How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly for Beginners


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Hello Guitarists, Today in this article we are going to discuss everything about “How to hold a guitar pick properly”.

Many beginners find difficulty in playing with a pick and they get frustrated and tend to ask one question all the time: Why pick?

Well, you can choose not to use a pick.

There are some great guitar players, one of my favorites of all time, Jeff Beck, doesn’t use a guitar pick. I mean, I think he started off early but he certainly doesn’t anymore.

Wes Montgomery didn’t use a guitar pick, there are lots of guys that mainly do fingerstyle.

but I would recommend, while you’re starting out, that you use a guitar pick.

how to hold a guitar pick properly

It’s like a kind of beginner thing and I think that’s important. once you get used to playing guitar with the pick then you can choose:

“Hey, actually I hate using a pick”,
“I don’t like the sound of it”
or “It’s easier to play without pick”.

Whatever you like.

But I would recommend starting your musical journey with a pick. I hope you made your mind. now let see:

How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly?

    How to Choose a Guitar Pick?

    Whether you’re going to buy it online or from local shop, there are loads of them. How to choose the perfect pick for you?

    May be you can watch out for the type of material that a pick is made out of. but it is really irrelevant.

    It’s just really a matter of preference. personally I prefer kind of nylons sounding picks to plastic picks, because to me, plastic picks sound a little bit brittle, A little bit hard.

    But that’s just a personal choice.

    I know there are lots of greater guitar players than me use plastic picks. So don’t worry and choose the one according to your personal preference.

    However, when you’re starting off as a beginner, there’s a couple of things that I think that you ought to be fairly strict with.

    The first thing is How you hold the Guitar Pick? which I’m going to go through in a minute. And the second thing is, particularly for the beginning stages, you really want a very thin pick.

    By thin means Extra thin like this which is .38 mm and if you find that too thin, you want to go thicker, you can go with 0.60 mm Tortex Dunlop

    Now the quesion is:

    Why Thin Pick is Better for Beginners?

    the reason you want a thin pick to start off with is, it kind of forgives you a bit if you press a little bit too hard or a little bit too light, it kind of evens things out a little bit.

    So that’s why I think using a thin pick is better.

    But a little harder to control, so as you get a little bit better, then you might want to use a thicker pick because you can control the end of it a little bit better when you’re playing your scales and stuff.

    But using a thin pick is really, pretty much the way to go.

    A lot of people find that the pick slips around in their fingers. that’s totally normal.

    What you will find is, the more that you play, the more you find that you can actually manipulate the pick while you’re playing.

    I’ll be honest with you.

    My teacher was always saying “Oh don’t worry about the pick slipping out, you’ll fix it”. and now I can kind of turn it around almost the 360 while I’m playing.

    You know, it’s kind of weird. Your fingers just find a way of manipulating the pick, so don’t worry about it too much, it’s not a big deal.

    If it’s slipping out of your fingers all the time and dropping on the floor that’s a bit more of a hassle.

    You need to hold the pick as light as you can, while not letting it fall out of your hand.

    If you find that you have a lot of trouble with dropping your pick, then you can use a surf wax on your guitar pick especially if you sweat more.

    How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly?

    There is one standard method to hold a guitar pick in hand. And I am going to discuss it only here. If you want to hold it another way later on then fair enough.

    I know, people do hold their picks differently. But the method I am going to show you is a really good standard way to do it.

    what I really recommend it, you don’t, under any circumstance, hold your pick using anything but one finger and your thumb.

    There are some well known, great guitar players that use two or three fingers on their guitar picks but it’s really, really rare.

    And those people are kind of freaky. So, if I was you mate, I really think that you should learn to hold the pick the kind of standard, correct way and then only change later on if you got a really, really good reason for that.

    Let’s start from the very basic step:

    1. Hold the pick in your strumming hand

    Most people use their dominant hand for strumming the guitar. As it is comfortable to do. And for fingering some specific notes and chords they use their other hand.

    I will also recommend you go with this technique because this way you become more comfortable which is more important in the beginning.

