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My picking hand sucks...


MikeyE
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Hi, everyone.

 

So, a little background... I've been playing guitar since August 2003. I would say I am decent. I can play some OK stuff.

 

But I am having a problem with my technique: my picking hand! I just feel like I am doing something wrong. Like, my palm maybe isn't positioned correctly on the bridge... and I have too much of an angle on the low E and A strings (which may have to do with me feeling like my hand isn't positioned correctly). I THINK I am holding the pick correctly (flat part of my thumb, side of my index). But I can feel the side of my thumb slightly touch the strings sometimes.

 

The last problem I am having is string-noise. I think it's a combination of left and right hand technique.

 

Can anyone give me some tips/advice? If I HAVE to, I will see about getting a DVD and/or book.

 

Thanks!

 

- MikeyE

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If you're having problems on the low strings, maybe you're not moving your hand up far enough on the bridge when you're playing on those strings? Look at how your hand is positioned in relationship to the strings when you're on the high strings. You need to move it up so it's in the same position in relation to the strings when you're playing on the low ones. Your hand needs to very smoothly move up and down the bridge as you go from the low strings to the high strings, and vice-versa. It takes a little getting used to so that you are only lightly resting your hand on the bridge (allowing it to move easily), and not really planting your hand on the bridge with a lot of force, making it difficult to move. When you're playing something difficult, it's easy to tense up, but you have to keep your muscles relaxed.

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Picking in not as simple as it seems and you've got lot's

of company having trouble with it. :)

 

I'd recommend you try and practice without allowing

ANY part of your hand resting on the guitar. It's

pretty important to learn control with a floating arm.

Also, work on picking up and down as much as possible

without allowing the motion coming out from strings.

Finally, try using a mirror! It can realy help getting a

different perspective on what your motion looks like.

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When I first started I always rested my hand on the bridge until an instructor pointed out that it gets a trebly tone.

He also pointed out that a lot of people pick up near the neck.

He must have changed something because I notice that I now pick with my palm floating and my pinky lightly anchored on the soundboard.

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Originally posted by jazzbo

When I first started I always rested my hand on the bridge until an instructor pointed out that it gets a trebly tone.

He also pointed out that a lot of people pick up near the neck.

He must have changed something because I notice that I now pick with my palm floating and my pinky lightly anchored on the soundboard.

 

Interesting, because that's my preferred way of picking. But people tell me it's improper... yet I feel so much more comfortable doing it.

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I'm having the same problem right. I've been playing guitar for around 4 years now but have never taken any lessons (many reasons for that.. let's not get in to it for now..) so am mostly self taught. I've been making pretty steady progress but I'm looking at things now that I think are kind of holding me back as I'm getting more serious about playing. I think one of these is my picking hand...

 

It used to be when I played, I would rest my wrist or palm on the bridge itself (I had an SG..) which I realized was pretty bad, but I eventually broke that habit. I find now though is that I have a tendancy to take my ring and pinky finger and touch them to just below the strings when I'm picking... I don't think this is good technique either, so I'm trying right now to get past that...

 

So I'm wondering if there's anyone with similar experience or whatnot that can perhaps offer me some advice on this, or just anything to improve my basic picking technique..

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only recently after many years and countless hours of playing diatonic classical scales with alternate picking and free range left wrist technique...generally self taught; has my ability to proficently and accurately pick what i want occured, i.e., strum, pick up or down, skip strings and bluegrass and jazz flat pick style. I also use the thickest pick I can find...currently using a "surf pick" which i highly recommend. awhile back came across website "tuck and patty" about benson picking technique that helped quite abit and was able to immediately incorperate and improve my left hand picking. So I am either retarded or it just takes time.

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Originally posted by Little Dreamer

If you're having problems on the low strings, maybe you're not moving your hand up far enough on the bridge when you're playing on those strings? Look at how your hand is positioned in relationship to the strings when you're on the high strings. You need to move it up so it's in the same position in relation to the strings when you're playing on the low ones. Your hand needs to very smoothly move up and down the bridge as you go from the low strings to the high strings, and vice-versa. It takes a little getting used to so that you are only lightly resting your hand on the bridge (allowing it to move easily), and not really planting your hand on the bridge with a lot of force, making it difficult to move. When you're playing something difficult, it's easy to tense up, but you have to keep your muscles relaxed.

+1

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