If you can’t yet walk, do you run?

Well, no, of course not… we all instinctively know that.

So then are you one of those guitar players stressing out trying to practice your scales and chords and riffs and licks and finding that your pick seems to have a mind of its own?

Now at this point if you’re a “fingers only” player you’re on your way to another page but I encourage you to try this and get good at using a pick even if you do use your fingers most of the time. (I don’t know where anyone got the idea that it’s pick or fingers… you should be able to use either as the need arises 🙂

Before you get carried away, your picking hand needs to get streamlined and relaxed… and until that happens you’re probably A) using a LOT more energy than necessary and B) playing a lot slower than your potential.

Now there are 2 ways to approach technique in general, mechanically and musically.

Most people go with mechanically because we figure there is some magic hand position or magic trick of some sort that is going to solve whatever technical problem we face. (wrong…)

I believed that for years when I started out because that’s the way I learned, and most people do.

But there’s a serious problem with that because it assumes that we all work the same way and our muscles and nerves and brain all interact the same way.

And that probably sounded pretty absurd as soon as you read it… but for some reason we all suspend our common sense long enough to accept that for a very long time.

mad scienceNow I’m no doctor or scientist in the academic sense… but I do perform experiments on my subjects (students) and I monitor the results very carefully.

And by monitoring and noticing what has worked for so many students (because I’ve taught so many I have good data) it has allowed me to come up with methods that are somewhat based on scientific research.

Or… at least as scientific as a guitar player can get 🙂

What I don’t have is a scientific vocabulary, so my explanation is going to seem a little odd probably, but here goes…

Every individual has a natural tendency to move in a certain way. It’s built into your DNA and when you tap into that it allows you to move and execute techniques in the most streamlined and perfect way – for you.

This means, however, that there is a slight variation to that perfect way for the next person, and a slightly different variation for the next person.

Yes, they’re all 80% the same when done “correctly” but, as they say, the devil is in the details.

So instead of telling you “hold your hand like this and your pick like this and it’ll be perfect,” I’ve learned a different approach that works better.

My goal is to help you find what feels natural and perfect for you because once I started finding that for myself and allowing myself the freedom to bend the “rules” slightly to suit my own preference, my abilities went through the roof in just a few months.

So in this video you’ll see and hear me describe the 80% part (like don’t put 2 fingers on the pick.)

But after that, really pay attention to *how* you should do the exercises because those are what will give you the additional 20%.

In particular, the part about playing quietly while doing the exercise is a big one. Playing quietly is one of the best ways to exercise control – and at the end of the day control is what it’s all about.

When your control is good, and your ear improves to be able to hear the beat subdivisions (quarter vs. eighth vs. sixteenth notes,) you can play anything you need to play.

And remember that my technique is far from “perfect” in the traditional sense and I’m able to play much faster than I ever need to easily… that’s what I want for you too.

 

One last thing… everyone and their brother and sister likes to tell you that their way of picking is the best and is the only way and it’s perfect. Just search “alternate picking” on YouTube and see how many people are talking about it.

But turn off the sound and just watch their right hands and you’ll see they all look virtually identical. No one has a particularly unique perspective and they all pretty much look about the same in the end (that’s the 80% at work.)

So try not to force it, instead relax and concentrate on the sound and let your technique follow the sound. That will almost always work the best.


    110 replies to "Take Your Pick(ing)…"

    • Russell Eckam

      Keeping contact with the guitar. Not only the picking hand, but also beginners try to learn chord fingerings that you don’t loose contact with the neck. E chord slide fore finger down 1 fret, flatten it, or surround it to form A chord. Leave fore finger to position a D chord. 1-4-5 in A never loosing contact. Someone showed me long ago. Maybe help someone now? Just a trick I picked up. Tune up, turn up and PLAY. Thanks for all the tips Griff Peace be with you

    • Russell

      Keeping contact with the guitar. Not only the picking hand, but also beginners try to learn chord fingerings that you don’t loose contact with the neck. E chord slide fore finger down 1 fret, flatten it, or surround it to form A chord. Leave fore finger to position a D chord. 1-4-5 in A never loosing contact. Someone showed me long ago. Maybe help someone now? Just a trick I picked up. Tune up, turn up and PLAY. Thanks for all the tips Griff Peace be with you

