Pick grip conundrum

Hey everyone! I have a question about my pick grip. I seem to naturally hold the pick rather far from the tip (see image below). This is were my fingers seem to gravitate while I’m playing. I don’t necessarily have any trouble with this grip but I’m concerned that it might be limiting some speed potential.

When I hold the pick the way most other players do, closer to the tip I feel like I have more control over the pick and it seems like I have a bit more top end speed. However, it feels uncomfortable and crossing strings feels worse. Also with this grip I tend to squeal when I’m not trying to.

So I guess my question is “Is there anything wrong with this grip that might limit my abilities or should I just keep chugging along?


Your pick grip looks fine to me. If you feel like a change would be beneficial, try finding a way in which it does feel comfortable, even if you cant force speed, yet. Do not try to play in an uncomfortable way and hope it will work after enough training.

Do you have an idea why your stringchanges feel worse when holding the pick differently ? Maybe this is not a result of using less of the size of the pick, but more a sideeffect of bad form ?

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In terms of the string changes when I use the “closer to the tip grip” it feels like I don’t have leverage if that makes sense. When I use my comfortable grip it almost feels like I have more control of the slant and have more of a tactile feel of the pick itself. But on a single string it seems like the pick sort of flops, for lack of a better term.

Very Interesting, but to be honest, this is something i have not experienced myself. So any advice from my side would be very random. Cant really help you here exept saying the obvious: Changing technique will require some hit and miss and then some conditioning, once you found something that works. Sorry.

This has a lot of similarity to how I hold the pick.

One difference is that I have the pick rotated a little differently from you, with the tip of the pick itself pointing out slightly toward the thumbnail direction, maybe 30 degrees clockwise from how you have it (rotating it within the grip position you already have), but there are lots of other variables that can influence what angle will feel right for you. For me, that type of angle allows me maintain a solid pick attack against the strings while playing “escaped upstroke” lines with more of a flexed wrist (sort of in the vein of gypsy jazz players) while at the same time preventing the tip of my index finger from colliding with the strings unintentionally.

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You hold the pick similarly to the way that I do. I have noticed that it feels loose at times on single strings and I’ve noticed that subconsciously, I tend to rotate the pick so that I use more edge picking in those cases. That is done by pushing my thumb forward, like you are trying to rub the skin on the side of your index finger with the pad of your thumb. It doesn’t take much angle, but it locks the pick in a tighter grip. The side effect, good or bad, is that you get more chunk/click out of the pick. Paul Gilbert has a video up on how he holds the pick and edge picking (though he doesn’t call it that) to get that bowed violin sound.

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Thanks I’ll give that a try!

Welcome! Just to echo what others are saying, there are many grip possibilities that can work and none are really “wrong” though you may want to experiment to see the effects of different grips with different motions etc. If you haven’t seen this yet we have a whole section on this in the Primer! See here: