Pick point direction question

I’ve read the info on the forums about pick lean (more of a position of the hand than the pick being rotated in the grip to an orientation that isn’t 90deg from the thumb) and couldn’t quite find an answer to this question.

I find that rotating the pick greater than 90deg from the thumb helps to accommodate smooth upstrokes when there is a fair bit of DWPS and only a moderate amount of edge picking (I prefer the tone of this type of setup). Because of my supinated setup and 802 motion, the pick travels a little more vertically on the upstokes than the pickslant angle. Thusly, this causes snagging on the upstrokes unless the pick rotated slightly. I’ve been using this setup for years and it works but was surprised that I haven’t seen more people who do this.
I also noticed that Joscho may also grip on his pick so the point is +90deg (even more than the amount needed to accommodate his Gypsy Swing setup).

Is this an acceptable technique or a band-aid solution? Asking for a friend

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I think I might do the same thing, and I too am curious to see if it’s discussed in detail somewhere in CTC that I haven’t seen.

Any chance you could maybe post some pictures to clarify?

I feel like the point of my pick is not perpendicular to my thumb, maybe ~15⁰-30⁰ from perpendicular, towards the tip of my thumb (not home so I can’t check). Does this sound like what you’re talking about?


This quote is at the heart of the problem. What the pick’s orientation is in relation to the thumb, doesn’t really matter. The only reason to talk about the thumb is that it’s a very convenient point of reference. Most on here will have a thumb and can relate!

Instead, what you want to be thinking about is how the pick’s orientation (be it pick-point, pick-slant or edge-picking) changes the interaction with the strings, in the context of some particular motion (e.g. 802) and setup (e.g. lightly supinated).

Good job; you got it! :+1: This analysis is excellent and gets at the stuff we actually care about (avoiding snagging).

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Good topic and I got most of what you meant! But I’m probably misunderstanding one part: Isn’t 802 a straight line? Then how would upstrokes, in particular, be more vertical than your pickslant angle?

Ok, here’s a couple of pictures. One overhead and two down the strings. I took my thumb off the pick for better visibility on one of them.

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The 802 is the way I’ve classified my wrist motion for the USX motion. This straight line is more vertical than the pick slant which is slanted a little more into the body of the guitar. So motion path and slant are two separate variables. In saying that, I find there is too much resistance (and plucky tone) with the pick tip pointing into the guitar (90 deg to thumb) with my setup even when I try to align the pick path and slant (90 deg to one another). Hope this clarifies things.

Right on man! I have a very similar angle (but my pick is closer to the tip).

I’m no expert, but I think this is"acceptable technique" and not a band-aid at all.

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Alright, that’s what I figured as well. I was just caught in semantics when you said that your upstrokes were more vertical. Or are they indeed somehow different from your downstrokes? Just curious since I’m trying to iron out some weirdness in my own downstrokes.

As far as I know for my primary pick stroke my up strokes and down strokes are the same.

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