Getting started on how to play the guitar? But for that, you must know how to hold a guitar pick. Because it’s the most important step of learning guitar. Holding a guitar pick too tightly or too loosely won’t end up well while playing. So, you need to know just the amount of pressure you need to put on the pick to play properly. Today you are going to read complete our Guitar Learning Tips: How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly!
Though you can always use your own fingers to strum the guitar, then ever thought why you would need a pick to strum your guitar? Why learn to hold the guitar pick properly when you can use your hands? A really simple answer for that! Picks help you strum on a single string more conveniently than fingers. Moreover, holding the pick properly will enhance your guitar sound furthermore.
Even though holding a guitar pick properly is very important, it won’t be much hard for you to learn. All you need to know is the right posture for guitar posture, getting ahold of the other convenient techniques will be as easy as applying butter on bread! So, for that to work out, you need to choose the right pick as starters.
How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly! First, Choose the Right Guitar Pick
If you’re this far from your guitar learning experience, you must already know that guitars come in various types and sizes. If that’s true, then why would the guitar picks be of less variety? I guess from that question, if you can pretty much assume that there are different types of guitar picks, then I wouldn’t say that you’re wrong!
There are a few types of guitar picks. If you’re a beginner then you should try those out and choose which one feels the most convenient for you.
That being said, if you’re a beginner, you should start with thinner and lighter weighing picks. Because the thinner the picks are, the better they are in strumming. However, there are moderately weighing picks and thicker picks that have their own purposes as well.
For working on picking riffs and scales, a medium weight pick will serve you the purpose well. However, choose a heavy and thick pick if you’re playing a lead on an electric guitar. At that time, it’ll be the most appropriate to give you support as you perform.
Guitar picks are really cheap. So, when you’re in a music store to buy one, you might as well buy loads of it. Because of being very small, they tend to get lost a lot. If you don’t want to run to the store every now and then, you might buy lots of spares. Also, be sure to buy all the types available, and very colorful at that so that when you drop it, you can find it pretty quickly.
How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly?
Well, now it comes back to the most important question of this article. Do you know how to hold a guitar pick properly?
You should know by now that holding a pick, guitar-strumming is all done using the dominant hand. There’s a system for holding the pick with either of the hands. But still, the basic rules are the same regardless of whichever hand you use.
As I said before, strumming is done with the dominant hand. So, if you’re a right-handed person, you’ll want to hold the pick with your right hand and fret with your left. Before holding the pick, relax your hand and form a loose fist. Make sure to put your thumb on the outside. It should be near the index finger.
After that, position your fist in such a way that your thumb faces you. Place the pick in between the thumb and the middle of the index finger in such a way that a slightly greater portion of the pick remains exposed for strumming purposes. If you want to increase your accuracy in playing the guitar, expose a small portion of the pick while strumming.
Just keep one thing in mind that you need to keep your strumming hand relaxed. Don’t hold the pick too tightly or too loosely. Just firm enough so that it doesn’t fly out of your hands while playing guitar. And while you’re at it, larger exposed areas of the pick will give you an upper hand to shift between notes while strumming. Again, if you have a lesser area exposed, it will help you hit the single notes properly.
Strumming with the Guitar Pick, How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly!
The perfect pick holding technique will help you in placing and strumming the guitar. Hold the guitar in such a way that that the picking hand is placed on top of the sound hole on the acoustic guitar. In the case of electric guitar, place your picking hand on top of the guitar body.
While you’re holding the guitar, don’t rest your hand on the guitar in that position. Rather than that, you should hover your hand over the guitar so that the vibrations creating the sound don’t get interrupted.
Now, start strumming the guitar strings from the thickest string down to the thinnest one. While strumming, keep your arm still and use only the wrist to strum. For more accuracy, practice moving your wrist as if you’re unscrewing a light bulb. But there’s just a simple rule – keep your wrist straight and the grip on the picked firm. In a nutshell, you should feel your wrist rotating instead of bending.
You can create versatility in your playing by strumming up to down, i.e., from thick string to thin string, or down to up, i.e., thin string to thick string. You’ll hear a sound difference in both of these styles. Alternating between all these up and down strumming will create a different type of music.
Each one of these is unique and creates different feelings and is of different genres. For example, if you want to play pop and punk type music strum up and down quickly according to the music pattern. And if you want to play country or classic music, soft and slow strumming is most preferable.
How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly! Alternative Guitar Picking Method
Strumming all the guitar strings at once is not the only method of strumming a guitar. You also need to focus on alternative guitar picking methods that will eventually help you play musical notes on a single string effectively. You need to learn to play riffs, scales, and solos using alternative picking methods. It will not only help you develop speed but also, you’ll be able to play notes on single strings cleanly.
First of all, you need to hold the guitar pick properly, in an appropriate position. That is, in between the side of your index finger and thumb. You don’t need to worry about your left hand at first. So, give your full concentration on picking.
Practice alternating up and down movements among the 6 strings. If you know about riffs, alternative picking can be very beneficial for this type of guitar playing. If you feel like riffs are hard and difficult to learn, try out the easier ones first before moving on to the difficult parts.
How to Improve Your Guitar Picking Speed?
Now that you know how to hold a guitar pick, you’ll have to know different methods and speeds. Different song types use different picking speeds. So, to be up to date on the new songs, you can’t help learning all those techniques.
A common sense for fast-paced guitar playing is that if you want to play a fast guitar piece, you need to work on both your fretting speed with the left hand and the picking speed of the right hand. For that, you can start by improving the speed while looking at the angle of the guitar strings to pick.
The optimum guitar picking angle should be 45 degrees in between the headstock of the guitar and the hold. No matter what, you have to place your hand in a neutral position in comparison to the strings. Your pick-holding position will determine which stroking direction will be easier for you to play. For example, if you hold the pick point to be too far up, the upstroke will be easier rather than the downstrokes which will eventually slow you down.
However, if you’re playing, try to play the notes without striking the strings hard, it will barely make a sound while fast playing the guitar. So, strum the strings a little harder but not too hard that makes unwanted noises from the guitar by accident.
Also, don’t forget to check my guitar guide article Best Electric Guitar Book For Beginners in 2021 – A Quick and Easy Introduction and Ashthorpe Acoustic-Electric Guitar – One of the Best Electric Guitars review New Edition 2021 and Best Firefly FF338 Semi Hollowbody Guitar – Unlimited Review with Buying Guide For A New Guitarist plz read the.
Let’s Watch a Video Reviews! How to Hold a Guitar Pick Properly!
Now that you know all the basics regarding how to hold a guitar pick properly, you’re well prepared to start your guitar learning journey. All you need to continue this journey is some great songs you might be interested in, and lots of practice. A private instructor will also help you boost your progress drastically. Because getting instructions first-hand will help you learn the tricks and hacks behind different processes easily. In any way, learning to hold a guitar pick is the first step only. There’s a lot more to come! Though these are not difficult to learn, if I were you, I’d practice a lot!
Hi. I’m Saif Khan, a music enthusiast. Over the years, I have been passionate about playing musical instruments of different kinds, including guitars, drums, piano, and many more, and writing about them.
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