Chris Brooks Method - First finger hitting the strings?

I’ve been working on Chris Brooks Yng Way method. He doesn’t use trigger grip, he does a pick grip that has an extended index finger. Does anyone else hold their pick like this? When holding the pick this way, the tip of my index finger keeps hitting the string I’m playing.

I’m struggling with is ascending lines starting with Sequence 15.

I’m assuming trigger grip is like what I call Curl Grip in some of my books. That’s where the pick is held with the side of the index somewhere along the first joint and the pad of the thumb. In that grip, it’s quite natural for the fingers to roll up in a soft fist (hence curl grip), like Gilbert, Di Meola etc. Great all-round pick grip for different escape paths and whatnot.

The grip you’re referring to in my playing is what I call the LAX grip (as in, reLAXed). There’s more pad of the thumb meets pad of the index. Not full pad to pad contact because that would theoretically put the pick in another pick edge offset.

When there’s that crossover point of finger-side and finger-pad, the other fingers open up (at least for many of us) - like the Yngwie pick grip where the fingers chill out on the pickguard without overtly pressing into it.

Wait, here’s a pic. Hopefully I can post it inline right here…

That’s what I use for the Yngwie stuff. Like the right pairing of wine and cheese, I find it really suits the upward escape path and wrist + forearm motions.

If your index finger is hitting the string, maybe it’s a small pick or you’re gripping too close to the tip? See if you have the regular fender/dunlop shape pick and see if it makes a difference. For a very small pick, you might need to sit back quite a bit or experiment with the other grip above. It does straighten the finger out comparatively to the curl grip, so I understand than pitfall. The well-worn angle of my index fingernail confirms that!

Either way, the curl grip (if that’s the same thing as trigger grip) is still plenty fine for playing that Yngwie material. You just have to ensure with hand positioning optimises the upward escape path. I’m sure the Pickslant Primer will cover this in much more detail than I can type here.

Here’s a pic of that too for visual reference (at least my version of it).


Thanks Chris. Love the Yng Way method. The ascending economy picking sequences are giving me a challenge.

I have a question for you. When you hold the pick in the ReLAXed grip during these fast runs, is any part of your index finger “OFF” the pick? In the diagram you provided, the finger is completely within the pick.

Thank you.

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It probably borders the inside edge of the pick (what Troy would call the trailing edge) in practice. Like, maybe the finger covers the inside 3/4 of the surface area of pick, leaving 1/4 vacant on the outer edge - the edge that hits the strings on downstrokes. I wouldn’t put too much stock in forcing an unnatural grip into a natural one unless your current grip is not helping you work in the upward escape path. You want to put your best motion forward in a way that supports the math of the lick.


The only thing I’ll add is that the two can be extremely subtle in their differences in terms of both appearance and how relaxed the hand is. To me they are just varying degrees of a trigger grip, and sometimes whether you are more apt to use one or the other or whether it looks like you are, can depend on your hand geometry as well as what is naturally more comfortable for you to do.

I would describe my grip like Chris described his is above. For me it is subtle and looks like this below:

How much the pick is rolled onto the pad is slight. The index finger is still with in the pick and none of it will get in the way of the pick hitting the string. However this is just me and the way it works with my hand, so take it for how little or much it is worth (note in the first picture it looks like a finger is sticking out of the pick, that is just my middle finger not my index).

However how relaxed one’s hand is (at least speaking for myself) and how much one can uncurl their fingers probably has more to do with how tightly you are holding the pick rather that how much closer the thumb moves towards the index finger grip. The more extreme trigger grips where the gap between the thumb and index starts to disappear, the more curling of the other fingers may be necessary even to the extent of a more closed fist like look in order to get a good pick trajectory on the strings. I think both Troy and even Tommo if I remember correctly adopt these types of more extreme trigger grips.

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Thank you for the insight and the photos. I’m going to keep experimenting with this ReLAXed grip. I’ve started a ritual of playing some cowboy chords where I naturally use a ReLAXed grip and then trying to maintain that same grip through scale exercises where I would normally revert to a trigger grip.

Can I just FAN BOY right now?

You have no idea how much you have improved my playing sir.