How To Hold A Guitar Pick?

By Jessie Waite

Hey there, guitarists! If you’re picking up the guitar for the first time or looking to refine your technique, one crucial aspect to master is how to hold a guitar pick. As a guitarist, I understand the importance of this fundamental skill. So, let’s dive in and learn the art of holding a guitar pick.

The Importance of Guitar Picks

First, you might wonder, “Why is holding a guitar pick correctly so important?” Well, the guitar pick is your direct connection to the strings, and how you hold it can significantly impact your playing style, speed, and tone. 

Now, it’s time to learn how to hold a guitar pick!

Finding the Right Pick

Finding the right pick for you before we delve into the technique of holding the pick is vital. Guitar picks come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, each offering a unique feel and sound. Experiment with different choices to discover the one that suits your playing style and preferences.

Proper Guitar Pick Hold

Now, let’s get to the heart of how to hold a guitar pick effectively. Follow these steps to ensure you’re on the right track:

Choose Your Dominant Hand

how to hold a guitar pick

Determine whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. If you’re right-handed, your left hand will fret the strings, and your right hand will hold the pick (and vice versa if you’re left-handed).

Position the Pick

Place the pick between your thumb and index finger. Your thumb should lightly press on the pick’s wide end, and your index finger should touch the pick’s pointed end.

Angle Matters

Angle the pick slightly downward towards the guitar strings. This angle allows for smoother strumming and picking.

Grip Firmness

Maintain a relaxed yet controlled grip on the pick. Avoid gripping it too tightly, which can hinder your flexibility and speed.

Keep It Close

how to hold a guitar pick

Keep the pick close to the strings. This proximity minimises the distance your pick needs to travel for each stroke, making your playing more efficient.

Tips for Practice

Now that you have the basics down, here are some tips for practising your pick-holding technique:

Start Slow

Begin with slow and simple strumming or picking patterns to get comfortable with your pick grip.

Gradual Speed Increase

As you gain confidence, gradually increase your playing speed. Don’t rush the process; precision is key.

Experiment with Pick Angles

Try different pick angles to discover what produces the sound you desire. A slight angle adjustment can make a big difference.

Relax Your Hand

Keep your hand and wrist relaxed while playing. Tension can lead to fatigue and affect your performance.

Watch and Learn

Watch videos of your favourite guitarists to observe their pick-holding techniques. You can pick up valuable insights from their playing styles.


In the world of guitar playing, mastering how to hold a guitar pick is fundamental to achieving the sound and style you aspire to. It’s all about finding a comfortable and efficient grip that allows you to express yourself through your music. So, remember to choose the right pick, practice your technique, and enjoy your guitar-playing journey!


How do I choose the right guitar pick for my style?

Experiment with different pick materials, thicknesses, and shapes to find the one that feels best for your playing style.

Should I use a different pick for acoustic and electric guitars?

Not necessarily. The pick choice depends more on your playing style and preference than the type of guitar.

Can I use my fingers instead of a pick?

Absolutely! Many guitarists prefer fingerpicking over using a pick. It’s a matter of personal choice and the style of music you want to play.

What should I do if my pick keeps slipping from my fingers?

You can try using a pick with grip-enhancing features or experimenting with different thumb and finger positions for a more secure hold.

Is there a “one-size-fits-all” pick-holding technique?

Not really. While there are general guidelines, your pick-holding technique can be adapted to your unique playing style and comfort.

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