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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: The Pick Stroke

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Austinmike - Posted - 02/13/2009:  14:50:52

In the never ending quest to get Faster-Cleaner-Louder, I am always trying to analyze the actual stroke of the better players. Last week, I was watching a DVD by Norman Blake and he was talking about how he makes his pick stroke....basically he says that he rotates his wrist. I have seen others do a down/up with their wrist,, a very few do a down up with their arm from the elbow down, and I swear that I have seen a few that seem to be able to pick with a down up motion of their thumb and index finger. So, to me it looks like 4 basic strokes. I know that there will be combinations of a few.

I guess that I was in the bend the hand at the wrist camp, but have been doing the rotation for the past week, and it already feels like it is making my picking a little cleaner on some phrases. I think that I am hitting fewer adjacent strings that I sometimes would clip a bit my other way.

So, what is your take on this, and have you changed since you started, and do you fiddle with your technique, or leave well enough alone?


devellis - Posted - 02/13/2009:  15:54:00

I've changed over time. Primarily, I move from the wrist. For picking melodies, I find I often use my fingers. That gives good accuracy but less power. I try to take bigger motions when I want greater power. There's a lot of paths to the same place. I tend not to focus as much on my right hand movements and, at this point, leaving it to its own devices works quite well. But initially, I was more analytic and I spent a fair amount of time figuring out what worked and what didn't. Except for obvious errors, I think you eventually have to find out what suits your individual anatomy. If what you're doing hurts or if you can't get the pick to the right string, some analysis of your style is in order. But some of it just comes naturally over time.

Bob DeVellis

musekatcher - Posted - 02/16/2009:  08:04:42

I've changed too. I'm a big believer in experimenting and letting the intuition take over. Some folks have really analyzed the motions, like a golf swing. Either way has produced results. Being a bit old fasioned, I tend towards the former, but curiousity forces me to pursue the latter too.

Jim Holland
Athens, AL

Blueraven - Posted - 02/16/2009:  14:51:32

I never thought about it. I do "Old Joe" and "Randall Collins" by Blake and some Doc stuff plus originals.

It's prob a combo depending on what ya are doing. The wrist for very fast brush strokes for more then one string and maybe the finger/thumb combo for single notes close together. However, ya gotta move your wrist for notes far apart like I do. IOW, on those songs I hit the high strings and immediately go to the bass strings. IE., strings far apart.

Like I said, never thought about it so just my first take on it.


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