    • Tom Ekberg

      Great lesson Griff. Thanks. I play finger style and for a long time have had trouble controlling a pick. This was very helpful in a way to get syaryed

    • Jack Flash

      That was very interesting. I never could figure out how to use a metrodome. I got one with a pendulum for strumming but a regular one is different. My problem is my hand wants to go tward the head stock so I am constantly making adgustments. and playing above the pickups is the thing that I am constantly adjusting. I am going to try to ancore my hand like you so I know it is above the pickups and not walking up the neck…Thanks Griff

    • Michael Chappell

      Hey Griff,
      I have seen this lesson before and it is a great refresher. This lesson when I first saw it was the way to go now instantly I do just that every time. I used the Metronome on my Smart Phone.

      I just keep practicing the Pentatonic Scale and Blues Scales quietly not even with the AMP on and it can be done even watching TV with the wife. One thing that may be important is How to choose what Guitar Pick best suits what you want to play. I use a stronger Pick for my acoustic electrics because the strings are Gauge 11 -12 but for the Strat etc I use a more flexible Pic..

      All Good, thanks

      Michael-Sydney-Australia 25th Aug 2019.

      • Michael Chappell

        A good refresher although just doing it automatically now at what ever tempo or 8th or 16th Notes.
        All good,
        Stay safe
        Tnaks
        Michael -Sydney-Australia 5th Feb 2021

    • Jim P.

      Where is the video

    • Chris CLEMANS

      A little sand paper to rough the pick up works great super video Griff !!

      • PAUL

        MAN I HAVE BEEN WIH YOU A LONG TIME. I HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE. IT WAS A NICE EXESPERANCE. LEANRNED ALTERNATE PICKING LIKE 30 YEARS GO.

    • tony

      well a guitar friend suggested a few different patterns that are not scales . like 1 st fret on e and go up 1 2 4 all the way in first fret position then change 1 3 4 and forwards and backward . a good finger warm up . i had introduced this guy to guitar . he was so much better than i just amazing in little time. he had a friend who was a natural wiz think he learned a lot from him . some are mechanical and some are naturals is what i see . gifted guitarist usually start very young learning. i saw a young boy maybe 12 jam with a band , he took a solo and it just blew my mind . because i jammed with his teacher who i showed the 12 bar blues to . he did not know it . that blew his mind. i guess we can learn from others an share the knowledge .

    • Dave Williams

      Haven’t gone to that sort of drill in many, many years. That’s unfortunate. Thanks for getting my mind focused on one of the areas where I continue to need work. Speed does not improve with age!

    • Alexander

      Really a great lesson for me. I’ve been trying to get my picking speed up and I wasn’t sure what kind of exercises to do. I’ve been told not to have my pinky resting on the guitar, but I always felt uncomfortable doing that I forced myself to get use to it but I’m going back to what feels comfortable. Thanks Griff!

    • GCS

      Good stuff but you should hold the pick however it works for you. Watch Frank Zappa play. Unusual

      https://youtu.be/vXurfnnni8Q

      • Anthony Ingoglia

        Most comfortable as a beginner might be great for a beginner but as you progress you realize that what you are doing is limiting your advancing. Now you have to relearn something you have been doing for years. Not easy. Why not learn it the way a vast majority do it. Since all of it is new anyway.

    • bogie

      I totally forgot this great you tube video. This is not the method I was going to explain but is a really great way to develop alternate picking.

      go to youtube and enter “is there a shortcut to play faster”.

      After that it will bring up a series of different videos to choose.
      One of the first videos has ia picture of a guy with a terminator head photo shopped
      on his body… it says how to alternate pick like a machine.
      click on that video and watch it it is only 5 minutes.
      and the video does not have the termintaor photo shoped during that actual video.

    • Ozziejohn

      Amazing how little things jump out. That bit about pushing and relaxing the thumb was a standout for me! How did it take this long to find out that? Keep up the great work, Griff. More tips about the bleeding obvious would be favourite for me.

    • bogie

      I used to suffer myself from holding the pick syndrome.
      Part of the problem comes from having weak muscles or tendons
      in the thumb and index fingers.

      I learned two simple exercises to isolate and build up those muscles.
      all you need is guitar ( does not matter if it is electric or acoustic guitar)
      and a thumb pick.

      If anyone is interested I will post it here.. The only reason why I am not
      posting it now is because it can be quite wordy.. so hopefully someone reading it
      could then probably shorten the explanation.

    • Sincers

      Hi Griff, thanks once again you just seem to know what I am looking for, I am not a blues player but I tell everyone about you I just love getting your tips and teachings, sincers \o.o/

    • Benyaw

      Thanks again..you are very generous with your time and knowledge..

    • Mike G.

      Show off. Griff you are the man. And what’s up with you never showing any age increase? Peace. Mike G.

    • Neil Snow

      Thanx Griff. Great lesson as I am struggling with alternate picking.

      • PAUL

        REMBER THIS FROM YEARS AGO. I DID SEE YOU DO SOME PULL OFFS. SNEAKY. WHEN EVER I’M PLAYING A SLOW BLUES SOLO, I’M VERY GOOD AT DOING THIS METHOD .THEN I GET TO FAST SOLO AND SOMETIMES I FORGET. PRACTICE PRACTICE!! THANKS MY FRIEND.

    • Ravi

      I’m so lousy @ holding a pick. Could never ever get used to it. Always used my thumb and first finger to play. After watching this vlog I’ll try again.

    • John

      One of my teachers turned me on to Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler, and I have not used a flat pick since.
      The only way to hit 5 strings (or 6, with one open) at once, no matter how fast you can flat pick.
      You can also use it as a pick, although up picking is more of a challenge especially with funk or Motown styles.
      As Chet said to Les Paul on one of their “Together” albums, “If you get a thumb pick, you can play with yourself”.

    • Rodney Burton

      Giff that’s great teaching!

    • Paul

      I find the stiffer the pic, the more control I have, so I use thicker ones.
      Griff, I see how practicing this will give me a lot more control and confidence.. Also sir, impressed that you Reply to many of the student responses here.
      BTW … You don’t ever age, do you!

    • Royce

      Griff, Thanks every tid bit of information helps me to be aware of the details,

    • Miles

      Which size of pick is best to use? I’ve been told to use Jim Dunlop .046mm on electric guitar, but it’s hard to play solos because the pick seems to bend to much on the strings

      • Babette

        I like to use at least a medium (.73) sized pick for any single note playing. A thin pick (.50 and below) is a great strumming pick, but like you’ve discovered, too “mushy” for single notes. And my timing gets off because of the flex of a thin. I’m getting more and more comfortable with a heavy pick for electric leads but it’s a struggle, lol.

        • Glenn Lego

          My problem is the pick keeps falling out of my fingers and into the sound hole of the guitar. And if I hold the pick too hard my arm and hand cramps up.

          • tim

            try the juratex cool picks. They are fantastic!!! look them up and try to find them in your area.

          • Dean

            Hi Glenn, yeah I had the same problem. If they didn’t end up in the ‘hole’ they’d fly off in whatever direction, I’ve got a weak grip in the hand due to injuries. I found that ‘Star’ picks (351 style) by EVERLY Music are by far the best picks for me because they have a 10 point star shaped hole cut in the pressure point of the pick. This has the benefit of holding tight and not moving once you’ve got the stars imprint on your fingers with a minimum effort from the pressure of holding it. They don’t rotate, slip or slide and stopped my frustration immediately.

      • bogie

        As you discovered 73mm is too thin. A big part with picking
        is you want a stiff pick.. you don’t want the pick to flex.
        But then you don’t want to use a heavy pick like a 2.0 mm
        because it is hard for your 2 fingers to hold it…
        Many pro players know this… the magic thickness is 1.0mm

        It is rigid enough but is some what easier to hold between your
        2 fingers.

    • Allan

      I’ve been playing (off and on) for the last 30 years. I have a great deal of frustration with the instrument, to the point where I put it away for a few months then I hear a great piece of music and get inspired once again. In short, your lessons have broken down a few barriers and enabled me to finally make sense of the instrument . Thanks for the inspiration. P.S still getting wicked cramps when barr chording. Got any tips? Cheers long suffering Al.

