There's a big problem with my index finger of the picking hand, please help me!

So here’s the thing, after watching the Pick Grip chapter in Picksalnting Primer, I tried many types of grips and I currently use trigger style grip and angle pad grip.

Things were just going well, however, suddenly I realize that every time after I practicing using the trigger style grip, the index finger of the picking hand (right hand) shows redness because of the pressure of my thumb and it bends to the right side where the pressure of my thumb is applying to. Then I tried the angle pad grip, the two phenomena I just mentioned above show again and what’s more, my index finger tends to rotate to the right side still because of the pressure of my thumb.

These two pictures show the difference between my left-hand index finger(the normal one) and the right-hand index finger(the best one). After I relaxing for a long time, my right-hand index finger won’t become as straight as it was before.

I’m really worried about these, please tell me are these normal or not and how should I deal with these problems…

Thank you!

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Hey Michael, welcome to the forum!

Dont worry, crooked fingers are something completely normal and lots of people have them. My index fingers are straigt, but the middle one somewhat curved.

However, while you cant really bent the joint out of shape, the excessive pressure you apply likely holds your playing back. If your fingers are cramped up so much, your wrist might not be relaxed, too, and controlled picking at higher speeds becomes much harder.


That’s exactly how my index fingers look. Don’t worry about it. It’s not caused by picking. The curve is just as visible in your left hand as it is in your right. That’s just how your hands are. Worry more about feel, tone , smoothness, etc.

The danger here is if you try to “fix” this with an arbitrary, unnecessary rule that ends up holding you back. Unless it hurts or screws up your playing, I recommend you never think about it again.


The fingers naturally rotate a small degree.

As long as it’s not painful you should be fine.
Everyone’s hands will slightly change over time and use, sometimes you can tell a skeletons past profession based on the adaptations the bones made.


Well, when I play slow, my fingers tend to be relaxed, but when I dive into fast playing, I gotta hold the pick tightly in order to reduce the movement of the pick. I think this has something to do with I practicing Yngwie style songs recently…:thinking:

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Thank you for your comment. I now try to take a break more frequently during the practice to see whether this helps.:grin:

Yeah that’s true, I guess I have to go through this…

I’m having the exact same problem. I used to play with more of a pad to pad grip with a straight far knuckle. Then, I’ve switched to an angled pad with a bend in the far knuckle. My index finger is now bending to the right, seems to have some sort of permanent swelling and after playing for a while it definitely gets red. I also get soreness on that far knuckle.

I’m wondering if it’s just the pick grip the culprit or also the pick type. I’ve been using thinner picks lately. Maybe I’ve been practicing more too… not sure. Wondering how much people experienced similar thing.

I recall that some people use their index and middle fingers together because it doesn’t torque their joints when their thumbs apply pressure. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (?)