Problems with grip? After making some changes

Hi all,

Recently I decided to start sitting down when practicing, with the guitar on my left leg (I’m right handed). I used to always practice standing up and because of that, or maybe helped by that, I developed some bad habits. Sitting down seemed to give a better idea of where the hand should be.

Anyway, I’m having major issues with pick point. When practicing metal rhythm in particular, just alternate picking on the low E, the pick point very quickly points towards the bridge. Which would be no big deal if it just stopped there. But it keeps moving until I’ve little or no pick left. The articulation suffers and also I’ll end up hitting the string with my thumb, muting it, as the pick continues to rotate. This all happens very quickly, meaning it’s not something I can just ignore and adjust the pick when needed as I’d need to adjust it after just a few bars.

I tested out different grips to see if they would make a difference and so far no, they don’t. I cannot figure out what could be causing this and it’s driving me mad at this stage lol.
This does happen with lead playing also, but currently I just practice in bursts and when playing adjust the pick every chance I get. But I can’t get away with it in metal rhythm when I need to play a stream of 16th notes for a long time.

Has anyone had issues with pick point or can anyone suggest why this might be happening. I literally can’t play much of anything right now because of where the pick ends up :confused:

Any help greatly appreciated as always.

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My first guess is that you’re not holding the pick tightly enough. I know people will echo that you shouldn’t deathgrip the pick, but you also need to grip it enough that it doesn’t move, lol.

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Hey,

I have experimented with pretty much putting the pick into a deathgrip but it doesn’t seem to stop it rotating towards the bridge. My thumb also tends to slip forward which means it overhangs more and combine that with the rotating pick, leads to potentially muting with the thumb.
I’m not sure what else I could try, it doesn’t seem to be a particularly common problem, if you go by searches etc.

Could you post a picture of how you’re holding the pick, maybe a video?

Hey thanks for the reply.

I’ve not posted any pics or vids just yet as I’m experimenting with some alterations to technique and I’ve noticed that there are some minor changes in how I grip the pick depending on what I’m doing. The issues with pick rotation could simply be a case of getting used to doing something in a different way. It’s too early for me to say yet.
Since I’ve started sitting down to practice, I’ve noticed so many things that I do and thought to myself, what the hell am I doing there and why am I doing it like this haha. I didn’t have the guitar very low when practicing standing, but seems for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to see when I was doing things in a bit of a ridiculous way!
Anyway, I’m going to keep experimenting and fixing some bad habits and hopefully with that and in time, I’ll get a proper grip on this pain in my ass that is the pick!

I’ve also just realised/remembered that I started a thread on almost the same issue before :man_facepalming:

Maybe this could be merged there…?

It’d be easier to tell with a video example or a picture of how you’re currently holding it - but I used to have a similar problem and just bending the thumb slightly helped keep the pick locked into a much more consistent position.

A video as others have said will help to diagnose the issue. I used to have similar issues, there is def a range of pressure required to stabilise the drift. My gut feeling is that some other mechanic is off, it’s not always the grip pressure, try holding the pick further away, towards the headstock, all other things being the same. Try to get the pick tip to drift in the opposite way it’s happening now, that is away from the bridge, work that mechanic out and find your pressure points, I suspect its more about a nuanced pressure point and arch of movements than clutch pressure.

So many people have the same problem, myself included.
Have you considered changing your pick?
Triangular ones are great just for this, you can sort of lock them in place. They are just not particularly pointy. Otherwise, a good quality pick that’s not as slippy - like some texture on its surface that helps keep it in place?

@Rot
@Twangsta

I’ve actually just started going through the primer from the beginning since it’s been updated and it’s pretty clear early on that I’ve already got a few things backwards. For example, trying to force a certain motion to be my primary motion and also doing it in a way that is probably not ideal.
I have a lot to go through, so, I think it’s not the time to post a video just yet as I know there are things that I have to learn in a different way to what I have been trying to do.
If there are still problems in the future after following everything in the primer, I’ll post a video. Hopefully by that stage, I’ll also have a better way to actually film myself. Right now, all I’ve got is my webcam, which isn’t going to show much and it blurs even when picking quite slowly.

Thanks for your responses, it has helped me reach the conclusion that I need to go through things again and I hadn’t realised how much of an update was actually made to the primer about motion mechanics for each type of motion.

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I think just a smartphone camera and lots of light will be sufficient.
And sometimes forcing one type of motion instead of another can work wonders - my tremolo was terrible a few years back, I would point the pick downwards and tense all muscles, haphazardly changing strings outside the beat. I forced myself to do it properly and can go much faster, much easier, much longer and more controlled.
I have never found a solution to pick sliding and rotating in my grip though, other than looking for a different pick.

I need to update my phone… I don’t even have a smartphone haha, I’m oldschool!

Yes trying a new motion can be a good thing for sure. I always thought my primary motion was USX, but, yesterday, while going through the beginning of the primer, I found that when I tried to pick as fast as I can on one string, I was actually doing DSX. I tried to do the same thing with USX, and if was all over the place, I couldn’t reach the same speed nor was it in any way comfortable.
I’m not saying I’ll completely switch to DSX now, but I’m going to follow the primer from the start and see where that leads me.
As for the pick rotating issue, it does seem that there are a whole load of variables that could be causing it, so finding a solution really isn’t so easy, as you and I both know. I’ve tried many different picks, sand grip ones, sticky grip ones, various different textures and none of them solved the problem.
I even found the max grip ones to actually be worse for me, something to do with the texture getting quite slippy if my hands are oily or sweaty. I’ll see in time whether going through the primer fully fixes the issue or not. Maybe we just have oily skin…
I now use Dunlop tortex, as I find the texture feels a little more stable in comparison to others I have tried. It still hasn’t fixed the issue obviously.

I replied to this topic on another thread and wanted to link to it here:

To summarize: I had pick rotation problems for decades, and they disappeared completely when I started following the CtC material (mainly “starting with speed”) to learn what an efficient motion felt like.

I think pick rotation is a symptom of inefficient picking motion, not a problem to be addressed directly.

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@jptk glad you figured out the root of the problem. Happy woodshedding!

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@Rot

Out of curiosity, have you found a pick that minimises this issue for you at all?

Dunlop Ultex, triangle ones, seem to do the trick.
If you prefer pointier ones, Jazz III XL are great.

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Thanks man, I’ll give these a try.