      • Pete

        Allan, your problem is not unique to you. Just about all my students over the past 17 years experience the same thing and usually all for the same reason. When playing bar chords (or indeed any closed chord) the tendency is to press harder and harder with all the LH fingers until everything “works” when in fact you are probably pressing too hard with most of your LH fingers. Play the chord as a broken chord – i.e. one note at a time whilst holding all fingers in place. With the notes that play cleanly, concentrate hard and try to reduce the pressure on the string until the note rattles, then press a bit harder again until it works. Try this for all chord notes and you will be amazed at just how little pressure you need to stop a string cleanly. The golden rule I give all my students – “Don’t press harder – press smarter!” Hope this helps. Rgds, Pete

    • derek johnson

      I have a problem with the pick moving around when I strum and pick,I have even tried using adhesive grip tape with a sandpaper type grip . I need two fingers two have some control.Could you please explain to me why two fingers is not acceptable,will this cause problems later on as I progress.
      Thanks Derek

      • Jake L Whicker

        I’ve been using a pick with a small star-shaped hole in the center. It pretty much solved the problem for me.

    • TomG

      I don’t see a video. There’s a big blank space just above the paragraph starting with “One last thing…,” which is where I suppose the video is. This happens in both IE 11 and Chrome. It would help my troubleshooting if I knew what type of embedded video it is.
      Thanks,
      Tom

    • Whit brown

      Griff, would love to hear you play “Sleep Walk”! It’s from the late 50s I think most people dont know it.but it’s a beautiful instrumental done on a slide or steel guitar Cant remember who. Might have been the ventures Have never been able to play it through thanks!

      • Gib Ross

        Check out Red Volkaert. He has a video out called Live in Austin Texas. He does amazing guitar work, and has an amazing Band. They do Sleep Walk with both Steel and Lead guitars. Beautiful!!

        • Ken m

          I know the ventures did a song called “walk don’t run” that’s a pretty cool song

      • Glenn Lego

        Santo and Johnny had the hit of Sleep Walk

      • Jim

        Johnny & Santo

      • Charlie Durham

        That was by Santo and Johnny if I remember correctly,cool song.

      • Chris CLEMANS

        I play sleepwalk, no pick just fingers (pluckiing) it was the first song I learned on slide. I cut my guitar teeth on ventures. My 2 friends and I had a band
        played songs like pipeline , runaway , green onions and lots of blues had to play some surfer songs being from northern ca bla bla

    • Ros

      Hi Griff as always another great informative video.
      Thank you for your tips.
      I have a problem when it comes to speed,so I will give this a try.

    • David Paul

      Still trying after many years of fingerpicking on an acoustic to learn how to use a pick to play blues leads on an electric. I’m left-handed, but have always fingered the fretboard with my left hand, and plucked the strings with my right. I’m finding that achieving any speed and accuracy using a pick with my right hand is difficult. Any other lefty players out there with an encouraging word?

      • Skip

        As a fellow lefty who plays right handed I understand your difficulty. We have the advantage of using our more dexterous hand to fret, making it much easier to bend, hammer, etc. it just takes more work to get our picking hand to do what right handed players do more easily. Just keep working on it…you will get there.

    • Jim

      OK Griff,

      I’m going to be that annoying student that says, “Why not two fingers & a thumb on the pick?”
      It looks like I have this “bad habit” but I’ve noticed some cramping in my hand when I change to one finger. Probably I’m gripping too tight because it feels like I’ve lost some grip.

      Why only 1 finger? What is the advantage?

      Thanks.

      Jim

      • bogie

        I can’t speak for Griff .holding the pick with 2 finger is not
        bad, tell that to Steve Morse or Pat Metheny or even Buddy Guy.
        Heck even Jimi Hendrix played this way

        But here is where it is bad.. it is very limiting…
        When you use your right hand the 3 strongest fingers
        are your thumb/middle/ ring fingers.These are the fingers you use
        if you are playing fingerstyle or hybrid picking
        your middle and ring fingers are key to being able to play arpeggios
        or mini chords think ZZ tops La Grange…

        Know here is how this all ties together.. If you are holding
        your pick with your thumb/middle/ring finger… the only finger
        you have free is your pinky… that is the weakest finger and the fact it is so small in relations to the other 3 fingers it will always feel unnatural and will be very hard to play.
        That is why if you watch alot of players who do plant a finger for support use the pinky to anchor their picking hand so it
        frees up the picking hand to use you guessed it
        the Thumb Middle and Ring fingers.

