How to hold a pick properly?

Find the best way how to hold a pick properly 2023

Hey there guitar enthusiasts! Are you struggling with how to hold a pick properly (it is also known as a plectrum)? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the ins and outs of holding a pick properly, so you learn how to hold it and strum away with confidence. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player who knows how to use a pick but is looking to refine the technique, we’ve got you covered. So, do not fret, grab your guitar, and let’s dive right in!

Relax Your Guitar Picking Hand

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to hold a guitar pick properly, it’s important to relax your picking hand. Tension can cause unnecessary strain for the guitar player. So, take a deep breath, loosen up those fingers, and get ready to find the best way to hold the pick.

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Is There a Correct Way to Hold a Guitar Pick?

The short answer is no. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to holding a pick like you would want to believe. It all comes down to personal preference and what feels comfortable for you. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you find a grip that works best for your playing style.

What is the Best Angle how to Hold a Pick properly?

Again, there’s no definitive answer what is the best guitar pick position. The best angle to hold a pick depends on your playing style and the sound you want to achieve. Some guitarists prefer a flatter angle for strumming, while others tilt the pick slightly for a crisper attack on individual notes. Experimentation is key here, so don’t be afraid to try out different angles and see what is the best pick position for you.

Am I Holding my Guitar Pick Wrong?

If you’re worried that you might not be holding the pick properly, take a deep breath and relax. As long as you can comfortably strum any chord or pluck gently on a string without any discomfort or tension, you’re probably doing just fine. However, if you’re experiencing any pain or if your technique feels awkward, it might be worth changing the way to hold your pick.

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Is There Only One Way to Hold a Pick?

Absolutely not! The beauty of playing guitar is that there’s room for individuality and personal expression. Some guitarists hold the pick between their index finger and thumb, while others prefer using multiple fingers or even their middle finger. It’s all about finding what works best for you and allows you to play with ease and precision, whether it is an acoustic guitar or a bass guitar.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of learning how to use a pick, let’s dive into some tips and techniques to help you refine your pick grip and take your playing to the next level in your guitar journey.

Choosing the Right Guitar Pick

The first step in finding the right pick grip is selecting the right pick for you. Picks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, each offering a unique sound and feel. A thinner pick is great for strumming, while a thicker pick provides more control for precise picking, and the ways of holding it is slightly different. Experiment with different pick thickness and materials to find the one that suits your playing style and preferences.

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Hold Your Pick with Confidence

To hold it properly, grasp the pick gently between the side of your thumb and the first joint of your index finger. The tip of your pick should stick out slightly beyond your thumb, allowing for easy contact with the guitar strings. Find a balance between gripping the pick firmly enough to maintain control and loosely enough to allow for fluid movement, and then pick along the strings creating guitar rhythms.

Experiment with Different Grips

While the traditional thumb and index finger grip is the most common way of holding a pick, don’t be afraid to alternate picking grips and pivot your wrist toward the guitar. Some guitarists find that holding the pick between their thumb and middle finger provides better control for faster picking, especially for bluegrass players. Ultimately, it all comes down to finding what feels best for you and allows you to play with confidence and comfort. Do not hesitate to bring this up during your guitar lessons, if you are taking any, and ask your teachers what pick they use. While trying out a new grip, pick a single string and see how it feels.

Guitar Picking Technique

Now that you’ve got the right pick grip, let’s talk about the proper pick technique. When you strum or pick the strings, make sure to hold the side of the pick perpendicular to the string. This will help produce a specific notes and chords when you play the guitar. Experiment with different angles and see what feels best for you. Remember, everyone’s playing style is unique, so find the technique that suits you and your guitar best, because playing classical guitar is very different from playing electric guitar.

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How Tightly Should I Grip the Pick?

Finding the right balance of grip pressure is crucial. Holding the pick too tightly can restrict the movement of your strumming hand and lead to tension and fatigue, which is bad because the sound comes from the wrist. On the other hand, holding it too loosely can cause the pick to slip or rotate while you play. Aim for a firm grip that feels comfortable and allows for smooth and effortless strumming and plucking to produce different sounds.

How Do I Keep the Guitar Pick from Rotating While I Play?

Ah, the infamous pick rotation issue! It can be frustrating, but fear not, we have some tips to help you overcome it. One common way to hold a pick and prevent pick rotation is to place the pick between the pad of your thumb and the side of your index finger, with the long side of the pick parallel to your thumb. This grip helps maintain stability and control over the pick so that it can’t come out from the side. Additionally, you can try to choke up on the pick, positioning it closer to the tip of your fingers. Experiment with these techniques and see which one works best for you and gives you a lot of flexibility.


  • Experiment with different picks: Thin picks is great for strumming, while a thick pick is better for precise picking and individual notes.
  • Try different pick materials: Guitar picks come in various materials, such as plastic, nylon, or even metal. Each material produces a slightly different tone, so feel free to experiment and find your favorite.
  • Pay attention to different sizes: The size of the pick can also affect your playing. Smaller picks offer more control, while larger picks are great for a fuller sound. Find what size pick suits you.


  • Don’t grip the pick too tightly: As we mentioned earlier, gripping the pick too tightly can lead to tension and fatigue. Relax your hand and find a comfortable grip when the top of the pick is free to move.
  • Avoid dropping the pick: Dropping the pick mid-song is a common issue. It’s important to practice your grip and build up your muscle memory to prevent this from happening.


So, there you have it, folks! Holding a pick properly is a fundamental skill every guitarist should master. Remember to find a grip that feels comfortable and allows for flexibility and control. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you. And most importantly, have fun strumming those strings and creating beautiful music!

Daisy Rpley/ author of the article
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