Can’t figure out wrist picking

for the life of me can’t figure out how to get my wrist flat against the bridge like in the wrist motion checklist without my shoulder aching and my arm wanting to shoot up in the air. If I was to place my wrist so that it laid flat it would be basically on the fretboard.

I’m certain it’s how I’m holding/sitting with the guitar because sometime I can do it and my picking becomes smooth and relatively easy and I don’t seem to have much issue standing up. So I have a few question on how you lot are holding the guitar.

  1. how much do you angle the neck away from the body?
  2. Do you sit on an angle to the guitar?( I feel like I have to twist my torso a lot)
  3. do you have your right leg further in front of your left leg. (to counteract the twist)
  4. Do you feel like you’re leaning over to one side a lot?.
  5. How much tilt do you give the guitars body?

I have no idea whether these are relevant question but I’m banging my head against a wall and I know when I get it right my picking is 10 times better and my down/upstrokes don’t seem stuck.

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Welcome to the forum!

Can you post a couple of pictures of your typical playing postures? A few people here have thought about this stuff and may be able to help!

I’m a little confused about what you mean about the wrist flat against the bridge and you touching the neck.

These are very relevant, and one of the main reasons I ultimately switched to only playing with a high strap. The amount that my technique would be affected by these things was drastic to me. Don’t have a guitar with me, but I’ll try to remember how I played with the guitar on my picking hand leg.

At least 45°. I used to start with the guitar almost tucked under my arm (upper arm as close to the torso as possible and guitar pointing straight forward), then would angle the neck across my body towards my fretting hand enough to make fretting comfortable.

Pretty noticeable twist to my torso, yes. Enough that I had to frequently take breaks to stretch.

Same as the torso question, definitely noticeable lean towards my picking hand that I would have to take breaks to stretch.

If you’re talking about tilt with regards to face of the guitar pointing toward the ceiling, it would sometimes depend on how high my legs were (based on what I was sitting on), but ideally enough of a tilt that my forearm wasn’t uncomfortable being draped over the face. Not enough of a tilt that it felt like the guitar is slipping underneath, if that makes sense.

If you’re talking about neck tilt as in angle of the neck compared to floor, it would be a little above parallel. I like my picking forearm to be close to parallel to the strings. I used to have a quick “test” by making a fist with my fretting hand on my fretting thigh, and the neck should be touching the top of my fist.

Hope this was clear and helpful!

My bad for the confusion. In the wrist motion checklist, Troy positions his wrist so that his palm heels are resting on the bridge, and his elbow is in front of the guitar.This allows his forearm to rest flat against the body without his hand flying up into the air.

If I was to position my arm in a way that allows me to get a straight wrist and my elbow In front of the guitar my wrist would be laying on the fretboard just above the bridge pickup.

Hope that makes a bit more sense

Thanks for the reply I’ll try and upload some pics soon.

@Pepepicks66 Cheers for the reply mate, this is what I expected to be the normal-ish way people would hold the stupid bit of wood. I’m defo gonna try the strap thing again when I get one that’s more adjustable than the one I’ve got.

It’s just hella frustrating because I know the techniques there I just can figure out what Im subconsciously changing every time I sit down with the instrument.

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When I teach I always sit (because long hours etc). Feet apart as standing, guitar on right lap, headstock slightly upwards, neck goes over my left knee, I often tell my students to “raise” their right elbow so you enter the body w/ forearm diagonal from above. Actually my legs/torso are not twisted. But slightly tilted to the right.

See, this issue came about with trying to play the acoustic on the right leg. I have no idea how your getting your bicep on the top of the guitar like that without any elbow/shoulder tension.

I’m going to make a video tomorrow if that’s possible as I feel like that would be a lot easier to go through the issues I’m having. But like I’ve said I know it’s possible just can’t get it to stick

Hey guys, sorry this took so long here’s the video of me talking about my problem and showing how I currently hold the guitar. @tommo @Johan_Runesson

So why do you have to have your forearm resting on the guitar body in the first place like that? There’s no rule that says you have to do that in order to use your wrist to pick.

Ah, the difference between you and me is that I slightly lean to the right (Over the guitar) in order to ”reach around” the big body. In an interview with A Wood Troy mentions that he does not do it like Andy and sort of short cuts more from above w/ arm/elbow. Check out the acoustic interview w/ Andy.

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