Changing Pick Grips, Some Questions


My grip used to be pad to pad, with a trailing edge pick angle (kind of like how Troy and Paul Gilbert started out playing). However, I’ve spent the past week working on changing over to more of an Extended Trigger, leading edge angle grip.

The former was a lot more comfortable for me as I think I have a hitchhiker’s thumb, but I feel like it causes my wrist to tense up, thwarting my max speed.

With the new grip (Extended Trigger, leading edge), I have a few issues:

  1. I find it incredibly hard to get consistently good pinch harmonics. I know most people find it way easier, but the angle that the thumb is at makes it awkward

  2. With the leading edge angle, the “volume” of every picked noted seems very low and muted. It is the same angle as my trailing edge grip, just opposite of course. Is this supposed to happen?

  3. I also find the new grip weird when playing slowly. Is it okay to use this grip only for fast passages and switch over to another grip for other stuff, or is this unreasonable to achieve due to limited time to switch? I play a lot of progressive metal stuff, so there is a lot going on.

Thanks for any help


I think big changes to grip will take a long time to bed in. What made you want to change grip in the first place?

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Do you have a picture of your grip?

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Thanks for the wise word of advice, I think that is the single most important thing I need to embed into my brain - that becoming comfortable with a new grip probably takes a lot longer than I am expecting. I am surprised how quickly I’ve progressed in just a week, but I guess the other things (pinch harmonics, etc) will come with time.

My original grip (trailing edge grip) caused me to tense up the muscles in my and and wrist, due to the curve I was putting on my thumb/wrist. I also worry that this kind of grip could lead to issues like tendinitis, because it just feels like such an unnatural position.

I also worry that there is more of a limit to my max speed with that grip. Though there are a few fast shredders who use it.


I don’t at the moment but I can take one a little later today when I get to my main PC!

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Just curious, what CTC video did you get the pick grip terminology from? I feel out of the loop.


It was from the Pick Grip video series in the Picking Primer.

Here is a direct link:


Attached are some pics of my old and new grip. The first 2 pics are my old grip (trailing edge), and the last 3 pics are of my new grip (Angle Pad I believe?)

Any insight, advice, etc is welcomed!


Hello! I have some thoughts, based on my own experiences, that might help you. I recently adjusted my own picking grip a bit, not as drastic as you though but I ended up with a similar grip as you have in picture four.

Regarding your third question, it seems to me that the grip in picture four could be a bit flimsy. Try holding the pick like that and pushing it from underneath on the tip with your other hand, does it go up very easy? Then if you push down (from above) instead i suspect it will be much more stable. Those who hold the pick that far out on the index finger, from what I have seen, seems to have a straighter thumb so the pick lies more towards the pad on the index finger, somewhere halfway between the pad and the side of the index finger. I use that grip myself with much less of a leading edge angle.

Another solution would be to keep the same thumb bend angle and leading edge angle but move the pick further up on the index finger instead, I think this will solve a lot of you problems! I suggest trying som different positions, anywhere from between where the pick is on the index finger on picture four… to about where the far knuckle is centered on the pick. So just curl the index finger down more under the thumb. If you try holding it centered on the far knuckle and push under the tip of the pick with your other hand now, is it not much more stable?

Regarding pinch harmonics maybe you have to somewhat relearn it, I’m sure it will get consistent with leading edge grip as well after some practicing. I hold the pick almost perpendicular to the string and just drive it straight down, then the pick brushes the far knuckle of the thumb. This way I can get it close to 100% consistent.

I hope the language barrier isn’t to big and that I have explained at least somewhat understandable :slightly_smiling_face:

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Regarding question 2.
I switched pick to a more Grippy Jim Dunlop pick. I was using a Jazz3 but that just sounded too smooth. Also the same with other hard but round edge picks.

Try that. Your new picking grip seems good to me.

Misha Mansoor changed grip. So it can be done!



Hello, thank you for this wonderful info. I have been very frustrated this last few days with my grip as it has just been very hard to get used to things, and after reading your post, I think a big part of the problem is indeed that the grip was not stable enough. I did often feel like it was loose, and found it hard to keep a pick angle when I approached the bottom strings (once I get to the low E, I almost end up back at the trailing edge because I get cramped up).

But this new more stable grip you mentioned seems to address both issues. I will give this a try in my practice and will let you know how everything goes.

Thanks again for the very helpful insight!


Gotcha thanks! I have been using a very plasticy, “slippery” thick pick (not the one in the pictures), so I will experiment with some different pick types.


Your old grip seems bad only because it looks like it might hyperextended/damage your thumb joint, so perhaps you should just give it up (although it would be interesting to ask an orthopedic surgeon).

But I guarantee that you will get good tone and pinch harmonics with your new grip, because so many other people can, so you can, too.

I also wonder if you want to reevaluate your pick as well.


Thanks, and yes the possibility of injury is the main reason I want to give the old grip up. I have a hitchhiker’s thumb though, so the old grip actually feels the most natural to me. Unless it’s just because I’ve grown into it.

But I have had some tendinitis problems over the years so I started to wonder if it could be due to the grip. The new grip definitely puts way less strain on my wrist which is good


If you have insurance it might be worth talking to a hand doctor, but your new grip seems much more ergonomic to me. Good luck! :smile:


Thanks! Yes I am planning to talk to my family doctor about it and ask who he recommends

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If you want a pick that doesn’t slip, consider the Dunlop Flow, but not the JP version (it is smooth, unlike the others).


Great thanks, will check them out