Part Two of Guitar Crash course – Holding the plectrum

December 31, 2007 at 2:15 pm 2 comments

How to hold the plectrum for maximum tone and playability.

To use a plectrum most effectively, it’s important not to have too much plectrum sticking out past your fingers. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The deeper the plectrum goes into the strings, the more resistance there is and the more difficult it is to play.

Here’s what it should look like. The first picture shows how the plectrum should be placed on the index finger, the second one with closed fingers and the third one is just a side view to give you a better idea.

Plectrum on index finger

Plectrum with closed fingers

Plectrum side view

As you can see from the above pictures, the plectrum, or “pick” as some people like to call it, is held between the index finger and thumb. the index finger is in a curved position with the plectrum resting on the side of the finger. The thumb then comes along to seal the deal.


Entry filed under: guitar lessons. Tags: , , .

Guitar Crash course part one – Tune the guitar Beginner guitar chords – Crash course part 3

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John Mackinnon  |  January 3, 2008 at 9:03 am

    A significant amount of resistance can be attributed not only to the amount of pick that you stick down between the strings but also to the “Pick” thickness itself. In general I like to stay away from extremely stiff picks like a Fender Heavy. I find that a Fender Medium serves well for most of my playing needs. Only with the fastest electric guitar solos do I consider using something thinner.

    • 2. Matt Guttridge  |  July 17, 2009 at 11:08 am

      I’m in a bit of a dilemma…

      Whilst i love the sound the harder plectrums gives, i hate the feel… and so opt to use the thinner kind.

      Problem is, because of this, my playing has become ridiculously soft. I therefore have to boost my amp volumes, and end up with feedback problems… I can’t win. I have some issue with hitting the strings hard, probs just a mental thing. But am keen to hear any tips any one can give me to try and get rid of these problems, both mental and technique.

      Does the better guitarist give it more? they bring passion to their playing right?!


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