    • Rob Levesque

      Griff, I noticed while you were playing that G Major scale in the beginning of the video when you were moving to the next string coming from a downpick you played another downpick. Isn’t that more of a directional picking approach as opposed to strict alternate picking? I’m having difficulty with my strict alternate approach at higher tempos but don’t want to incorporate any directional picking. Do you have any thoughts on this?

      • David Waterbury

        @Rob Levesque – It’s called economy picking and it’s what Griff uses for his actual playing. It is an improvement on alternate picking when moving strings, but requires that you can comfortably alternate pick in order to benefit from it. But there is nothing wrong with it. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    • Michael

      Thanks Teach ! Great exercise, I think its time to invest in a metronome.

      • Dan

        You got one in your pocket already Michael! It’s your smart phone! Plenty of free metronome apps on the net!

        • Glenn Lego

          I don’t have a smart phone but I have a tablet computer which does have lots of metronomes available on the internet.

    • Krzysztof Chmiel

      Hi Griff ! Very professional lesson with as usual your teacher nature patience. But I am not able to play too fast…Anyway I will try.
      Thank you !

    • John Issitt

      very useful – as always. When payday comes around and I’ve paid out what I need I’m gonna by your acoustic course

    • Toni G

      Griff,
      I’m positive that you are right on this,but I will have to do some picking and get back to you on this one. I never really noticed,I know I do better when I dont think about it.

    • Thorn

      It appeared that you were using a small stiff pick like the Dunlap jazz 11 that a couple of guys recommended. Is that true? I been using a typical standard medium plastic fender or Sam ash pick with about half the pick sticking out beyond my thumb and finger just by habit. I have trouble with alternate picking could the pick be part of the problem? Hoping for a reply from Griff or someone. Thanks, Thorn

      • Patrick

        Try the Dunlop “Big Stubby” 1.0mm. Hold it closer to the end, point, whatever its called. You may feel the string with your index finger tip at first but I think you will gravitate away from that in time.
        Good luck

    • Red Gilliland

      Red

      Outstanding instruction as always… great video!

      I travel alot so dont get the hands on that I need for myself but get great information from your daily Blogs and videos…

      By far the best online instruction Ive seen and used in many years!!!

      Love your BBU lesson! have several of your other packages!! Keep up the Great Work!

      Thank you SO much!

      • mark

        Since you are just about at tremolo, you can break out the corpse paint, vampyric screeching, double bass and either pentagrams or runes!

        Just wanted to say that it has taken me many years to reach a proficiency which is still somewhat tenuous.

        You need to stay as close to the string(s) as possible. Excellent idea to play Quietly at first… It is during this (warm up) time I Feel the string with my pick. Each up and down is like softly Brushing up against the string, as to Picking it. Beware the larger muscle in the thumb tensing up.

        I’m hooked on this style to the detriment of other styles. When it comes to blues, on this end, it’s always accompanied by controlled feedback. Another godly addiction.

        I’ll add that when it comes to this type of aggressive tremolo etc., it has been recommended to use a third finger as support. Tho Not placed on the pick but slightly touching the one finger that is. I only recently learned this Protective measure… Sure enough, my index finger was clearly Bent. I never even noticed until I saw that video. It’s been about 1.5 years since (incorporating a supporting finger doh) and the finger has straightened out for the most part.

        Danke!

        ps. Let’s not forget what happened to Gibson Guitars via overstepping fascist wannabees…….

    • Bill Storey

      Griff,

      2 points. 1) when you did the descending chromatic scale, you pre-placed all of your fingers before you hit the note being held down by your 4th finger. (I suspect you got that from your classical training). That’s a very important concept that we students should know. I just wanted to verbalize it for other folks.

      2) Increasing the metronome speed: Not to argue, but when you get to the point where you can execute at 100, but not at 120, why not move to 104 then 108 until you find the exact spot where the picking breaks down? If that’s at 112, then practice at 104 then 108 then try 112 again (kind of “sneak up” on it). That has worked for me. Just sayin’.

