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#1 PatIam

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:09 AM

Now that I have been playing for 4 years and getting by with holding the pick, I need to finally solve my problems with a pick.

 

I have held the pick in my right hand 1)between the index and thumb with the pick touching both fingertips. 2)held the pick with the index and thumb with the pick touching the index finger just past the first knuckle. 3) held the pick between the index and middle finger touching the index and middle fingers at the finger tips.  I have used smooth picks, picks with raised dots, scored picks, picks with soft grippers, etc. 

 

The problem is that the pick rotates in my grip.  I have gripped lightly, gripped hard, and variations in between.  Still rotates.

 

I have very good strength in my fingers so the issue is not one of tension on the pick, again I have tried light pressure, heavy pressure, and all pressures in between.  Still rotates.

 

I can use a pick without it rotating if I pick individual strings, but when I move to two or more as in partial chords or full chords, rotation occurs. 

 

Has anyone addressed and solved this problem?

 

Pat


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#2 oldjock

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:57 AM

Pat, I have the same problems as you. I have been playing for almost three years, mostly rhythm strumming.
There are probably close to three dozen picks in my desk. Like you I even tried the gel stickers, none of which have solved the problem.
Also tried changing the attack angle if the pick, to no avail.
I'm sure that I am still doing something wrong, but what??

In the end, I put double sided tape on both sides of a Dunlop nylon(.73). Problem solved temporarily.
The pick stops rotating but it gets gooey after about 8 hours of playing time.
I make up batches of picks, six at a time, so I have plenty of spares ready.

Henk

#3 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 12:18 PM

I'm pretty much sold on Dava picks and Dunlop Cats tongue
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#4 JRG

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:45 PM

Hello Patlam,

 

I have experienced similar issues as my fingers are very dry and make gripping the pick difficult when strumming aggressively.  I recently started using Tortex picks because I like the tone they produce.  My quick solution was to drill a small hole in the pick, that seems to break up the surface just enough.  You might try it and see what you think.

 

Jim 


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#5 JRG

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:48 PM

Oversimplification but I think you get the idea.

 

Jim

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#6 PatIam

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 05:23 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.  I have tried applying 'junk' to the pick, sticky, tape, edging borders, etc.  I have also applied 'junk' to my finger tips.  I have tried various types of picks that promote reduced movement and comfort.  I have not tried Dava picks and may give them a try.

 

There is about 1/4 inch of the pick tip exposed and I have forced myself to 'choke up' on the pick to the bare minimum, probably in the range of 1/8 inch.  Still get rotation.

 

My technique is to start with the pointy side on the strings, then as it rotates I continue to play and adjust my picking hand as the pick turns.  Eventually, within 5 to 10 measures, the pick will work itself out of my right hand.  Side note, does not matter whether I play hard or soft.

 

So I am hearing from the those that replied that they have pick rotation problems as well. 

 

When I watch players - pro or amateur  - on videos - I do not notice much rotation.  Without buying stuff, are there exercises or techniques to help eliminate this pick problem.

 

Again, thanks

Pat


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Cordoba C5 CE

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#7 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:20 PM

If your picks are smooth just use a paper hole punch (1 or 3 hole doesn't matter)

Use the punch to pop a hole in the pick.
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#8 drlaptop

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 09:44 PM

Have you tried a looped one that slips on the thumb like a ring. Years ago I would play a few songs on bass with a pick to get a crisp punch sound that you don't get while using your finger to pluck the strings. The pick would rotate after some use and then I tried a looped one and it seemed to do the trick. Another thing I know one guy did was to laminate a small section of sand paper on each side of the pick and making sure the sandpaper was small enough so it wouldn't scrape the strings.


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#9 Acoustic M

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:33 AM

Pat, I have not tried any of these picks myself, but the descriptions seem like they tackle the problem? 

 

http://www.wingpick.com/index.html

 

http://www.musicians...k#productDetail



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#10 naccoachbob

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:48 AM

Pat, here's a pic of my pick holding. 

