Pick Control Challenge [Beginner and Intermediate/All Styles/Technique]
Posted 23 April 2007 - 01:49 PM
Have you ever dropped a pick while playing?
That's what I thought. Yep, we've all done it and hated it. Especially when you're sitting there and the pick drops into the sound hole of the guitar and you end up shaking the guitar over your head and looking strange.
But now, I haven't dropped a pick while playing in years (well, maybe a couple of times out of hours and hours of playing). Part of the reason is what this video shows you. I developed this practice technique that makes holding on to my pick just like breathing.
For superior pick control, if you learn to master this, you will never again drop a pick while playing. Ever. I haven't dropped a pick in years and I strum just as hard and as fast as Nancy Wilson of Heart. I always have a few picks ready in the pick holder on the mic stand, but they're only there as security!
Play any single chord with any strumming pattern you like. Make it simple, make it difficult. It's up to you. While strumming this chord, consistently twirl your pick counter-clockwise. In the video, I'm using the G, C and D chords. The challenge is this: if you get this practice routine down, I guarantee that you will never or rarely ever drop a pick again!
Let me explain exactly what I mean.
Rotate the pick towards you by using any fingers you can while strumming. I rotate the pick is like this: I am holding the pick between my thumb and middle finger. I then bring my ring finger on the side of the pick that's towards me and cause the pick to rotate towards me. Of course, by doing this I am simply moving my thumb out of the way and then the pick is perpendicular to me and in between my middle and ring fingers. Then I simply place my thumb on the pick, causing it to further rotate towards me (as I lift my middle finger out of the way). Now the pick is between my thumb and my ring finger. Next, I use my middle finger to adjust and stablize the pick. So now, the pick is being held by both my middle and ring fingers, as well as my thumb.
The goal is to keep the sound of your strum the same. You may not attain 'perfection'. I haven't. But you can get close. The whole idea of this exercise isn't about consistent sound, just control.
Your method of twirling may be different from mine, but mine is done by using my ring finger. I'll then continually adjust the position of the pick with the middle finger. Meaning, I always use the middle finger for control and positioning of the pick. Now while playing I always use my ring and middle fingers to constantly adjust the position of the pick.
Then the idea, after this exercise, is to go about playing guitar regularly, without twirling your pick. Then you'll begin to feel the superior control.
First practice this with a pick in your hand and away from the guitar.
Let me know how you do, or if this isn't very clear to you, and I'll be happy to help.
Solid Walnut Music/ASCAP
Becoming a great guitarist has less to do with fancy moves than it does becoming a master of the basics and learning musicianship.
It's not what you can't do. It's how you play what you already know.
View my lessons here at GfB&B
"Rhythm guitar is a trip that alot of people miss" -- Tom Petty
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