guitar frets and picks

“How to hold a pick?” Simple. A lot of people do it wrong because they never thought of another way. With this lesson, we’re going to undo any bad habits. And create new ones.

Note that if you are a nylon-stringed guitar players you’re probably not concerned by this.

1. Pick a pick

I know, not the best pun in the world. Anyway, before learning what’s the best way to hold a guitar pick, you’ve got to buy one, or if you’re good with your hands, create one (it’s actually quite easy to do it – I’ll cover it on another lesson).

I totally recommend you to test picks before buying them and see what’s the most comfortable for you. In general, extra light picks are more ideal for beginners. It will sound better than a thicker one, and you’ll find strumming a lot easier to do. But test them, and see how it goes.

As for materials, you’ll find a bunch of different ones. My personal preference goes to the nylon picks, but here again, just a matter of choice.

2. Now… How to hold a pick?

Did you get yourself some picks? Cool. Let’s see how we handle this little thing.

So basically you’ve got to place it between your thumb and your first finger. But not anywhere. There’s a special spot. It’s exactly between the tip of your thumb and the side of your index. Do you want to see pictures demonstrating that? Okay, here it goes:

Hand position for guitar pick

Place the pick at the very end of your thumb

Holding the pick

And make a “tongs” shape with your index

Once you’ve done that, you can keep it very relaxed like the second picture, or even close your hand in a fist, which I recommend because of the pressure made by your thumb on your first finger. Don’t put too much strength on holding the pick though, a small pressure is enough.

Note there are other ways to hold a pick but this one is HIGHLY advised. After a while, you’ll find that it’s actually very comfortable.

3. Guitar picks or fingers?

Hem… Tough question. For a beginner I’d say picks, 100%. For a more advanced player… 50% each. None of them should be replaced by another, and of course, on classical guitars, finger-picking rules. My heart personally goes to fingerstyle, but that’s because I’ve started on a classical guitar.

Are you at the beginning of the journey? Don’t worry, you’ll find out which one you’ll love the most.