Picking problem

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Picking problem

Postby patch » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:29 am

Hi all,
I can't seem to stop my index finger in my picking hand from uncurling under the pick and catching it in the strings. I'm sure this is a daft problem to be asking for advice for and I guess I just have to persevere but you don't know till you ask!
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Re: Picking problem

Postby Daniel » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:54 pm

Hi Patch,
3 possibilities: 1) You're attempting a picking technique that doesn't work for you (there's no wrong way to do it but their are ineffective ways). 2) You're digging in too far with the pick. 3) You're using too thin a pick.
I suppose it could be a combination of the three (or tow of the three) as well.

Try to take a photo with your right hand as your left hand (Picking hand) is addressing the strings. Attach it to a reply and share it.
Tell us what kind of pick you're using: size, shape, and thickness.
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Re: Picking problem

Postby patch » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:41 pm

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f9fyjl9rls4zq ... e.jpg?dl=0

Thanks for replying, not sure if the link works, I've never posted a photo before. The pick I'm using is a Dunlop tortex 1.14mm
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Re: Picking problem

Postby Daniel » Fri May 01, 2015 12:41 pm

Hey that worked great!

OK: I have a couple of recommendations.
1) Get a bigger pick. The big triangles like a Wegen TF140 still have points, but the whole pick is broader giving you more grab.
2) Angle the attack so that you're not hitting the strings with the flat of the pick, but at an angle. Maybe somewhere between 30 and 40 degrees. You want to strike the strings with the edge of the pick. This way the pick won't slide between the pair and you'll get one note for each pair rather than two notes. It'll also be harder to let the pick fall in between the courses.

Watch this Mike Marshall video. He talks about the right hand (left for you) a lot and it's all very good advice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmagoBQunZI

Hope this helps!
Daniel
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Re: Picking problem

Postby patch » Fri May 01, 2015 2:07 pm

Thanks for all the great advice Daniel, I really appreciate you taking the trouble to respond. I'll definitely give the pick a try
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Re: Picking problem

Postby keitha » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:13 pm

Can definitely relate to using a bigger pick, I followed that advise a while ago, much easier and more comfortable , took a little while to get used to it, but it was worth it.
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Re: Picking problem

Postby Mathilda » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:21 am

I've never figured out why people clench the plectrum between the side of their index finger and their thumb. When I started playing the guitar many years ago I just naturally held the plectrum between the tips of my thumb and first two fingers. I carried on doing that when I started on the mandolin. It means far less movement of the hand and makes it far more dexterous because I can also use my finger muscles. I do have to clench the plectrum a little harder though I suppose. I use a very hard plectrum with no flex in it rather than a soft one but just hold it closer to the tip of the plectrum so only a few millimetres is poking from the tips of my fingers and thumb.

I actually just assumed that everyone did this until I read Simon Mayor's book about playing the mandolin where he taught that people should use the side of the index finger. I can understand that for strumming chords, but for picking out melodies?
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Re: Picking problem

Postby colirv » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:56 pm

Mathilda wrote:I've never figured out why people clench the plectrum between the side of their index finger and their thumb. <snip> I read Simon Mayor's book about playing the mandolin where he taught that people should use the side of the index finger. I can understand that for strumming chords, but for picking out melodies?

Chris Thile expands on it a little here. Given that the two mandolin players I admire the most both insist on using exactly the same pick hold, I tend to try and imitate them without worrying to much about why!
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