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Help on correct picking posture

Question by Landon Koon
(Montgomery, Texas)

I am a slightly in between beginner to intermediate guitar player but I am stumped on one problem. Recently on a youtube video a guy showed that his way of picking efficiently and fast was to move his hand and arm diagonal across the strings every time he went up a string so when he played notes on the low E string his hand would be somewhere by the bridge and when he played the high E string his hand would by resting on the b string and the other top strings muting them and his hand would be more towards the neck of the guitar.

If you can understand this please tell me whether I should pick using this technique or just tell me the proper way too pick if this technique is not correct. I just don't know whether I should be moving my hand diagonally towards the neck the higher the string I go or just rest my hand on the bridge and move it down the higher the string that I pick. I would really appreciate if I got a good answer and kind of a breakdown on how to efficiently and correctly pick. Thank you


There are several ways to pick, one of which you saw in that video. There is no single correct way.

What you need to do is find the one that feels most comfortable to you.

I personally like to rest my hand on the bridge for faster picking (but then I'm more of a legato player)...

I simply pivot my hand on this spot which has enough coverage from low E to high E.

Others prop their 4th finger as follows...

Others don't rely on any prop at all, they just learn to keep their pick hand a set distance from the strings and control the movement from string to string.

I suppose the benefit of picking the way the guy did in the video (using the strings as a prop) is that you mute unwanted string noise as you're picking. However, you naturally find your own way of muting using the other techniques, e.g. with a more controlled fret hand.

I honestly believe you could pick any one of these methods and it wouldn't make any difference - you'd just adapt.

It's like holding the pick. Some guitarists make a fist and lodge it between their thumb and curled index finger, others hold it between the flats of their finger and thumb tips. The former provides more stability, the latter more flexibility.

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help on picking quads and triplets in metalcore
By: Landon Koon

Hi, it's landon again. I am really into metalcore and post hardcore genres and just heavy metal in general. I currently am not taking guitar lessons i took about 5 of them and stopped but i will start taking them again soon but i need help on how to pick low two string triplets or quadruplets and just alternate strumming with power chords and palm muted power chords. Like for example the band of mice and men. They are one of my favorite bands and have a song called still YDG'N and in the verse there are very heavy quads that are played open on the two lowest strings. They are repeated many times. The song is in drop C by the way. but i would like to know how i can practice and build up to alternate strumming these power chords so that i can play triplets and quads on the the low strings like the top two or top three strings since this is generally used in metal.

Scratch, don't pick!
By: Mike

Hi Landon, are you sure they're using two strings? I just listened to the track and it sounds like standard bottom string, single note quads and triplets. Most quad picking will just involve one string as it keeps the attack tight. I would just work on one string at a time to begin with.

The technique I use to ensure the pick isn't obstructed is to angle it clockwise slightly (assuming you're a right hand picker) so you're almost cutting across the string, as opposed to picking flat against it. This type of picking is also called "scratch picking" for the reason that you are literally scratching across the very top of the string as opposed to firm picks. Keep this in mind when you're positioning your hand.

As with everything, start slow and speed up gradually using a metronome. There really is no other way of doing it - patience and persistence is key.

reply to quads
By: Landon Koon

hey, it's landon again.about the quads in still ydg'n every cover of the song and every tab i have seen on the internet shows that the quads are on the two low strings. I looked up multiple tabs on it and it showed that the quads were on the two low strings and it covers i noticed the players were strumming them on those top two strings. But thank you for the advice. I think I will just try to play quads slow at first what bpm on a metronome would you recommend. And i will probably start out one string at a time like you said.

Re: Quads
By: Mike

Cool yeh I've just looked at a few tabs and they all suggest two strings. The same technique applies to double stop quads - keep the pick angle about 45 degrees towards the strings so you're cutting across/scratching over rather than picking against them. This removes a lot of obstruction.

I'd start at 80bpm working up in increments of 10 up to 200 and possibly beyond. The quad should be contained between two clicks, so the first click marks the first downstroke, the next click should fall on the 4th downstroke.

If you need a recording of this let me know I'd be happy to help.

When all else fails...
By: G3

If your stuggling with the correct pick posture and are having regrets on thinking there's no help for you...fear not. Try a Sik Pik!The twist of the pick allows you to play with the tip and possibly yoru uncorrectable posture is just a matter of finding the right sik pik.

guitarist with bad habit
By: help

i've been playing for a few years. after a while i started angling my pick and it's worked great for some years for faster alternate picking. but i noticed on videos that i angle my pick the wrong way. this means i have a hard time playing while standing and for example pinch harmonics and i've tried to get used to the correct angle but it works really bad for me. can i still become a great player playing like this or do i somehow have to get used to the other? is it too late to get used to the right angle or can i still become a great player without changing angle. it feels like all this work everyday has been a waste and i really need some help.

pick angle
By: Anonymous

I recently read of a few players - who's names won't come to mind at the moment - who pick slanting upward rather than down so I can tell ya' your'e in good company.

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