Developing Your Single Note Picking

Mastering the plectrum, that small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument.

Published: 21 Mar 2011 Updated: 08 Dec 2022Visits: 12Code: GL04

Topic: Chords Instruments: Guitar Subjects: Beginner • Picking

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Developing Your Single Note Picking

Developing you single note picking starts with holding the pick properly, choosing the proper size and material and actually working on picking on your guitar.

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Picks come in all shapes, sizes and materials. I suggest you use a medium to heavy pick.

Picks are categorized by their thickness with a Thin being the lightest and a Heavy being the heaviest. A medium to heavy pick offers the most versatility in a wide range of musical situations.

The Pick Hold

Reach out like you’re going to shake someone’s hand. Bend your index finger at the first and second knuckle. Place the pick on your finger and your thumb over the pick, covering any logo if there is any. Leave a small amount of the pick exposed. ( see photo below ) This allows you to use a minimum amount of effort to hold the pick, without it falling out of your hand.

his will feel a little strange and unnatural at first. You can practice holding the pick anytime. You don’t even need to have your instrument with you — only a pick.

Master Picking by Chuck Anderson

Developing Your Single Note Picking…

Pick Direction

Pick direction is either down or up. Seems simple at first. All you need is to pick one or more strings down or up. In reality, picking is one of the more difficult and neglected parts of playing the guitar. It is commonly taken for granted with all the focus on the other hand.

A down pick stoke is indicated as:

.

An up pick stoke is indicated as:

.

As the ukulele and guitar do not have a pick stroke indication of their own the pick stroke indicators are borrowed from the violin.

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