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What's Your Pick Grip? Take the Poll!

By October 24, 2016 February 3rd, 2017 Polls

Welcome to another Cracking the Code Poll, where you get to help us get a handle on picking technique, and view the results as they roll in. In this one, we’re asking about pick grip. In other words, we’d like to know how you hold the pick, and also what your setup is for the other fingers that are not directly involved in the grip itself.

To limit the crazy number of variables, there are lots of significant aspects of picking technique that we could ask about but chose not to. Here are a couple:

Anchoring. Many players use one or more fingers to make contact with the guitar body. Because there are so many ways this can be accomplished, we may save the anchoring issue for a future poll. For this poll, please choose the best option to describe what you do with the non-anchoring fingers. For example, if you tend to have your fingers open and loose, with one of them anchoring to the guitar body, please choose the “out” option for the fingers. If, instead, you tend to curl your fingers, but allow one to anchor on the guitar’s body, choose “curved” for that. We’ll probably address anchoring, as well as other aspects of your setup, in a future poll.

Edge Picking. Do you hold the pick like George Benson or Carlos Santana? If so, you may be using what we call “trailing edge picking”. This is really a combination of two things. Of course there is the grip itself, which in George and Carlos’ case, would probably be option “A”, for “pad to pad”, or possibly option “C”, for “angle pad”. But it’s also the way you turn the pick, so that you can control which edge makes contact with the string. Both George and Carlos use the edge of the pick which faces the bridge. We call this the “trailing edge”, hence, “trailing edge picking”. The reverse orientation is more common, and describes the way players like Yngwie Malmsteen and Eric Johnson use the headstock-facing edge of the pick to make contact with the string. We call this “leading edge picking”. You can read more about edge picking in this blog post here. But to make a long story short, in this poll, we’re only asking about the pick hold itself – in other words, which parts of the fingers you use to actually grip it, and what the other fingers are doing. We’ll address edge picking in a future, more comprehensive poll.

Thanks and let’s get started!

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View the Results!

These are updated every few minutes, so be sure to check back to see new data. If you’re on a phone, scroll down to see smaller charts, and rotate your screen if they still appear cut off!

Total Counts: Pick Grip, Finger Position, and Motion Mechanic


Combinations: Grip & Finger Position

Combinations: Grip & Motion Mechanic