hold your pick, as long as what you're doing works FOR you." The guy that taught me classical guitar taught me that "There's no such thing as bad technique, only bad application." I believe there's some truth to that statement. In the end, all that matters is that what you're doing works for you.
 

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Self preferance for picks dude, just take a peek at marty friedman and his gorilla stance!

I play with bad technique but instead of calling it that i just call it my character! hoorah for softie words!!!
 

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:rock: Wayward's deffo right on this, at the end of the day you play what's comfortable to you, hell I play most bar chords using my index and pinky, where some of my buddies are saying I should use my index and third finger, but that's what I'm comfortable with, doesn't sound any different, and if a sequence requires me to use my pinky then I adapt.....my style!:thumb:
 

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Question is, did the guy who "helped" you out play any better than you?

The world is full of helpful idiots.

Watch Pat Metheny... He makes Marty look normal! I have no idea how he plays like that, but it's definitely way off the "standard" picking technique. He doesn't even play with the right end of the pick.

As for you, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. There are far worse playing habits than not holding the pick like other people do.
 

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Unless you are a kid that is just learning guitar I could see being taught the all the so called proper techniques.But as most of us who have been playing for years we all have differant ways of doing things and who is to say whats right or wrong.Like mentioned earlier VANHALEN holds his pick with his thumb and middle finger,Steve Morse with his thumb and index and middle.A PROPER teacher would make a kid change that,also the thumb around the neck is a suposed no no,I play 80% of the time like that also I fan my picking hand out which I have tried to change for more speed but it does not feel right so I play the way thats most comfortable to me .As long as you can get the job done theres no reson to change.
 

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Dude there is no such thing as the "proper" way to hold a pick. It all matters what technique works for you. I used to pick with my thumb and my middle but then I found out I pick faster with my index and thumb. Hope this helps.
~Angelo
 
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