    Also Read: Best Way to Hold your Guitar (Step-by-Step)

    2. Find a Grip which works for you

    Ok before I start, I have to say that there is no so-called perfect way to hold a pick. But there are certain ways by which you can get a grip that helps you in the beginning stages.

    Many beginners don’t want to use a pick because of slipping or turning of the pick. but by proper griping, you can solve this problem

    Generally there are 3 Main methods to hold your guitar pick to find a grip.

    1. Pinch Method:

    This method is best for the guitarist who spend their most of time strumming.

    In this method, you have to hold the pick between the pad of the index finger and a pad of the thumb.

    If you are one of them who mainly uses a thinner gauge pick then this is a perfect method for you.

    2. Fist Method:

    In this method, you have to hold the pick between the pad of thumb( first joint of your thumb) and side of the curled index finger(near the first joint).

    This method is used for heavy picks. Bluegrass players mostly used this type of method.

    3. O Method:

    In this method, you have to hold the pick between the pad of a thumb and side of the index finger. Then elongate your all fingers in O shape.

    This method gives you grip and balances and control tones

    Now choose the perfect method according to your way of playing the guitar. I suggest you try all three and then choose.

    But if you don’t want to do that then I recommend you to go with the first method: The O Method.

    Many guitar players use this method and I think this is also perfect for you. Thus I am going to explain to you the O method in detail.

    A. Do a thumb up a sign:

    Have you ever said the best of luck to anyone?

    Ok ok, I know what you are thinking. I am not talking out of the context. when you say best of luck to anyone you have to do a thumbs-up sign. And that sign is our first step. So what would be simple than this?

    B. Keep the pick on top of finger:

    After doing thumbs-up sign now simply place a pick on top of the finger. Keep the pick very neatly.

    Make sure that pointy edge should be facing towards you and flat edge towards the other side. And now the second step is also completed. I

    C. Now place your thumb on the pick:

    So in this final step, you have to keep your thumb on the pick. This is how you have to hold the pick.

    I know it is not comfortable for you in the beginning. But it is a way that every guitarist recommends you. And trust me, guys, if you hold a pick like this then it will be very helpful.

    And later on, once you become a pro guitarist you can use your hand as well. This method gives you grip and balances and control tones.

    Also Read: How to Clean your Acoustic Guitar without Efforts

    3. Turn your wrist towards your guitar:

    Ok guys, while strumming a guitar you are not actually picking with your fingers but you are using your wrist. So the angle of wrist is most important for a process of picking strings.

    You have to keep the flat side of pick on a string and the long side of picks should be perpendicular to string as much as possible.

    You have to swing your wrist up and down on strings to play the guitar.

    FAQs on Holding a Guitar Pick in a Proper Way

    Here I included only those question that I got from forums. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in the comment section.

    Does it matter How you hold a guitar pick?

    Yes of course it matters a lot. You cannot get a grip if you hold a pick in any way you want.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHolding a pick in proper method not only gives you grip but also help you to play guitar comfortably with good tones.

    What is the proper way to hold a guitar pick for metal?

    You can use any method which I have explained you in this article. But if you ask me then according to my experience I will suggest you to use a fist method.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eBecause, I think it is best for a metal.

    How to hold a guitar pick for Strumming?

    Strumming a guitar is the hobby of most of guitarist or we can say most of peoples start their guitar career with strumming.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAs it is easy to learn compare to others. so I will recommend you to use O method for strumming.

    How to hold guitar without slipping?

    Don’t worry guys, it happens with most people in the beginning. the pick of guitar gets slipped from hand again and again.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eBut do not worry too much it happens just because of your silly mistake or due to your wrong method.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eDo not hold your pick too tightly which does not allow you to turn your pick. And neither keep it too loose that it slips down easily. Hold it in such a way that pick is in our control.

    Final words on Holding a guitar pick properly

    I hope you have liked this article. May after reading this article your problem gets solved.

    Read each method of this article and find a perfect way for you to hold a pick. But, Make sure you are comfortable with your choice.

    If you have any doubts or questions or even if you have any complaints related to this article then ask me in the comment box.

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