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Pick Position And Dynamics

Steve Cass (14763) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2

Pick Position and Dynamics

View all of Steve's lessons by going to Steve Cass: Lesson and Music Guide.

I've used Dunlop .60 mm orange nylons for years. For both acoustic and electric. I've used others, no matter what they were, with good success, too (like if I was out of picks and had to borrow one). I think the secret to using any pick is how it's used!

The secret (at least the way I've learned) is two-fold:

choke up and down on the pick My starting position is to hold the pick about a quarter of an inch from the tip ('choke up'. 'Choke down' refers to exposing more of the tip). Many times I'll 'choke up' and only see an eighth of an inch of the tip. For light stumming, this guarantees very little pick noise. For heavier strumming, I'll 'choke down' so more of the pick is exposed and rotate it slightly. Read on to see what I mean. Rotate the pick around the x axis Or twist the wrist slightly. This has an effect on pick noise, too. The more parallel the pick is to the string, the more surface area of the pick that is on the string, the more pick noise. If you rotate the pick backward slightly (or toward you) and in varying degrees you begin to eliminate pick noise all together. Not only that, you actually get more of a 'snap' on the string(s). The edge of the pick by the tip needs to be used more than the flat part, in my humble opinion.