Thumb and forefinger of course, but my middle finger is curled and the tip of it touches the back left side of my thumb right at the knuckle. The middle finger also touches the edge of the pick, maybe stopping any rotation. I don't run into any problems with picks rotating. Not sure if that's the reason or not, but it's as good as anything I guess. I also use the Dunlop picks with bumps on them most of the time.

 

Pick%20grip_zpsadzabae8.jpg


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#11 JRG

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 02:55 PM

Hi Pat,

 

Another thought generated by the pictures posted by SixString.  I hold the pick with a "fist" rather than just my thumb and index finger.  What I mean is I strum with my entire finger set backing up my index finger.  When I first began playing, I often just held the pick loosely between my thumb and index finger with my other fingers flying along.  Now, I strum with the extra fingers held again the index finger.  The thumb has a large muscle in the hand and the index finger does not.  so using the other fingers to back up the index seems to help.  Again, it's not a "death" grip on the pick but a light touch using all the fingers.  

 

Jim


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#12 Grog

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 04:28 PM

Hi Pat:

I picked up some Dunlap Big Stubby Pics, or Plectrums as the Brits say. They are indented in the centre and seem to work well for this problem. They do work better on electrics rather than acoustic guitars though.



#13 gotto

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 04:35 PM

I have dozens and dozens of picks. I have had 3 dominant hand thumb surgeries and have great challenges with hand and thumb grip strength. After trying many variations of picks including thumb picks, this is where I landed 2 years ago and use exclusively. My issues included yours and others like sending my pick air born at inopportune times. Thick, thin, big, expensive, holes in picks gripping picks, all varieties of composition, wood, stone, bone metal....I have tried them all. I am very happy now with the solution to my searching. They last forever as well.

 

https://artisanguita...ht-hand-id-4906

 

Their newest design has a complete elastic slip-on feature rather than a velcro strap. I will be trying that next. FWIW, should the provided pick wear out, one can add their favorite pick, with a little contour shaping, to the strap with a dab of super glue. This is described on the materials of the packaging.

 

Greg



#14 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 04:47 PM

If you notice your index finger is pretty straight

Notice 6-String
His index is curled.
So is mine
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#15 PatIam

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:10 AM

What a great bunch of folks!  I personally thank each of you who replied and I will wager that there are many more who benefited from your teaching me how to solve this problem.

 

I have discovered,

 

Hello Patlam,

 

I have experienced similar issues as my fingers are very dry and make gripping the pick difficult when strumming aggressively.

 

Jim 

 Thanks Jim.  I too seem to have dry fingers, well, not dry, I would say more a coating of tough skin.  Probably from playing golf without a glove and working with lots of sandpaper and such.  I checked with a friend who is just taking up guitar and she has no problem holding the pick.  Her finger skin is much softer than mine and her pick rotation is almost zero.

 

 

All above advice is great.

 

So here is my 2 cents as well...  :)

 

Pat, how much of the tip of your pick is exposed from your grip?

 

What I have discovered a long time ago, for myself anyway, if the tip of the pick is exposed more than 1/4" / 6 mm past my thumb, I get pick rotation.  I believe this amount of exposer is what most instructors recommend as well, 1/8" / 3 mm to 1/4" / 6 mm.

 

Maybe the physics of leverage applies here?  Thinner picks can have more exposer, while thicker picks will be less, before applied torque can move the pick out of position?

Tom:  I found that exposing less of the pick helped and the angle of the strum helped even more..

Pat, here's a pic of my pick holding. 

Thumb and forefinger of course, but my middle finger is curled and the tip of it touches the back left side of my thumb right at the knuckle. The middle finger also touches the edge of the pick, maybe stopping any rotation. I don't run into any problems with picks rotating. Not sure if that's the reason or not, but it's as good as anything I guess.

 

Bob:  This one was harder to do.  Very uncomfortable (but almost everything I do the first few times is uncomfortable - practice, practice).  This method helped the rotation a lot. 

