Proper Picking Techniques.

by Mark

Question

Hi, I have been playing for a few months now, and I have just realized that I was plucking the strings wrong. I guess it was because I was putting most of my strength into the fingers that hold the pick.

I do seem to play better when I try to relax them, but it just makes the pick constantly move around, or fall out of my hand. Is there any specific way you're suppose to hold/use the pick, or any part of the hand to use to play properly?

Thanks,
Mark

Answer

That's right: when the muscles are relaxed it's easier to play accurate. What I can suggest you is to maintain just the right amount of grip (without overpressing) between the thumb and the index finger that hold the pick so it won't move around, and watch if you don't tense any other muscles unnecessary (such as of the shoulder, elbow, other fingers), it often happens if you try to play faster than your hands currently can handle.

The same old advice: work your picking out deliberately in slow tempo, watching and fixing mistakes as you do. When you can play it slowly but surely, you may increase the speed to the next level but without compromising the accuracy of playing.

This way you'll become a much better player in the long run.

Here is a pretty good video about the picking hand where you can see where to hold the plectrum in close-up. It's the "Scene 5 :: Right Hand Position" in the playlist below.

Another thing that might be a problem here is that you've got a slippery plectrum. You might try a new plectrum with ribbed sides to minimize the slipping, like 'Dava Control Pick ', 'Dunlop Max Grip Jazz III ' or, anything similar.

Cheers
electric-fire

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