Holding a guitar Pick / Plectrum for speed

Holding a guitar Pick / Plectrum for speed

Ever wondered how some guitarists seem to manage to play so much faster than others? Or how they manage to hold on to their pick and always hit the right strings? 

I know when I first started when ever I tried to go fast my pick would get caught on a string and slow me down or it would just fling out of my hand. Well here are the tips and tricks that worked for me to get my speed playing up to pro. 

The most important thing here is to have as small an amount of plectrum showing as possible. This will ensure that your hand has more grip on the plectrum than the string meaning you’re less likely to get caught on the string or have the plectrum fling out of your hand.

We want to just brush the strings on the surface or lightly pick them with a relaxed motion. It is common for people to try and dig at the strings or hammer them. This isn’t needed. The guitar has a sound box or an amplifier to make it loud, your notes will sound nicer and clearer if played in a relaxed manor. Even when playing heavy metal!!

Things To Avoid

1) Too much plectrum exposed to the stings. This can cause the plectrum to go too far into the strings and forces you to dig at the string or will slow you down as you will need to move you plectrum a lot more to move between strings.

2) Pinching with just your finger and thumb tips. This will force your hand into an uncomfortable position.

What Works For Me

I was going to title this section “what we should do” however there is always more than one way to achieve things. This method has however, allowed me to get maximum speed and loads of other harder techniques without needing adjustment of grip. 

Here is my step by step direction on achieving my preferred grip.

1) First of all take you picking hand (dominant hand, so usually right) and do a thumbs up.

2) Keeping your thumb up, open your fingers so they are relaxed (enough room for a big marker pen.

3) With your other hand place the plectrum on the top side of your index finger so around 5mm is pointing out over your finger nail

4) Bring your thumb down to hold the plectrum in place. Your thumb should be pointing sideways to the plectrum.

So now you should have the plectrum between the side of your index finger just pointing out past the finger nail at a slight angle, and your thumb print sideways to the plectrum and your finger. Now the rest of your fingers can relax and open. These fingers will then be used to anchor your hand into a nice position to play. (This part depends a lot on how and what you are playing so I won’t go into this in this blog).

Also with this grip you should be able to relax your index finger and thumb quite a bit as the weight of your thumb alone should create enough friction to keep the plectrum in place.

Can't Quite Get it?

That’s fine. For some people this feels really unnatural at first. Try watched the video tutorial on this. If you’re still stuck then you can contact us and we can try to find a way to help.

For more information into the brand new starter tips I have a great blog listed below called “Top Tips for Quick Guitar Progression” which covered everything as though you haven’t held a guitar before. 

For more in depth training we have online courses and Clubs in Northampton and Leighton Buzzard 

Visit www.TheGuitarNinja.co.uk

Or call 07875656351


Teaching you all to be the best you can be.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Chad

    This is probably the most “it actually makes sense” kind of post I’ve seen on on this subject. Best part… I didn’t have to go digging through some weird web design to find it. Awesome! Please keep posting new material!

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