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  1. #1

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    I've been playing guitar for 35 years, and struggling with poor picking technique the entire time. I tend to hit the string with a substantial portion of the pick when I play fast, as opposed to just the tip of the pick. For the most part, I've managed to compensate for this and can still play fast - but I do have to dig in a little. I can't really play fast with a light right-hand touch. I've tried so many different approaches to correct this, from using smaller picks to intense focussed right hand practicing, even trying to adopt completely different approaches to picking.

    But after 35 years, I just want to make music when I play, and I want my practicing time (as precious as it is) to focus on musicality.

    The truth is, my (flawed) picking technique is only an issue when I play a Strat or Tele; because I dig in when I play fast, my pick tends to strike the pickguard or even the pickup occasionally, and it makes a noticeable 'clicking' noise I can hear even through the amp. I have other guitars where this isn't an issue at all, as the strings are sufficiently high enough above the guitar body that my pick doesn't make contact (Gibsons, and PRS's mostly). But I do like playing my Tele, and the noise from the pick always annoyed me.

    So here is my solution: I put down velcro (loop side) on the pickguard and pickup. It doesn't look pretty, but now I can hit the pickguard to my heart's content with no worry of hearing any 'clicks.'

    -Travis
    My solution to my somewhat flawed picking technique-img_1710-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Brilliant! I have a similar problem and I think I'm going to try this!

  4. #3

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    I know about those clicks!
    Never thought of your solution for dealing with them. Very clever.

    My solution for this problem is to start most phrases with an upstroke. It seems to subtly reposition my hand so that I don't dig in too far with my downstrokes.

    Almost everything I can play fast and clean starts with an upstroke. (Almost everything that gives me fits stops giving me fits when I start over with an upstroke.)

  5. #4

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    If the appearance is a concern, it occurs to me that I've seen fairly heavy static-cling clear plastic that conceivably could be cut to shape and fitted on top of the pickup. No sticky residue, and no overt change in the looks of the pickup.

  6. #5

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    I pick with just the tip of the pick, and the faster I play the less it digs in. I think it comes from how I hold it.

    If you lay the pick flat in front of you with the pointy tip toward you, you may imagine it is like a baseball infield - home plate is the pointy tip, the other two rounded parts are first and third base, and back between those is second base. This allows for natural descriptions of pick angle (home or second elevated with respect to the other), pick slant (first or third elevated with respect to the other), and where one holds the pick (I hold it so the base line between third and home is between my finger and thumb).

    I actually hold the pick so that side edge is the holding contact. If I try to hold it "in the middle", I dig in, holding it by the edge I stay light and fast, feels natural.

  7. #6

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    I got those clicks on a D'Angelico EXDC, the 2009 Korean model.

    I just put a piece of electrical tape on the pickup. Worked fine.

    I also like the idea of using a pick that isn't pointy. Or, the side of the pick instead of the point.

    Warren Nunes used a pick so blunt that it was hard to believe it worked. And, it worked great.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I got those clicks on a D'Angelico EXDC, the 2009 Korean model.

    I just put a piece of electrical tape on the pickup. Worked fine.

    I also like the idea of using a pick that isn't pointy. Or, the side of the pick instead of the point.

    Warren Nunes used a pick so blunt that it was hard to believe it worked. And, it worked great.
    I shall try the electrical tape idea on a Japanese 175 copy with fake humbuckers!

  9. #8

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    So here is my solution: I put down velcro (loop side) on the pickguard and pickup. It doesn't look pretty, but now I can hit the pickguard to my heart's content with no worry of hearing any 'clicks.'

    I don't mean for this to sound unfriendly but it's honest, so it might sound unfriendly initially.
    That's not a solution. That's giving up on correcting flawed technique and taking measures to hide the problem. You know what the issue is, that's the biggest hurdle one can have: not knowing what is wrong. Now just dedicate yourself to fixing it. Ignore anything else on your schedule until you actually FIX the problem.

  10. #9

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    Socraticaster said, "But after 35 years, I just want to make music when I play, and I want my practicing time (as precious as it is) to focus on musicality." The joy of making music is the reason why we play. On the other hand, "Ignore anything else on your schedule until you actually FIX the problem" is a recipe for misery.

    If we all had perfect picking technique, guitars would not need pickguards.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln;[URL="tel:1137784"
    1137784[/URL]]I pick with just the tip of the pick, and the faster I play the less it digs in. I think it comes from how I hold it.

    If you lay the pick flat in front of you with the pointy tip toward you, you may imagine it is like a baseball infield - home plate is the pointy tip, the other two rounded parts are first and third base, and back between those is second base. This allows for natural descriptions of pick angle (home or second elevated with respect to the other), pick slant (first or third elevated with respect to the other), and where one holds the pick (I hold it so the base line between third and home is between my finger and thumb).

    I actually hold the pick so that side edge is the holding contact. If I try to hold it "in the middle", I dig in, holding it by the edge I stay light and fast, feels natural.
    as a side note , this method to describe
    the 3 dimensional space of the plectrum
    is .... GENIOUS !

    i hope it catches on Paul ....
    the Baseball method

    (and I’m a Brit)