Keeping a grip on the pick

Hi guys. First post here. Been playing almost 30 years now. Enjoying working on technique here. I realize I’m having a problem keeping a loose wrist but a tight enough grip on my pick. Sometimes it shifts a bit in my hand in the course of playing say a three note per string phrase across six strings. I think when playing less “pattern” type things I have time between notes to regrip if necessary. Any advice?


I use monster grips (no affiliation). One on each side of the pick. Kind of expensive but works perfectly.

Ok I would give that a try. Does it make the pick feel fatter in that area or is it very thin?

They’re very thin, but the pick definitely feels thicker than without them. I actually appreciate that, as thicker picks are easier for me to grip, but I prefer the tone of medium gauge picks that flex a little. The thickness might be less noticeable if you use thicker picks.

A pack of 16 is about ten bucks, so it’s not a huge commitment if you want to test them out. They more than double the cost of my picks so I’d be happy to find an alternative, but the improvement in pick control is large enough that I’d hate to go back to bare ultex.

I’ve tried gluing small pieces of sandpaper to my picks (220 grit was best for me). It works, but I don’t like the way it feels on my fingers.

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I have tried different things, from scratching my picks with knives, to super glueing sandpaper on them.

All methods kind of work. The one that worked the best for me is drilling through the center of the pick with a drill.

The exit hole will have jagged edges that are very grippy. I have the side of the exit hole on the side of my thumb.

If the edges are too sharp/pointy you can hit them 1-3 times with a hammer according to how flat you want them.

it makes for very grippy picks, but you still have control over the pick, while with sandpaper it feels too thick and you lose the feel of the pick.

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On a side note I noticed I have a tendency to relax my index finger from its natural curled pick grip as I play. Sometimes by the end of a phrase the index finger is extended down the length of the pick instead of safely out of the way.

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My understanding is that the more you let the pick “grab” the string, the more it will try to slip away from you. So it’s a matter of tuning edge picking, slanting, lean and trajectory to minimise the effect (i.e. more sliding on the string and less grabbing).

That in theory. In practice I also have occasional issues with pick slip. I reckon it’d be awful for me if I played live as I’d get sweaty fingers for sure!

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Thank you. That’s good advice.

Finally a topic I can contribute to :smiley:
Pick grip has always been a problem for me. Maybe my skin is more oily or something else but I really don’t know how people can play with those glossy picks…
Over the years I have tried whatever has crossed my mind:

  • scratching my picks with a knife - works pretty well if you do deep scratches in two directions. I once got a Megadeth pick that had similar scratches, so the Big Ones do this, too!
  • sandpapered picks (Ibanez have some good ones) - good but not great
  • Monster grips - improves grip but I find that rubber gets slippery, too, when sweat comes along
  • textured picks - this is what I have been sticking (gripping!? :smiley: ) to lately. I really like Dunlop Max Grip picks:
    I think this is the best grip surface out there. However, you may not like the sound or bendiness of the nylon material they are made of. In that case you can check out the Flow series:
    Most of them have an embossed (is this the right word?) surface which is pretty good, too.

The dunlop Maxgrip nylons are my best friend I still use my old claytons acetals from time to time when I’m feeling nostalgic but they get kind of slick so the Nylons are my goto most times.

I usually use Dunlop ultex 1.0 standard shape picks. Wish they had a gripped version of that. I ordered a couple of their primetone with the grip to try out.

In all of the picks I’ve tried in my life this is the only one that always feels stable in my hand. They’re hard to find though and music stores so you’ll have to special order them.

You could try the Dunlop Flow picks - they’re a little smaller, somewhere between standard and jazz in size, made from ultex, and have some texturing. I like them and had switched from tortex jazz picks to them, until Dunlop introduced a Tortex version so I just switched to that. No grip, but the material flexes a little more so it’s more comfortable for me.

Paper masking tape is pretty good - change it when it wears down.

I’m very satisfied using the ‘pick slinger’. Beside it’s obvious use I notice the pick stays more in place when playing.

is that a real product? super interesting - not for gripping - but for picking. Could attach at the wrist and keep the pick perpendicular when rotation picking - would need some serious micro levers and stuff tho.

Question to you guys: do you talk about long (like 2 hrs) concerts? Because I heard from my friend that he’d had this problem in such situations.

Yes, it’s a real product, easy to find in google. For me it helps to get a better grip on the pic and it enhanced my overall technique.

Ok I got the monster grips. I put them on both sides of a couple picks. I don’t know if that’s how it was intended or not. But it feels good. I also got a few primetone standard 1.0 picks with grip. So I’ll try those. And then I will SHRED!

Some pick manufactures use material that is more sticky than normal. I have been using V-picks (large pointed is my favorite - sort of like a larger and thicker Jazz style pick and did notice that they do indeed “stick” more to the fingers. I should also mention, that I hold the pick in a pretty relaxed grib, so it doesn’t manhandle the string upon contact. So the pick sort of brush the string more than force its way through.

If you are in the marked to try a different brand altogether, then maybe V-picks is worth a shot.