How to Hold a Guitar Pick


Welcome to the fourth lesson in our free online guitar lesson series. If you missed the previous session, you can head back. Otherwise, take a comfortable seat and let me show you one of the most underrated skills of all – how to hold your guitar pick correctly.

Lesson #4: Holding a Guitar Pick

How to hold a guitar pick the right way

It’s a really simple trick, but it makes a world of difference. Correct pick grip is essential. If you don’t get it right now – and SO many online guitar lessons miss this detail – you’ll never be able to play hard drivin’ rhythms with speed and strength. 

I won’t say that pick grip is a totally easy thing to grasp (haha… I made a pun!) but it’s much better to take a few moments to work on getting it right now. You don’t want to get three or five or even nine years into your guitar learning and have to try and fix your pick grip then. 

That’s exactly what happened to me when I was a young self-taught guitarist. I was pretty good on guitar but, as a guitar teacher in an advanced course pointed out to me, my guitar pick was weak. Then I had to spend a whole heap of time going back and correcting my pick grip. It was very painful at that level! I’m glad I did though. It made a phenomenal difference to the strength of my rhythm playing.

Turns out teachers are good for something, hey? 😉

So the best way to learn how to hold a guitar pick, and train your fingers to do it right every time is to make the gun shape I show you in the video. It goes like this:

You make a quick gun shape, pointing down.
Position the guitar pick on the side of your index finger.
Secure with your thumb with a medium grip.

Not too hard, not too soft. You want the pick to drag across the strings – not too firm or hard, or you’ll get stuck on each string and make it sound terrible. And not too soft, or you’ll sound wishy-washy and quite likely drop the pick. Oops!

No drama. You’ll get it right in time. Remember, you’re just starting out. Give yourself a pat on the back, and give that gun-shape grip another go. Pew-pew!

You're flying through!

NICE PICK GRIP! Nothing’s gonna stop you now.


Let’s head on over to the next lesson and teach you what to do with your left hand.