Anton Oparin about holding the pick

I’m aware of what his advice is and what this thread is about. As I said, I study and speak with regularly. I know his technique inside and out.

My point is that his advice in the video is not for categorical application to electric guitar technique. It has very specific use cases in his own playing, and the two videos I posted show deviations from it. There are reasons for that.

If you’re curious as to why that is, private message me. I can help you understand it better, but he (Anton) doesn’t allow people to publicly post his advice or summaries of his videos. That’s his preference.

Maybe not everything he plays, but he himself would tell you it’s how you practice (quality) with the amount of hours you’re willing to put in. Not how many years you’ve been playing or how old you are.

Thinking you can’t do something because of age is a coping mechanism, and a really lame one at that.

Sorry this is slightly off topic. Do you get the sense from studying with him that he’d never be down for a Troy interview? Locking down trade secrets and all that? I guess I’ve been living under a rock but I’ve only learned of Anton during the short time I’ve been a member here. I definitely share @Andjoy’s opinion that there’s something pretty special about his playing. It would be awesome to see him under a magnet! I get he’d possibly feel that’s giving stuff away that he typically charges money for…or who knows, the exposure could also get him a slew of new students and put even more money in his pocket.

Back on topic, I didn’t watch the video and take notes or anything but I understood his recommendation on pick holding to be more about timbre than technical facility. I’m admittedly dense though :man_shrugging:


I think Troy and Anton had correspondence at some point. The problem is that he is in Samara, Russia and with everything going on… COVID and America probably entering a civil war soon (LOL- just kidding, kind of)… Makes it kind of hard for the interview to happen I’m sure…

But, I don’t have any real clue as to what Anton would feel comfortable talking about. The exposure would be nice for him even if it was just to observe his almost unreal technique.

edit: I missed this

Can’t really say one way or the other in public but PM if you’d like to know more.

Nah, this will probably happen. I’m firmly in the MIDDLE politically so I guess that means I’ll be fighting the war on both fronts lol

Oh no it’s cool, I don’t want to do anything to undermine his wishes. Sounds like it’s knowledge that should be paid for. As much of my life as I’ve wasted playing guitar the wrong way, I want to make sure Anton gets what he deserves for all his efforts. If I get to the point where I just need to know more I’ll reach out to him and pay him for his advice.

1 Like

It is well accepted that learning fundamental things in a very specific (right) way at a very young age is a huge advantage. I am almost 60 now and study and play the guitar for about 45 years now. Even if I would lock myself up and study 20 hours a day for 10 more years the Anton-way, I will still not be able to play certain things he does.
I for sure can make improvements but they will be relatively small.
At least that’s how I think about it, but maybe I am wrong…

1 Like

You’re absolutely right. Neuroplasticity is real. The advantage of learning at a young age is HUGE. Denying that would be like denying some law of physics.

My point is I don’t want you to be discouraged, and he wouldn’t either.

Every little improvement is a victory.


The only thing I don’t like about Anton is his sound.
I believe he plays with veeeery low action., because on his vids you can hear the rattling and dead sounding lower strings.
It takes away the low end and sustain in my opinion.
But man, his technique is just one of a kind!


His technique is like Paul Gilbert on steroids. He hits so incredibly hard and I love that. He did a video for me for a lesson and he was picking so hard with the amp turned off and I could hear every single note, perfectly fretted, and crystal clear like he was playing an acoustic guitar. Insane.

1 Like

In most of his vids the lower strings rattle and sound dead to me.
He does no hit the strings hard all the time.
On the vid that I posted a few posts back (he was 13 or so) he plays a lot of things very light.
He can do both at the highest level possible.

1 Like

Again, I am new to Anton, but that was what immediately struck me about his playing. The huge string skips are crazy enough, but to have the dynamic control on top of that…yeah. I quit. lol! Insane arpeggios!

1 Like

Has anyone had any success implementing his methods? @guitarenthusiast perhaps?

The one thing I’ve struggled with is the ‘wrist-dance’ he discusses in his lessons, and also a bit confused on what part of his right-hand he rests on the bridge?

Would be cool to see some progress vids of anyone that’s studied with him or understands his methodology from his online course. Happy to throw my hat in the ring :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think I know what you mean with that “wrist dance” he discusses in that Russian lesson vid.
I believe he says you should not move the wrist like that but only in a straight line.
When looking at him play he def uses the 902 movement though… Still confusing…

Also he nowadays says you should use the middle finger against the index for stability.
Looking at older vids of him though he does not do that and still plays all the crazy stuff as accurate.
Also a bit confusing…

I have succes with implementing his pick grip.
Also his words “the pick should not avoid the string but the string should avoid the pick” helped me.
With that in mind you automatically pick a little harder to. You want to cut through the string and not let the pick be dictated by the resistance of the string.

I believe @Troy has mentioned in a couple of threads that the 902 movement, when done correctly, feels like side to side, even though it’s slightly curved in reality.

So maybe Anton is focusing more on the feel than on the “exact science” (for lack of a better expression)

Could be.
But when he shows the movement without the guitar it realy is a side to side motion without any curve.

It’s normal - most people don’t know exactly what they are doing (except for Troy of course!) or how they learned to do it.

Yes Anton is a 902 player, and his motions are pretty clear. But wrist technique in general is just not super obvious because the motions mostly look and feel linear to the audience and to the player. Of the players we’ve interviewed who use wrist motion, none knew they were combining different axes of motion except Steve Morse. And Steve is an engineering-minded guy.

The thing with wrist motions is that they look like what picking technique is “supposed” to look like. They look “ordinary”. Nobody watching Glen Campbell play stuff like this would assume there was anything unusual going on except the hand moving back and forth in a straight line:


I have had a tremendous amount of success studying with him. I understand a lot of Paul Gilbert’s technique now thanks to him, and why he does certain things. Everything from his left hand muscle engagement, to picking style, to string-skipping mechanics, why Paul chooses certain guitars, and so on. I can’t say enough good things about Anton.

My old playing style is all I have videos of, at the moment. It’s in my post history. I’ll be making videos in the future, I usually update my progress on this forum every few months.


Anton does 100% advocate moving the wrist in a perfectly straight line/side-to-side. In his particular case, I think he favours DSX (for the Low-E string anyway) as he discusses this in his right-hand basics lesson.

Cool to see people having success with his methods, and by extension adding to the collective knowledge of the community :slight_smile:

No, he uses the 902 movement.

1 Like

I’m yet to fully understand what that means - are there any clear video examples of this? I have referred to the cross-picking lesson and the primer but still a little unclear.

Does 902 relate to dsx or upx at all?