Q:

How do you hold a guitar pick?

A:

Quick Answer

The guitar pick should be held firmly between the thumb and index finger, with the rest of the hand making a loose fist. If held correctly, the pick makes enough contact with the string to sound the note without too much buzz from the string.

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Full Answer

Place the pick flat on the side of the first knuckle of the index finger, and place the thumb on top of it. Curl the other three fingers underneath the thumb and index finger. The pick should have some give. Tensing the picking hand too much tires it out and negatively affects playing. It is equally important to keep the wrist and forearm relaxed. Double-picking, or picking on the downstroke and upstroke, cannot easily be accomplished if the hand is too tense.

The pick should make contact with the string at the very edge, close enough to glide off easily to the next string. Make sure it has solid contact; a pick that scrapes the string produces a noticeable buzz. Also, the pick should strike flat against the string, not with the edge. Edge contact chips at the pick over time and makes the tone of the string sound thin.

Pinching the guitar pick between the index finger and thumb works well for heavy-gauge picks and players that play single strings.

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