      • Griff

        That’s really what I meant about 100 being the fastest you can go. You do need to go in small increments to find that stopping point, but then I’ve had great success going up in larger increments and coming back down. It helps train the ear to subdivide and that’s usually the biggest problem.

        • Glenn Lego

          Wonder how fast Roy Clark can go!

    • Mike

      Great lesson, thanks Griff !! I have been struggling for awhile now with how to increase my speed when playing, this is really going to make it much easier.
      These technique lessons are awesome and so very helpful!!!

    • Ian Robins

      Thanks for this, Griff. Actually, after a long hiatus from electric guitar which involved a lot of finger picking, I now find that a pick is a bit like a foreign body in my hand. I have developed a finger picking style with electric guitar. I have given up trying to be the fastest guitar in the west. I just want to be one of the tastiest. 🙂 However, having said that, I have been fooling around with a pick again lately, so this lesson has been rather timely. I’m going to give it a whirl. Cheers.

      Ian.

    • John E. Reuter, Esq. (Ret)

      Thank you so much Griff. Great lesson on something I’ve been wanting to improve for a long time. I’m so sick of down, down, down. And it’s embarrassing too. Appreciate it!

      John

    • dale

      Thanks Griff, Going to work on this. Love your lessons, thanks

      Dale

    • John

      Graet lesson Griff all the info is heeling a lot, Now I need to wake up these old fingers on the left hand!!

    • Bill

      Great exercise Griff. Now, my issue is transitioning string to string up and down through the box at the higher tempo. Would love to see a lesson on that. Please?

      • Griff

        The lesson is to spend more time doing this on one string 🙂 Don’t worry about it, as you improve your technique in general on the one string, going to other strings won’t be so hard either.

    • Will

      I can alternate pick really well what I didn’t realize is I was using two fingers had to pick up my guitar noticed right away so I tried with just one although I have to remain Conscious of it its easier Huh? I think I also discovered a new muscle a different part of my arm hurts now lol
      Thank you for what you do Love it!!!!

    • Terrell

      Thanks Griff, this video was very informative. This is going to help me alot.

    • danin hollabaugh

      cool stuff …griff. im going through the b.b.g i started to do this on sitting easy blues… pretty tuff at first but it”s sounding better..i started out with all down stroke”s i”m going to try this with all the lick example”s…..so once again thank”s for all the grate stuff you have been giving us…p.s i”m glade you are back on the line..looking forward to your grate blog”s

    • Rick

      What’s the secret to keeping your pick from rotating?
      I always start on the point tip but usually end up at a rounded edge orca complete 180 degrees

    • LouisVA

      Just when I think I’m learning, I see how inept I am !

      • Maurice

        You and me both, brother! Anyway, why would an aging blues guitarist from the 60’s want to improve his picking? Well, suppose he can’t pick any faster than he could when he was 16? 👴

    • Bob

      Great excercise Griff. It is something I have struggled with for years. Thanks again!

    • RollyS

      Thank you Griff! After reading the blog and watching the video I am going to change my practice method starting today! Thanks for this very much. Also the comments about picks in general has opened my eyes too! I’ve been using very flexible Jim Dunlop picks and so will change to see the difference. I thank everyone for this, it was very informative and helpful. Now back to my BGU course!

    • Mark Arnold

      Just a big thanks Griff for taking the time and for all you do for us players !!

    • Ron Pogatchnik

      Where can I find the video! All I see is ! circeled

    • scott

      Hello Griff
      Top notch instruction as always
      Scott

    • Len

      Griff,Thanks very much,sure wished you had been around 60 years ago,when I started playing,or trying to play,but with your help I am making progress,Len.

    • jim

      Griff is VERY fast (and, importantly, CLEAN). One of the things about his playing that caught my attention…listen to what he says! Then go play the solo in “Rock around the Clock” – fastest picking solo I know.

    • WELDON RANSOME

      Thank you Griff that was very helpful

    • richard

      There are plenty of free Software Metronomes too(google for them). I’d recommend NOT looking at the metronome though – just listen – software or hardware.

    • Ira

      Thanks, I was wondering about that. Now if I only had a guitar.

