3.6 Holding Your Guitar Pick

Andy | August 24, 2015 | 15 Comments

Now you are relaxed and have a comfortable posture, Andy will show you how to hold a pick (in the classic/traditional way).

Here are the essential steps: Open your picking hand and turn the palm to face you. Close your hand to make a very loose fist. Your thumb should remain behind your index finger.

Rotate your hand until you are looking at its profile, with your thumb’s knuckle facing you. Now strike the string with the flat, pointy part of the pick.

PickHolding2

Make sure you do not hold the pick too loosely or too tightly and, when you feel confident, you can undertake a simple exercise that Andy believes will “shortcut” your way to being able to operate your pick.

PickHolding

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Comments (15)

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  1. Luis Cornejo says:

    We can use a pick also for nylon strings guitar???

  2. jim crossland says:

    personally i think when showing how to hold the pick for a starter it is easier to have the point of the pick as close to your fingers as possible as it is easier to control and grip

  3. Gary Stout says:

    3.6 Holding Your Guitar Pick: Might mention if the fingers holding the pick hurt, then you’re probably holding it too tight. As you mention, they shouldn’t be too loose, but held firmly and you should be able to pull and slide the pick from between your fingers without too much strength.

  4. Jack Runnels says:

    I like this the strumming exersize at the end was really nice.

  5. Andre Spangberg says:

    I would recommend the Dunlop Nylon .60 or Dunlop Maxigrip .60 for beginner Acoustic and
    move up to .88 later or for Electric. They have great grip.

  6. Ronnie Holderfield says:

    I like Richards comments on how to get the pick out of the sound hole. I’ve used that way for many years. Andy, you did a great job of explaining the way to hold the pick, and the strumming exercise

  7. Richard McKay says:

    For thin picks you can make a hole with a paper hole punch and this helps a lot with grip.

    Another side bar – How to get the lost pick out of the sound hole. I like to use a pencil. slide the pick to where you can see it through the sound hole. Trap it with the eraser end of the pencil and then turn the guitar upside down while it’s trapped.

    Also, explain that the pick position makes it easier to play finger style later if they choose.

  8. Larry Thompson says:

    I have found a few picks with – uh – “nubs” on them. They really helped me with holding the pick in the beginning. It might be interesting to explain the hardness options of picks. When I first went to the store there were jars and jars – thousands of options. Hard, medium, soft, large, small, etc. etc. So maybe recommend a good first pick.

  9. Charles Butler says:

    Andy, I think you cover the subject matter quite well. I wish that I had done strum practice early on as well.

  10. David Epstein says:

    I generally have a problem with the pick rotating between my thumb and forefinger, I never lose my grip on the pick. I assume that I am not holding it tight enough, but maybe there is another reason that this is happening?

    • Andy says:

      Getting the correct level of tension and pressure does take some time and it’s worth letting people know this. It’s not all about just gripping it tighter as this can restrict playing motion – thanks

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