Issue with pick rotation

Hello. i have a question regarding pick rotation (not slanting).
As i draw in the picture, when rotating the pick and moving it perpendicularly on the string, there is a “force” in the down impact that forces to rotate the pick back. This usually forces me to stiff the grip in order to overcome that rotation and consecuently my whole hand gets stiff.
Obviously on the up movement the situation is the opposite.
How do you overcome this kind of problems in order to stay relaxed?


the more edge you use to play the less that this will happen. Try using the skinny side of the pick more like your slicing through the string at like say a 45 degree angle rather than using the whole wide side of the pick to play through the string and see if it gets better. unless you using this already and you saying the pick wants to kick back, if that is the case try using a different grip.

Hi, using sort of like 45 angle results in a messier sound, less defined…

does the pick snap back in time for you to come back on the upstroke. Have you tried heavier gauge picks? What gauge are you playing now?
either the string will give or the pick will. maybe use a little edge to see where that goes if 45 is to much.

Nice picture! When you say rotation, are you talking about using a picking motion that involves the forearm joint, i.e. forearm rotation? Because not all picking motions rotate. Elbow motion and wrist motion don’t rotate, for example. Here’s a comparison of what I’m talking about:

These are two different picking motions. The one that is curved is a combination of forearm and wrist, which is the most common way that forearm rotation is used in picking. The motion that is linear is wrist motion.

Anyway! I know that’s not exactly what you’re asking. But, the reason I say this is because very often, when picking motions feel stiff, trying other motions might present a different feeling, and you might be able to just “get it”, right away.

The second and more direct answer, which I should have given you first, is that there is no need to try to overcome the force of the string pushing on the pick. You can let the pick be loose in your grip, like Eric Johnson or Mike Stern. I call this “grip flop”. This will reduce the angle of attack when you hit the string, and the pick will slide over.

Grip flop almost always happens in my playing to some degree or another. Controlling how much flop helps you control loudness too. More flop = softer note, because the string is not pushing back as hard when the picks slides.

So finally, another thing you can do is look at your grip. If you’re hodling it very tightly, that can be the source of the issue you’re describing. And also, if you’re holding so much of the pick that only a tiny bit is exposed, then you will create a much more forceful pick attack even when you don’t want to, i.e. because there is less flop.

Also, grips that use the extended index finger can sometimes have more flop than grips which use a “trigger style” index finger and a fist, because there is more room for the pick to move, so you can experiment with the type of grip you use too.

Just some ideas! Let us know if that helps.

Hi, I’ll try to explain myself better.
Considering a movement from the forearm to pick (turning a door knob + wrist slightly bent inward), if I angle the pick to hit the string in a non parallel way (like 30°) or something, two things occur: either my grip is too loose and the situation in my picture happens, so I might loose the pick itself struggling with the force from the string as I draw in the picture, or my grip is too strong to overcome this issue with the drawback if tensing the whole arm preventing any speed increase. It’s like I have issues separating a firm finger trips with a tensions in the whole forearm.
I wonder how modern metal players like the guys in Periphery manage to play there intricared rhythm parts that involve fast triplets + broke down chords in sort of like arpeggios. Seeing performance videos they seem to be totally relaxed (i.e. Mark Holcomb playthrough).
Thanks for the follow up.