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Hold A Guitar Pick In 3 Easy Ways

Updated: Apr 7, 2022


Hold A Guitar Pick In 3 Easy Ways

Holding a guitar pick (also known as a "plectrum") between your thumb and index finger is recommended as you start to learn guitar.

Hold it firmly enough to cause the strings to hit, but not so forcefully that it becomes hard. Allow the pick to brush the string but avoid trying to "scoop" the string with the pick. Decide on a pick size that is comfortable for you, learn how to position your hands on the guitar correctly, and practise strumming and plucking until you can produce a clear tone on the instrument.


Learn Guitar using a pick

Hold your pick in the palm of your strumming hand. As you learn guitar, like most of our students who learn guitar online with our guitar classes online, you may use your dominant hand to strum and pluck the strings, while using their non-dominant hand to finger particular notes and chords. Hold the guitar, interact with it, and experiment with different grips until you find one that feels comfortable.

Make a line down the neck of the guitar with your non-dominant "fingering hand," with your thumb gripping the back of the neck and your fingers resting on the strings. For the strings to be perpendicular to the ground, they should be facing away from you. If you want to play standing up, you may rest the guitar's body on your knee or use a shoulder strap.

Rest your fingers on the strings of your acoustic guitar above the hold; if you're playing an electric guitar, rest your fingertips on the strings between your final fret and your pickup bar.

Pick up the pick and hold it between your thumb and index finger. Pick up the pick with your fingers and cover about half of it—some picks are designed with a groove to indicate where your thumb and forefinger should be placed. Use a tight grip, yet one that is slack enough to enable the tip of the pick to flex if necessary. Holding the pick too loosely can cause it to fly out of your grasp.

Choose a grip that is comfortable for you. There is no "correct" or "wrong" way to hold a guitar pick, but there are different grips that are more conducive to control, tone, and overall comfort than others. The "O" approach, the "pinch" method, and the "fist" method are all examples of such techniques. As you progress in your guitar classes online, you will learn different approaches to picking.



1) The "O" Approach

Shape your fingers into an extended "O" shape, while holding the pick between the pad of your thumb and the side of your index finger. This grip strikes a balance between control and tone.


2) The “Pinch” Technique

Make use of the "pinch" technique. The pick should be held between the pads of your thumb and the pads of your index finger. This strategy may be the most suitable for our guitar students who like to use thinner-gauge picks and who spend most of their playing time strumming.


3) Fist Technique

Make use of the "fist" technique. Using your curled index finger, place the pick between the first joint of your thumb (below the pad) and the side of your thumb (near the first joint). This approach is commonly used by bluegrass musicians, and it may be the most effective when dealing with heavier picks.



Finetuning your ability to learn guitar with a pick

Shift your wrist towards the direction of your guitar. It is best if the flat tip of your pick rests lightly on a string, and the long side of your pick should be as perpendicular to the string as feasible. To pick well on a guitar, the angle of your wrist is critical: while playing the guitar, you are not picking with your fingers at all, but rather with your wrist. Strumming and picking riffs, solos, and strings may be accomplished by flicking your wrist up and down.

Instead of scooping the strings, brush them. The pick should be used to lightly touch the surface of the strings: not too soft so that the sound is feeble, but not too roughly so that the string gets caught between it and the pick. Maintain your composure while being nice. Try to collaborate with the instrument rather than push your will on it.

Maintain fluidity and avoid over-gripping your pick. All your movements must be fluid and flexible to be effective. If you are overly strict in your approach, your picking will sound rigid and out of sync as well. Do share your progress with your guitar teacher in your guitar classes online as you continue to learn guitar.


Learning to strum in your guitar classes online

It is possible to maintain your wrist firm during strumming, as you move the pick over the strings with your wrist. In the end, the finger-and-wrist technique is really a tool that allows you to perform more freely on the instrument. Once you've found a way that you're comfortable with, continue to refine it.


Strumming your guitar with a relaxed wrist and elbow is recommended to all our students who take our guitar classes online. Strums are complete, multi-string sounds that are a fundamental feature of most guitar rhythms. They are also known as "chords." Hold the pick between your thumb and index finger, and carefully place the tip of the pick atop the thickest, topmost string. Hold the pick between your thumb and index finger (usually tuned to E). To strike every string, run the tip of the pick down the strings, starting with the thickest and working your way down the length. The notes should be strung together fast to avoid them being lost in the mix, and slowly to bring each tone out clearly; strum lightly for a softer chord and apply more pressure for a louder sound.

You may strum up-down (high, thin strings to low, thick strings) or down-up (low, thick strings to high, thin strings) (low, thick strings to high, thin). For the desired effect, you may strum any portion of strings (for example, strings 2-4 or open G to open E).

When you strum, try holding particular strings in order to generate chords. Any guitar player's repertoire would be incomplete without the strum, and the more you practise, the cleaner your strums will become. When you finger notes and chords, be careful to keep the strings down strongly. Don't be disheartened if your chords come out muffled and sloppy at first; this is quite normal. Continue to build your finger strength and practise.

Again, thinner picks tend to produce a softer, quieter strum, while thicker picks tend to produce a heavier, more forceful strum, as previously said.

Pluck the strings of your guitar. Whether you're playing a basic melody or just accentuating a single note from a lengthier chord, you'll find yourself wanting to pluck only one string at a time. Only one string is struck with the tip of your pick, just as you would if you were strumming the whole string. Pick the string with the pick and quickly draw the pick away from the guitar's neck to avoid accidentally striking any other strings.

A single note — or multiple notes in succession — from a chord established with your non-dominant hand on the neck of the guitar may be picked while the chord is still being held in place. Make an effort to keep chord "forms" while switching between strums and plucks so that you don't have to move your non-dominant hand as much when switching between the two.

When you pluck a note, it becomes clearer. It is possible that you will not be able to create the same loudness or "weight" with a pluck as you can with an electric instrument, especially on acoustic instruments. Plucks may be used to create space between your strums, this is something you should learn as you continue to learn guitar.


Alternate Picking

Picking up and putting down alternately can help you acquire speed, precision, and accuracy. You can pluck either upwards or downwards, just as you can with strumming. Make an effort to maintain a smooth transition between strokes: pluck down, strum up, pluck down, strum up, pluck up, strum down, pluck up. It takes more time to strum down twice (and then back up again) than it does to strum down and then back up.

Practice, practise, and even more practise. If you are serious about learning how to play the guitar using a pick, practice even if your guitar classes online are over for the week. Make use of all opportunities to enhance the technology that come your way as you continue to learn guitar. Play riffs and songs slowly, all the way through, then gradually increase your pace as you go through your guitar classes online with Mela Music School.

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