I have been trying get my picking working more comfortably and consistent and I have come to the point where I may need to change my pick grip. Many people I see using forearm rotation and downward pickslanting are using more of an angle pad grip whereas I use a more trigger style grip. I think it might be more conducive for my technique to switch grips. Problem is I literally cannot pick with a more extended grip than I currently use because the pick just feels too loose and I have to hold it too tight to keep it from moving. Should I switch my grips? It would allow for more supination than I currently use which seems to be what most people including Troy and Teemu are doing when they use DWPS (when Troy is using the forearm rotation mechanic that is).
When I made this transition, I had similar difficulties. I successfully made the switch, and I’m happy I did, but there were few hurdles for me:
Angle-pad didn’t really work for me. Not enough grip or control to be comfortable. I ended up pad-pad, which gives more grip. It also required a slight hyperextension of my outermost index finger joint.
I had to add a little finger movement to feel like I had full control. It helps me overcome the resistance of the string.
The pick resisted all attempts at optimal positioning. The strings always push the pick back to the same orientation. Instead of trying to force it, I simply let the pick decide its orientation and then adjust my hand to the position that creates the best contact. I used monster grips on both sides of the pick until I worked out all the kinks. Now the pick stays in place without the grips. (I still use them, but I can easily get by without them in a pinch.
You may have different challenges than I did, and your form may end up different than mine, so don’t take any of the above as a prescription. The advice I’d give is to at all times let ease and tone be your metric of success. A good solution to any given challenge has to sound good and feel easy. If it requires constant readjustment or a super tight grip, I’d keep exploring.
Assume that there is an easy, ‘natural’ method that just works for you with very little athletic effort. You just have to find it and refine it. (If I had to sum up everything I’ve learned from CTC in two sentences, this would probably be it.)
Experimenting with different grips is always a learning opportunity and I think it’s a positive thing to do. Different grips relate to different arm positions. Here’s how that works with wrist motion, which you may have already seen:
However, that being said, I wouldn’t say you have to do anything. You’ve posted many clips and your picking motion is among the fastest we’ve ever even seen on here. So it’s working!
I may have said this before, but what I think you should do is try slowing down and playing some longer, medium speed lines that flow around the fretboard the way you experience in an actual tune. In other words, not short blasts of speed on single notes and pattern-based exercises, but something more resembling music.
We could use more material like that on the site and we’re working on it. In the mean time, something like this, played anywhere in the 150 - 170 bpm ballpark sixteenth notes, is what I’m getting at:
Can you do this at a "medium"ish speed and get all the way through the ascending portion smoothly? Can you incorporate a few measures of that into a song with riffs and rhythm playing? Those are the kinds of things I’d be working on if I were you. I wouldn’t be working on my picking motion itself, or exercises, or speed, because that stuff is already basically working for you.
I have been working on those things as you have recommended. I know the motion is working I am just trying to get my hand and arm to stay comfortable on the guitar and still have a good dwps form going all while being able to play a variety of things at a variety of speeds. I have extended my grip a little actually and it seems to help. I have a bad habit of moving my hand around too much instead of just letting it rest comfortably and also tensing up my unused fingers instead of just letting them relax. I find that by using a form closer to what you demonstrate in a lot of videos where you are doing rotation helps me maintain a comfortable playing setup. I feel like I should be past the exercises and struggling with rapid string changes like what is required for the Eric Johnson stuff, but I know that I have the ability to do it at least. It just needs a bit more time and maybe some time spent not doing it at all for a while.
Yes I think I was just not taking the time to find what worked. I found a grip that is a bit more extended that feels ok that I think I may use now.
I apologize for my repeated questions to which you always have to give me the same answer. I need to not worry so much about it and just let it be refined over time and work on actual music instead of exercises more.