 

 

 

The goal is to have the tip of the pick skip smoothly across the strings in both direction. Sort of like skipping a rock across the water.  The trick is to get the same smooth stroke in both directions at all strumming speeds.

 

I personally would not give too much weight to the photo diagramming the 45 degree angle.  More or less angle may work fine for you.  You just need to spend the time and attention on the detail to find what works and ingrain it. 

 

 

 

Six String.  This was a huge impact on the problem.  The angle of somewhere around 45 degrees with a "skipping" stroke combined with the previous adjustments really helped.

 

 

 

Hi Pat,

 

Another thought generated by the pictures posted by SixString.  I hold the pick with a "fist" rather than just my thumb and index finger.  What I mean is I strum with my entire finger set backing up my index finger.  When I first began playing, I often just held the pick loosely between my thumb and index finger with my other fingers flying along.  Now, I strum with the extra fingers held again the index finger.  The thumb has a large muscle in the hand and the index finger does not.  so using the other fingers to back up the index seems to help.  Again, it's not a "death" grip on the pick but a light touch using all the fingers.  

 

Jim

Jim:  And your advice added to the advice listed above made the rotation STOP.  That bit of movement making the fist forces the pick "down or back" into the middle finger as the thumb holds the pick BETWEEN the thumb and index.  The feeling is that there is little pressure between the thumb and index but the shorter pick length exposed, holding the pick as Bob described, and then curling the hand a bit ANCHORS the pick against rotation.

 

If you notice your index finger is pretty straight

Notice 6-String
His index is curled.
So is mine

Eracer_Team:  The cherry on the ice cream!  But hard to do.  My index finger wants to straighten.... when it does, I loose the anchor against the middle finger and the pick rotates.  Practice, practice - keeping that index finger curled a bit with the hand also curling to make an open fist. 

 

 

And thanks to everyone else who make equipment suggestions... there are quite a few unique picks out there.   I had a feeling that the problem was mine rather than the equipment.

 

 

This will sound boring and it is, but spend a few hours, yes hours, over the next week or so, simply experimenting with angling the pick and exposing as little as needed to get the tip to rake smoothly across the strings in both directions. 

 

 

 

Great advice Six String:  Boring it is but training myself to use all the above advice while strumming to some good music is not so bad... even better..... I am no longer crawling under desks and chairs looking for picks!

 

Again, what a great group of folks helping solve this problem.

 

Pat


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Ibanez AVN3MHE-OPN Parlor*

Alvarez AC65HCE

Cordoba C5 CE

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#16 oldjock

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:22 AM

Many great ideas to try, from the comments. For me specifically, the curled hand or fist may work. I have a tendency to let my fingers "fly" 

and I certainly have too much pick exposed.

 

Back to practice.

 

Henk



#17 fray

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:44 AM

Hi, look up Brad Davis on Youtube, how to hold the pick.  He is a grammy award winning guitar player and has several books on playing techniques.  He references a book in the video that may help.  Thanks. fray



#18 randy120

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 10:48 PM

I use V-Picks most of the time which solved my slipping problems. I purchased the acoustic and electric packs many years ago and they are still going strong. I favor thick picks, and some are very thick. My thin pick would be considered Heavy by most.

 

I experienced the rotating pick problem when I tried "Big Stubby". It has a big indent in the center and it spins. They are ok for picking, but fail strumming. I went right back to V-Picks.

 

A couple of months ago Just Strings gave me free picks with my string purchase. They gave me two packs of D'Addario assorted heavy picks, and I was suprised that I liked many of them. 

 

I don't think about it much except when a pick is slipping in some way. 


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#19 BR-549

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:05 PM

I didn't see it mentioned, but I find washing the picks with soap and water makes them easier to hold on to.  I think they get skin oil in them that makes them slippery.



#20 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:26 PM

I'm picks are found in the washing machine or dryer all the time.
But not on purpose.



Btw I use Dava picks, they're grippy
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