Guitar Picking Techniques

Author: Ed Cupler

This video shows several guitar picking techniques for different styles of playing. You don’t have to hold your pick exactly like I do. This is just a good place to start. Everyone’s hands are different, so feel free to modify this so that you’re comfortable. This picking technique video includes strumming, picking chords and shredding.

Guitar pick selection Tortex Standard Picks
Guitar pick selection is also very important. I find that thicker guitar picks are more effective in producing a good heavy metal sound. I use Fender heavy’s and Dunlop Tortex Standard Picks 1.14mm. You may want to experiment with different thicknesses according to your playing style. If you’re just starting out, I would strongly suggest you use the type of pick shown here. There are many different shapes and sizes for guitar pick, but these are the most common and if you’re on stage and loose your guitar pick, this is the type of guitar pick that will most likely be handed to you by a helpful musician. The stage is not where you want something that you’re not used to using.

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Guitar Lesson Notes:

  • Strumming: Keep your picking hand loose and allow the picks angle of attack flow with the up and down motion of the strumming motion.
  • Picking Chords: Relax your picking hand and allow the picks angle of attack to be slightly more perpendicular in relation to the strings than that of the strumming motion.
  • Shredding: The pick should remain perpendicular to the strings and should follow the strings in a linear fashion without increasing the angle of attack.
  • Choking Up On The Pick: Normally when you hold the pick, enough of the pick extends beyond your thumb and index finger so that your fingers won’t touch the strings while picking. By squeezing your fingers against the pick the amount of pick that extends beyond your fingers is minimal, thus allowing your fingers to lightly touch the strings as you pick them. This technique
    produces more harmonic overtones and thus a richer sound such as squeeling notes.
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