Am I holding the Pick at the wrong angle?

Hey guys,

When I play, my pick (pointy end) is always sort of angled toward the head stock. Sometimes the angle varies more drastically than in the picture below. Is this a problem? Should it be more perpendicular? Or exactly perpendicular? sometimes it’s almost parallel, even!


I think it’s perfectly fine, that’s how I do it!

Picking with a perfectly perpendicular pick point (woo alliteration) feels really bad to me.


It’s only wrong if it’s preventing you from doing something you want to do.

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Yeah I agree with the others.

Did you notice any problems with the pick orientation while playing (e.g. it feels like it’s rotating /wobblying uncontrollably)? Or are you worrying about this for “academic reasons” (for lack of a better phrase :slight_smile: )

@tommo Hmm. I’m not sure. I’ve noticed that overall my picking just doesn’t feel “right.” I don’t have the type of control I want and I’ve put a lot of time into it. Especially when it comes to pentatonic licks.

Could you post a tab or video of the riff? Or tell us what the speed and generally how many notes per string you’re playing before you change strings?

If it’s fast 2 notes per string, those are just overall harder compared to fast 3+ notes per string. If you can play comfortably at 3+ but 2 feels awkward, it’s not a pick grip issue IMO.

Let me try to post at lick later tonight. It’s always a big difficult angling my phone properly.

What I’m talking about is the really basic 2 NPS pentatonc position 1 patterns of 4.

I wouldn’t say I can play comfortably at 3+ either – but it’s certainly easier.

I actually wonder if alternate picking blazing fast pentatonic 4’s is even something worth pursuing or if it would be better just to hammer and pull.

Speaking generally, if it’s a sound you would like to achieve, then it’s worth pursuing. Might not be easy, but it’s always a good idea to work towards a huge long term goal I think!

I think you’re right. I remember seeing a video Troy posted saying how playing EJ style pentatonic 5’s with strict alternate picking was nearly impossible (without sweeping the last two notes) so I’ve got that on the brain.

I don’t think I’ve seen / heard him say that, but it’s definitely harder than the way EJ plays it.

That being said, I only ever play it alternate picked, so the small “sweep” in it feels weird to me.

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Once I embraced the downward rest stroke based style, I found that my picking hand index finger sometimes accidentally muted the string I was picking. That made me aware that I didn’t really use a full trigger grip on the pick, but rather the tips of the thumb and index were pinching together.

Pushing the pick to rest on the side of the index rather than the tip (criss-cross the fingers) solved that, and also angled the pick towards the leading edge. That took a short time getting used to, but I find it a good thing. Having a perfectly square orientation to the string is very unforgiving…easy to get stuck on the string.

Agreed, theoretically it’s not impossible, It’s just harder mostly because of the odd note grouping, which constantly alternates which stroke the accent falls on if you alternate pick it.

The sweep likely feels weird to most people at first, because it’s kind of in an awkward place and requires a more complex rolling bar type sweep from a weaker finger, most people only used to Yngwie sweeps really just train their first finger for this. on top of that two note per strings are kind of awkward to play in general, at least they are for me, but I can’t say I practice them too much.