    • jay

      There’s a big difference between picking just one string (however fast) and playing
      across several strings in a fast melodic phrase….need another video please!

    • Devo

      Griff,

      Good useful info. What pick style, material, thickness works well? I started with a .52mm triangle ultex pick for four string banjo, but moved up to a .84mm. When I started guitar I moved to a 1.15 oval ultex.

      Suggestions?

    • Gustaf

      As usual, well explained and interesting. THANKS!

    • cowboy

      great info…thanks…later.

      cowboy

    • Skip

      Very helpful. Thanks Griff

    • Joe

      Excellent advise. Alternate picking is a difficult concept in the beginning but proves to be natural as you play longer. Without thinking about it I gradually began to alternate my picking throughout the years. I only wish there were teachers back then that emphasized picking techniques as you have in this lesson. Please keep up the great work you do in teaching others. I read recently that some of the greats like Duane Allman and SRV regularly used the back end of the pick and was wondering what your thoughts were on that. Thanks again for your dedication to the craft.

    • mike z.

      Griff, this is a great lesson. I have a problem holding the pick and strumming correctly. Thanks for the informative lesson. Mike Z.

    • Chuck

      As usual, fantastic subject, well presented and a lot of help! Thank you Griff!

    • tony

      Yup got that alterate going on for sometime. Yes the loud is something that some think is good ,but, its really not as you say play with no amp. I have 2 problems with the pick the smooth is diffcult for a good grip and i destroy them in one tune it actually looks frayed . I use dunlop picks the surface is easier to grip its truly embarassing to drop a pick when playing for a crowd then got to use the first finger like a pick . been using dunlops for awhile ,but, been using the .73 the next thicker pick is better .88. why? THINNER ONES BEND TOO MUCH. GIVING A CHOPPY SOUND. :-} off to play .

      • bogie

        I totally agree with you .
        Also the material the pick is made from.
        Tortoise shell tend to enhance that choppy sound.
        Where nylon sounds darker and does not have the scratchy sound.

    • Licinio

      Fantastic hint. Playing softly as you recommended makes room for playing louder with appropriate control and keeps sound quality.
      Thanks a lot Griff

    • Richard

      You have done it again griff. Your demo of how to do it was well executed and made absolute sense I had a pal in one band who held his pick with 2 fingers and thumb it looked so uncomfortable and did have problems getting the correct rhythms. Maybe you could do a talk on selecting the right length pick to choose for the gauge of strings being used. Thanks griff for the concise explanations and demos of how to do things. Top marks for you

      • Terry

        Hi Richard,
        I don’t normally reply to comments but your comment about the pick caught my attention.
        If you check way back through some of Griff’s mini lessons or Blogs you may find the one he produced on this very subject and recommended the Jazz II pick (By Jim Dunlop) they are small, very stiff and totally changed my life. It took a little getting used to but after a short while the improvement was truly amazing. Check them out.

        • slim pickins

          Totally agree with Terry’s tip! I got turned on to jazz picks from an old Danny Gatton video. Biggest single difference in picking and accuracy during my development thus far. Check them out for sure.

          • Glenn Lego

            I understand that Wes Montgomery began playing with a pick but he later discovered that playing with his thumb was quieter and didn’t disturb his neighbors so much, so he perfected that style.

    • Steven

      I was thinking about my picking hand, and why it seems stressed while playing, just last night! I can’t wait to get home and practice this.

    • Ian

      Really like your relaxed teaching style and wry sense of humour. Great stuff.

    • geoff

      Cheers griff, great information as usual, l can see I am getting better, I am so stocked. Thanks for the videos !!

    • Bernie Heerey

      Quite simply – No bull, Simply put, Brilliantly explained and very very usefull, nough said!

    • 404

      never really had a problem with my right hand pic n always has seemed relaxed acurate I just never have to think about it if my left was as good as my right I’d be playn the garden

    • Robert

      This advice on using a pick is so very helpful! I started off using something akin to fingerstyle, heheh, and using a pick has been quite frustrating.

      Thanks once again, Griff. Your course is great, one of the best, but your daily, practical advice, such as this, puts you at the top of the list of ‘online’ teachers, in my opinion!

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