2 How to pick


So, depending on the sounds you want to make with the guitar depends on the way you pick the strings. Some players prefer to play with plectrums (Picks), some prefer playing with their fingers, and some use a combination of both. Let's look at using a pick first.

How do we hold the pick?

A good place to start is by making a thumbs up, placing the pick on your first finger with the point towards you, and place your thumb over the top.

When we pluck the strings with a pick, there are a few different ways to pick. The 2 main types of picking are:


This is where we pick the strings from the top to bottom.


This is where we pick the strings from the bottom to the top.

So this is pretty straight forward. If you're a bit shakey on some of them, that's fine. Just jump over to the exercises section and practice some of the lines there but restrict your picking to the one you want to practice (upstrokes or downstrokes). Once you're confident with both of the picking we can look at alternate picking. This is where we use both upstrokes and downstrokes together to play quicker and more efficiently. Practicing this skill early on will massively improve your dexterity and ability as a player, so I would highly recommend you taking the time to practice this. Start off by alternate picking on one string, then once you're comfortable with that, move on to two strings. There are some picking exercises here for you to try out.

For now, practice getting used to holding the pick and picking up and down, we will look at some more picking techniques in later lessons!

Alternate Picking
String Skipping