Many guitarists fear playing the guitar in front of people for fear of what could happen if they make the slightest mistake. What if they don’t get their fingers in the right position? What if their pick drops?
The discussion below will be about how to hold a guitar pick. These easy tips will help you to take care of the problem. You might not prevent your pick from ever slipping, but the tips are useful hacks to help you prevent what you can.
How to handle a guitar pick so it doesn’t slip
Guitarists hold picks in different ways depending on what feels comfortable and the type of song they are learning. How you hold a pick for a song with a sweeping pick or a light strumming will differ. Guitarists also find their way to discovering how to hold the pick without dropping it.
Your hand needs to be relaxed and keep the pick safe simultaneously. Balance the pick between your thumb and the first knuckle of your index finger. You can choose how much of the pick to expose by pulling your finger towards the palm. Based on how you hit the strings, you will choose how much of the pick to expose.
How are You Strumming?
Most of the time, the pick will slip because we are not strumming well. When you strum at angles lower than 45degrees, you will not get a good sound. Hit the strings at 45degrees for down strums and up strums.
1. Think of a strum as a paintbrush stroke. You do not have to strike the strings. Gently brush up and down on the guitar strings. Your elbow will move as your strum.
Put your hand out and pretend to be turning a doorknob. Watch how your forearm rotates. Perform that motion as you bring your forearm to your body. Bend the elbow up and down while rotating your forearm.
2. Ensure you get the timing so that the pick points at your belt buckle when your elbow is down.
What Direction is Your Pick Pointing?
The pick has a pointy part that should be pointing towards the guitar’s bridge. When it is pointing in this direction, it is how to keep the guitar pick from slipping. You can also control the strength of your grip.
How Tight Should I hold a Guitar Pick?
The pick is likely to drop when held too lightly or strum too hard. When a song has lots of picking, you might grip the pick too hard that your arms are rigid. The grip should be firm and relaxed. Here are a few tips on striking a balance between a firm and relaxed grip on the pick. They guide on how to keep guitar picks from slipping.
Hold the guitar, pick softly and play slowly using a metronome. Ensure that you do not drop the guitar pick on the floor. Play at around 30-40 bpm and let go a little more. When you do this in stages, you will learn to get a tension-free grip of the pick.
The grip strength required when using the guitar pick can be compared to holding a pen. You don’t hold the pen too tight or too loose. If you hold the pick too tightly, your angle of attack is likely to be too flat. Hold it at 45degrees and brush the strings.
Adjust your grip strength for dynamic control. The firmer the grip, the louder the notes of the guitar. A heavy pick is also likely to sound louder than a light pick. Use different pick thickness and firmness of the grip on the pick to understand the effects it has on tone and dynamic control.
Here’s a great video on picks getting away from you:
Can I make Guitar Pick Harder To Slip?
The guitar pick can fall off your hand when you play. There are ways through which you can make it grippier. There are some quick options for consideration but first, ensure that you have a clean cloth that you can use to wipe your hands before and while playing the guitar. The sticky pick is a solution to keeping a guitar pick from slipping.
Use Double-sided Tape
Stick a double-sided tape on the guitar pick. Stick it on the bottom finger that holds the pick and on the side of the pick that faces downwards. It will keep the pick in place. You might have to replace the tape often, but it is a cheap solution.
Roughen Up the Guitar Pick
Use sandpaper on both sides of the pick. You can also roughen it up using sandpaper. Your fingers will cling to the rough surface since the surface resists movement.
Punch Holes in the Guitar Pick
Create holes in the middle of the pick using thumbtacks.
Your fingers will catch the holes, resulting in better grip. If you have some picks that you have avoided using because they slip too much, create holes on them using a hole punch.
Use Gorilla Snot
Rub it between your thumb and index finger. Your pick won’t slip around in your fingers because of the tacky feel that the snot creates. It washes off easily. It is a cheap solution for how to keep guitar picks from slipping.
Questions to Ask Yourself if your Pick Keeps Slipping
Are you using too much of the pick?
Move your thumb towards the plucking curvature if you use too much of the pick. You will get a better grip and control when strumming or playing a lead.
Are You Holding the Pick too Tightly?
The guitar pick could be slipping because you are holding it too tightly. How to keep guitar picks from slipping is to avoid gripping too hard. Loosen your grip gradually. Don’t change your approach too drastically.
What Type Of Music Are You Playing?
If you play heavy metal, the pick should be heavy. The pick shouldn’t slip when helped correctly. Medium picks are good for folk music. It will give it a brighter tone. Classic rock guitars need a heavy pick. Thin picks are recommended when you are doing anything light and gentle.
Why Use a Guitar Pick?
A pick allows you to play fast riffs. You can play a lot of notes fast. Its sound is also sharper than the sound produced when playing with fingers. Strumming chords tend to be richer when using a pick. The volume is also generally louder when you use a pick.
How to Keep Guitar from Sliding
The guitar is big and oddly shaped. It is also likely to slide when you are playing it. There are small inconveniences when playing this instrument. You play it in an asymmetrical position, and it can slip off your lap. Here are different ways of preventing your guitar from sliding.
Create More Friction to Prevent the Guitar From Slipping
Lay a slip-resistant material between the guitar support and your leg. Use goat skin shimmy, rubber from old inner bicycle inner tube, silicon gel, drawer liners, and other products. The products will increase friction and stop your guitar from slipping.
You can slow use the sticky mat used on the dashboards of cars to keep phones from falling while driving. The guitar sticks to it without damaging the finish. If it loses its stickiness, you can get back its sticky quality by washing it with some warm soapy water.